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Milan Restaurant Review: Ristorante Giacomo and Cocktails at the Armani Hotel

by on June 11, 2013 · 12 comments

in Trip Reports

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Rounding out my recent trip in Italy, we spent our last two nights staying at the Park Hyatt Milan. For our first night we had tickets to the Beyonce concert so we got a quick bite to eat beforehand at the hotel and had a few drinks before heading over to the Mediolanum Forum. For our second night in Milan and our final night in Italy, we wanted to go to one last nice dinner to indulge in some more delicious Italian food.

Duomo in Milan

During the day we strolled around to do some sightseeing and checked out the city’s Duomo cathedral.

I took a reader’s recommendation and decided on having dinner at Ristorante Giacomo. As many reviews say, Giacomo is “the place to see and be seen” and I would have to agree since we were sitting right next to famous fashion designer and TV star Michael Kors for the duration of our meal.

Fresh seafood at the entrance of Ristorante Giacomo.

At the entrance of Ristorante Giacomo there was a full display of fresh seafood.

Designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Mongiardino, the restaurant had a nice casual atmosphere with good energy. While the staff was friendly and accommodating, they barely spoke English so it was hard to communicate with them, and our order got a bit mixed up at one point with a starter platter of oysters coming after the first course instead of as an aperitif, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a delicious meal.

Shrimp Onion Chowder

Shrimp and onion chowder t0 start.

I started my meal off with a light shrimp and onion chowder. There was a ton of shrimp in the dish and it had a really great rich flavor thanks to the onion. It was both hearty but also light.

Some of the best oysters I've had.

Some of the best oysters I’ve had.

Next we ordered a plate of oysters, which were amazing. I am a big fan of oysters, but can be picky about the type and size. These were perfect and really fresh – the presentation was simple with just some lemon wedges for seasoning, but they didn’t need anything else.

My lobster entree.

My lobster entree with tomato, onions and mixed greens

For my main course I chose the lobster that came with tomato, onions, and mixed greens. Northern Italy is known for heavier, creamy dishes, but this was just delicious with fresh lobster meet, crunch spring greens and a light dressing that just all worked together beautifully.

Monkfish

The monkfish was a delicious main course.

We also decided to order the monkfish as a table, and that was the showstopper. It was presented to the table whole so we could inspect the fish and then our server dished it out tableside in individual portions for us. It was a fun little piece of old-school dining showmanship, and the fish itself was tender, juicy and in a delicious sauce with cherry tomatoes and olives.

Dessert cart

The high tower dessert cart.

Towards the end of our meal, our waiter came around with a towering dessert cart laden with all kinds of tarts, pies, cakes, cookies and fresh fruit.

Custard with fresh berries.

Custard pie with fresh berries.

Even though we were pretty full, the desserts looked too good too pass up, so I ordered a piece of the custard pie that was topped with fresh blackberries and raspberries. It was rich, but also light (well, for a dessert) and was the perfect way to cap off the meal.

The waiter also brought over a dish of complimentary tarts.

The waiter also brought over a dish of complimentary tarts.

Finally, before being served the bill, we were also given a complimentary plate of petits fours, which were all really tasty, including a mini custard tart with berries and a little chocolate ganache bite. Overall it ended up being about 100 EUR a head after several dishes and some decent wine, definitely on the more expensive side but I thoroughly enjoyed each of the courses and would highly recommend dining here.

The Armani Hotel Milano on Via

The Armani Hotel Milano on Via Manzoni.

Once we were through with dinner we made our way over to the Armani Hotel on Via Manzoni for a night cap. Again, this was pricier than most places with drinks being around 15 EUR each but we only stayed for a little bit to see what it was like.  The hotel is know for its elegant homegrown Italian fashion-inspired style, diligent service and swinging nightlife scene in the bar. The hotel has 95 guest rooms and suites, and the nightly rate of a standard room is about 495 EUR ($650) per night, so it’s definitely a splurge, but if you’re going to Milan, why not stay in the city’s premier fashion hotel?

DRINK?

Margarita with currants

After such a great weekend getting to experience Florence and Milan, ending our trip with a nice meal and a few drinks at a chic hotel was perfect, though I was surprised how empty the bar was- there was just one other table in the huge place.

The backlit onyx bar at the Armani Lounge.

The backlit onyx bar at the Armani Lounge.

I look forward to my next trip to Italy, though I’m not sure what part I would like to visit next. I always love taking suggestions from my readers so feel free to comment below with your favorite Italian destinations!

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  • oldtvguy

    Next time try Umbria (south of Tuscany). Beautiful walled hill towns, amazing hiking and scenery and of course that food!

  • bluecat

    Curious about the cost of the meal and even the drink…

  • Joel

    I’m glad you enjoyed Milan . . . just try to be less American-centric. I am amused that “they barely spoke English so it was hard to communicate with them” almost makes sense on first reading. The other way to improve communication abroad is from Americans to try to learn and speak the local language.

  • Thomas

    Have you heard of sites called Yelp and Tripadvisor? No offense, but I doubt many people come to a site called the points guy to read about what you ate. You must be desperate for content given how little new deals are out there

  • thepointsguy

    Sorry- updated it to the post. Giacomo was about 100 Euro ($130) per head including a good amount of wine and Armani hotel drinks like 15 euros

  • thepointsguy

    Yea, I think I came off a little brash there. I didn’t ever think it was their fault they didn’t speak English, but moreso as a tip to others going- don’t think that since it is a popular restaurant, that they will cater to American tourists. All in all, a great meal with some minor hiccups that were assuaged by the great food and wine!

  • thepointsguy

    Actually a lot of people want solid recommendations for good restaurants when traveling and while sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor are good, there’s nothing like a recommendation from someone you trust (which is why I always ask for reader recommendations when traveling).

  • Thomas

    Trust is a big word. You also now tend to insert credit card links in pretty much every article… To be honest I’m suprised you didn’t put one in here.. Or was that a typo?
    I lost trust in you really caring for your readers after you chose to peddle cards nonstop
    Sorry, but stick with what you are known for, and smart travelers will stick to yelp and tripadisor for restaurants

  • thepointsguy

    Thanks for the feedback, but I’m going to continue writing about travel- whether using points or dining in a great destination. If you don’t like a post or series of posts, I’d recommend skipping them over.

  • thepointsguy

    Sounds great.. officially on the to-do list!

  • Tad

    I’m going to have to agree with Thomas here and I did just that – skipped it over. To be completely honest this kind of content (and wine articles, etc.) just clog up the really valuable information that you DO have here. It makes me less inclined to visit your site. Perhaps your metrics and analytics say otherwise, but I see this kind of filler content as being detrimental overall.

  • drumsullivan

    really thomas and tad?? this is one of the best travel sites online, i learn something from every post…

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