Milano: Don Carlos

Never, ever Google “best Milan restaurant” because Don Carlos will be on your top list and it will be the biggest disappointment during your Italian holiday.

This fancy restaurant is located inside the equally fancy Grand Hotel et de Milan. Although they do offer tasting menu, but they have no idea what a tasting menu should be like. The portions were the same as they would be on a la carte, and at the end of our dinner we were almost barfing from overeating.

Here’s what we had on this unfortunate night:

Amuse bouche was somewhat fishy. It was some fish bathed in asparagus puree. The bread came piping hot but tasteless. They were served with pretentious butter blended in herbs that were overly salty.

Crappy. Oysters with weird lemony liquid and strawberries. 

This was the first dish that came after the amuse bouche. Being an oyster fanatic, the title of the dish “Oyster with lemon” really tickled my fancy. But the lemon came out too overpowering and sour, and really… strawberries? When it comes to oysters, less is definitely more.

Brioche with foie gras terrine and caramelized shallot

I love foie gras, but this dish was too generous. It came in a huge block which reminded me of an appetizer I had once at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. I couldn’t finish that dish either. I think foie gras is best served on a  small portion but Don Carlos obviously thought differently.

Oxtail pasta

This dish was surprisingly OK. But it came like one and a half hour after our amuse bouche and I was already falling asleep. 3 down, a few more to go…

Lamb rack…

With chocolate sauce… I mean, WTF, why would you put melted chocolate on top of a perfectly tasty lamb rack? I really don’t get Don Carlos. I’ve had a good chocolate risotto at a fusion restaurant somewhere in Munich, but they did it superbly well and it was definitely not melted chocolate. Thankfully, this was our last salty dish!

Raspberry cheesecake

I actually really enjoyed this one. Refreshing raspberry sorbet and yummy cheese-flavored cream on top of nicely baked graham cookies. You really cannot go wrong with this one :) So dessert was great. Until…

The petit four came…

Petit four at top restaurants are always available at no extra charge. We definitely did not order this one but they brought it to us, and charged us an extra 12 Euro per person! Imagine my surprise when I saw the bill.

Verdict: 2/10. Freaking expensive (90 Euro per person). Crappy food. Long waiting time. Hidden charge (i.e. charged petit four). There was no one Italian present at the restaurant. Majority of the people were Americans. Guess they were as fooled as I was by Google!

And I had such high expectation! I expected much more from a restaurant in Milano :(  Peeps, don’t go to Don Carlos. It’s not worth your salt.

7 comments on “Milano: Don Carlos

  1. Sorry you had such a crap experience! I find that Google really lets down travelers when it comes to finding restaurants… Next time try checking out travel blogs or see if Food & Wine or Bon Appetit has ever done an article on a restaurant there. My favorite restaurants during my travels were all discovered by chance. Walk through a neighborhood with no Americans, look for the most crowded place. If you feel a little intimidated and everyone is looking at you like you don’t belong – you’ve probably just found the local culinary gem!

  2. Thanks so much for this sincere, unfortyunately negative report. I’ll publish a link to this with few words of comments of mine. I, a s Milanese, am very sad for this costly, negative culinary experience which paying lovers of my city and country underwent…

      • E’ per questo che mi preoccupo, mio caro: non mi piace per niente che qualche coglione e ladro in guanti bianchi vi scampbi per polli da spennare ;o)…
        E’ consigliabile avere qualche ‘locale’ amico o pubblicazione affidabile che vi guidi.
        Intanto la tua segnalazione è molto utile…
        I hope I’ve not written too much and too difficult for you, let me know…

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