The dining experience is uneven, but Ristorante Milanese's prices are fair and the flavors are good.
Ristorante Milanese is a new, authentic Italian restaurant on Main Street in Hyannis.
The interior of the restaurant is elegant, with white walls with gold-and-red accents and chandeliers with dangling crystals. Seating is a combination of red-leather booths and individual tables with matching red-leather chairs. Tables are covered with white linen. There is also seating at a small bar, an elevated window table overlooking Main Street, and a few outdoor tables for balmy nights.
The menu is extensive, with most of the classic favorites. In addition to the regular menu, Ristorante Milanese also has a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 or $28, depending on which entrée you choose. The special menu is available every night, all night, except for holidays and holiday weekends. We decided to stick to the regular menu because it had some dishes that enticed us.
We started with the beet salad ($8). Baby arugula was topped with two rows of sliced beets – both red and golden. The salad was sprinkled with just the right amount of goat cheese and candied pecans to add flavor but not overwhelm. The beet vinaigrette drizzled over the top was slightly sweet and complemented the salad.
Next, we sampled the oysters casino ($11) from the specials board. When it first came out, the appetizer was barely warm so we sent it back. The new plate was piping hot. The oysters burst with the flavors of peppers and bacon, but the oyster flavor and texture got lost in the abundance of bread crumbs.
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For an entrée, I ordered the pan-seared scallops ($25). The five scallops were seared to perfection, which made them sweet and delicious. They were arranged on top of shiitake mushroom risotto that had slivers of mushrooms enveloped in the well-cooked rice. The dish was drizzled with a reduction of red wine and honey enhanced with sage.
The reduction added a sweetness that helped flavor the somewhat bland risotto.
My husband ordered the house-specialty veal chop ($29). Since he noticed there were two veal chops on the menu, he specified which one he wanted twice, even pointing to it on the menu. Unfortunately, the wrong veal chop was served. When he brought it to our server’s attention, she said it would take 15 minutes to cook another one. He decided to wait because the two dishes were quite different. We shared my scallops while we waited.
When the house veal chop arrived, it was beautifully presented. The chop had been pounded, breaded and pan-fried. It was incredibly tender and had great flavor. The meat was topped with two cherry tomatoes cut in half and two spears of roasted asparagus wrapped with prosciutto. On the side was a little cup made out of shaved parmesan that was fried until crispy. It was filled with arugula tossed with a roasted red-pepper vinaigrette. The side was quite delightful.
To accompany our dinner, I ordered a glass of Ca’Monitini Pinot Grigio ($10) and my husband ordered a glass of Santa Cristina le Maestrelle ($10). Both paired with the food well, but the waitress originally brought two glasses of red wine, so I had to wait for the correct white wine to arrive.
Despite the mistakes, service was friendly. After our meal was finished, our server offered us free dessert to make up for the mishaps. We were full, so we declined.
Overall, our dining experience was uneven. Ristorante Milanese still has some kinks to work out, including better training for the staff, but the restaurant’s prices are fair and the flavors are good.