REVIEW: An Italian experience well worth repeating

Marco @ Milano exterior for Star food review
Marco @ Milano exterior for Star food review

It is 17 years since Marco Giove opened his restaurant in a former police station in Millhouses.

Marco@Milano soon established a reputation for fabulous food, and the standard has clearly not diminished over time.

A warm welcome, and we chose to go straight to our table in the back room, all aglow thanks to multiple flickering candles.

A party of 12, a family of four and another couple were also dining, but we felt comfortably private.

The subtle tones of Michael Buble only piped in later in the evening as, replete and relaxed, we enjoyed great decaffeinated coffees, and managed to squeeze in mints and amaretti biscuits.

But we began our feast with home-made focaccia topped with tangy tomato and caramelised onion. Delicious.

Marco @ Milano exterior for Star food review

Marco @ Milano exterior for Star food review

I then chose pumpkin filled ravioli...perfect pasta squares with tasty pouches of pumpkin. The flavour filtered through, with warm chestnuts that crumbled in the mouth, pomodorini and peas topped with sage and parmigiano reggiano. A lovely fusion of flavours.

My companion’s bruschetta- sourdough bread with garlic butter wild mushrooms, soft poached hens egg and truffle oil was savoured too. The bread in itself was a delight, I was told.

On to the mains, and my succulent grilled English hake on wilted spinach with a spicy tomato marinara sauce. The hake with crispy skin was presented on a thick bed of spinach, with sweet caramelised carrots, green beans and sauteed potatoes. The sauce was strongly spicy and I enjoyed dipping the hake...but a third of the pool on the plate would have been sufficient for me.

Our second main was Pappardelle con ragu di agneiio, or pasta with a ‘rich slow cooked English lamb shoulder ragu’ topped with parmesan cheese. It was relished – the lamb was tender and the whole dish pronounced a pasta masterpiece.

My sweet was decadence in a dish. White chocolate panna cotta with berries and fruit coulis was dessert heaven. delicate, smooth and more-ish. Option two was a vanilla cheesecake with warm figs and wild berries as a sharp sidekick. Its biscuit base was light, and the cheesecake creamy.

As it was Thursday we could have taken wine but selected a reasonably priced mellow Italian red from the menu. Marco was away that night so his charming cousin Roberto Nebuloni was front of house. Head chef Franco Esposito does a fantastic job. Four courses cost just over £60. And I will go again.