The Stendhal is a typical Milanese restaurant of the olde style - menu is traditional Italian with no fancy cuisine nouvelle pairings and is one of the best restaurants in town if you feel like pasta, cotoletta milanese, osso buco, stinco di agnello o maiale, branzino and so on - all the old favourites. You should book if possible - on busy nights it's crowded and noisy, tables for two are often right next to other couples but again this is typical in the traditional older restaurants. Service is exceptional although you might think the waiters are trying to push you into ordering an extra dessert, an extra aperitivo, an extra after-dinner drink - and indeed they are. But you can always just decline their offers. There's a very good wine list with prices from around €20 to €4,000 so you should be able to find something in between. We visited on a rainy Friday night and staff rushed to deal with coats, scarves and wet umbrellas and made us welcome. It's artichoke season so there's a special menu that pairs wine tastings with each artichoke dish. We just ordered the carciofi/formaggio salad and the freshly-made fettucine/carciofi followed by osso buco and stinco di agnello, accompanied by a Tormaresca Neprica from Puglia - a cabernet/primitivo blend that's a steal at €19. We had an after-dinner drink but declined dessert and coffee and the bill was €100 - neither cheap nor outrageous for the quality of the food and the service.
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