This recommendation from our hotel concierge is at 27 Via Madonnina in a pedestrian area noted for artists.
Its claim to fame is that it is open virtually throughout the day and is absolutely perfect for a pre La Scala (ten minutes away on foot) or late meal. We ate there at both five and six in the evening with no reduction in quality or service.
The food is essential Italian (including the local speciality of veal cutlet Milanese and ossobucco) and centres on local produce. The aged Parma ham with Ogen melon was excellent. The menu is not huge but there is ample choice with each selection being prepared freshly to order. Apart from standard items, the restaurant obtains seasonal fare (including fish) from the markets daily. It is wise to book, especially at lunch times, as others obviously have found the Cestino as agreeable as we have.
The prices, for Milan, are reasonable and middle of the road. A three course meal for 2 with wine came to some €150 all in, but you could spend more if you so wished. We thought the whole experience very good value for money. The waiters are welcoming, interested in their dishes and knowledgeable. You can safely accept their recommendations on both food and wine. The wine list was quite extensive and majored on Italian vineyards. Service is friendly, relatively quick by Italian standards and aimed at ensuring you enjoy your experience. If you have time pressure the staff will tell you which dishes are quickest to prepare.
The Cestino is not fine dining but it does represent the best of traditional, honest Italian cuisine. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
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