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“Gem of a restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Small

The Small
Via Paganini Niccolo 3 | Angolo Piazza Argentina, Milan, Italy
0220240943
Website
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Ranked #285 of 5,066 restaurants in Milan
Price range: $34 - $61
Cuisines: Bistro
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: the small; bistrot, tè, infusi, vettovaglie e suppellettili.the small è creatività, cura, stile e qualità. una grande ricerca per un lifestyle internazionale e contemporaneo - via paganini 3(MI)
Singapore
1 review
“Gem of a restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Fantastic food and an ebullient, warm and very friendly Alessandro (owner) who makes you feel like family (well, he did say he is from Sicily). Alessandro patiently explained the menu to us and made some great suggestions. The raw beef was out of this world! And the bill was a most pleasant surprise. Five of us adults shared two (large) appetizers and had a main each. All for 150 euros, including a bottle of very nice wine. Well, it should have been a bit more. As I was waiting to catch a taxi, I looked at the bill and realised Alessandro had missed out one of the mains. I went back to tell him and pay the additional amount, but Alessandro said "no problem" without any hesitation! How does one not feel being treated like family?? Only caution is that the place is small (but cosy) and you should definitely make reservations.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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330 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
    190
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    22
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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Denmark
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Prepare for an unusual evening full of surprises”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

First: Arrive early to get a spot in this restaurant. It is, like the name implies: small

Second: It is difficult to find. We walked around 20 minutes and got sent in different directions by locals. But its worth it.

Third: The food here is excellent. Really excellent. We had some of Allessandros (owner) own creations and a couple of typical Italian dishes. They were all of extraordinary high quality and some of the dishes I dont think you can find in any other restaurant. The menu is handwritten in Italian, so pay attention when Alex explains everything. (if you dont pay attention, he will ask why you are preoccupied with something else while at his place :-))
We had three main dishes. All were 5 star dishes. The Primitivo wine Alex chose for us was superb. Our desert was a "4-star" cheesecake that was good to Italian standards, but not close to a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

Fourth: While the food here is excellent, the warm, personal hospitality of the host Alex is exceptional. This is a guy who obviously cares about his guests and their well-being. A lot of Milanese restaurants can be slightly snobby. This place is completely the other way. Alex does this for the love of his job and the guests and not for the money.
If you want to dine for an evening and be left alone and not talk to the host or other guests, "The Small" definitively is not the right place. You will know all about Alex and everybody else in the restaurant before the night is over. And it is amusing. Trust me. There are good stories to be told here and you will be surprised.

Fifth: Have a look around at the decor in the restaurant for yet another surprise. Its unusual. Where else do they have a toilet with a mans head inside sitting on top of the counter? And you better know who the woman depicted in the big picture in the middle of the restaurant is, or the locals are going to think lowly of you! There is probably a strange story behind the Ken and Barbies also.

Sixth: Once you get the bill, you may or may not be in for yet another surprise. I am not going to tell what happened to us, but let's just say it was a first.

Seventh: If you visit The Small, you will walk away with a unique restaurant experience in Milan, on all levels. So visit it before it is too late. Something tells me this place is not going to be around for ever.

We will be back next year!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“My favourite restaurant in Italy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I had travelled in Italy for 2 weeks and since I enjoy good food and dining out very much, I made dinner reservation nearly for all the nights I've spent in Italy and many of them are on the top10 list in TA.
BUT, THE SMALL is by-far my favourite restaurant in the whole country.

It was not easy to find, though within 5-10mins walk to Metro (lucky we had google map!).
It is a very small but cozy restaurant with STYLE! The deco was very special, unlike any other I've seen before.

There is only a 2page menu in Italian, but that's ok because the host (Alexander) was the best!He is extremely hospitable and would go through item by item with us in English.
But anyway, we just let him order for us as we believe his judgment
And it turned out we werent disappointed!
Basically I love every dish Alex picked for us and even the wine! I don't usually drink, but I love the wine that Alex picked for me.
And the dessert (some pie, I forgot the exact name) was sooooooooo good that I couldn't resist to order another 2 pieces for take-away for breakfast the next day.

The environment, the food and the host made my visit (and last night in Italy) highly unforgettable. Thanks Alex again for giving me and my boyfriend such a wonderful dinner!
I would recommend this place to everyone who loves to dine out and who shares a passion for great food!

Though Milan is not my favourite city in Italy, I would try to return asap just to visit The Small :)

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Coimbra, Portugal
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“VERY VERY NICE!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I discovery this bistro from tripadvisor and i decided to try it and I LOVED IT! Is true that you have to make a reservation, but coz we arrive very early (7PM) we could dinner. The food is so so good that you will want to try them all.
The owner is lovely and very frendly and will explain the menu to you. It deserves be number one in tripadvisor.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great food, passionate host and wonderful ambience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

The place is near Loreta train station. Took a while to locate it as it is not on main street. Once you step in, you know that you would be taken care of for the meal. The owner @thesmallmilano is obviously passionate about his business, food, decor and music. He is there to make sure you enjoy your meal. Price is reasonable at about €40/pax. Reservations is a must since place is small and cosy.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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