Tasting menus are a good way to savor many of chef Carlo Cracco's delicate inventions at this crisply elegant restaurant, though an à la carte menu is also available. Specialties include Milanese classics revisited—Cracco's take on saffron risotto and cotoletta (breaded veal cutlet) should not be missed. Delightful appetizers and desserts vary seasonally, but may include scampi cream with freshwater shrimp, a disk of "caramelized Russian salad," and mango cream with mint gelatin.
Via Victor Hugo 4, Milan, Lombardy, 20123, Italy
Apr 23, 2010
my letter to the chef....... after a disastrous and shameful evening Dear Carlo, What was meant to be a sensationally gastronomical evening with close friends turned out to be nothing short of utterly disgusting and a complete disaster. Upon our arrival we were ushered into a space in your mezzanine level which I believe is your private dining area, the space was not dressed, no candles, no flowers just bland table and chairs. The
room was scattered with various chairs and it felt like we were ushered into a spot because we were foreigners and would know no better. We were then served an aperitif, my fiancé requested a foreign beer to which your waiters did not have extensive knowledge on either and had to rush to the bar to find out what they had…. Upon serving my glass of champagne and his beer, the waiter walked out calmly swallowing the champagne in the tasting glass, I find this incredibly unusual for what is revered as a Michelin rated restaurant. After waiting for a short while, our guests who had specially flown in to join us arrived, much to our huge embarrassment we had to apologise on your behalf for what we believed was where we were to dine. Various waiters walked in out picking up chairs and walking out completely oblivious to the guests that were sitting there. After about what seemed an eternity, the waiter announced we are to move downstairs, with no attempt to clear the table of glasses, we all opted to take our glasses in hand….. Another very unusual experience for Michelin…. As we began our journey down the stairs the man at the coat check offered to take our glasses. Upon arriving in the dining room, we were all ushered to our seats and handed the menu. Our drinks arrived with as much grace as a bull in a China store, the waiter dropped the glass of champagne and beer, dispersing a shower of alcoholic spray onto myself and my fiancé, I thought ok, accidents happen….. I had no idea just how wrong I was…. Upon reading the menu, we were offered no clear explanation of items nor advised of any peculiarities of the menu chosen. Excited about our meal and after experiencing Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Restaurant only a few weeks before, we all opted to take on the creative tasting menu at a whopping 160 EURO each but we were not phased as we had been told by your waiter that you and Heston are good friends, and assumed we would be set for a remarkable dinner….. Mistake number two. What arrived at our table was not what we were all expecting from a Michelin restaurant, dried vegetables unceremoniously packaged in a transparent plastic box, which looked like it belonged on an army base where food needs to be dehydrated and stored for consumption. We all looked apprehensive but thought ok, it’s experimental so people can make mistakes…. what followed was just as unglamorous and equally as unappetising as the first dish, truffles my personal favourite served with glazed sardines, with thankfully a few lettuce leaves, how can you disgrace the elegant and sumptuous taste of truffle like that evades me. After asking 5 times for a beer, my fiancé eventually got his beer…., after having run out of the original beer served…. Water gets topped up but waitress forgets which is sparkling and which is still? Glasses of expensive champagne get topped up without offering fresh glasses…. As the evening progressed our meal regressed from bad to worse, another awful dish was some sort of radical concoction of cheese and seafood bisque which tasted well how can I put this politely…., it tasted like fish vomit and look the same, another frightful dish was a spinach pasta knob with the crests from chicken heads….. At this point I was nauseous beyond belief and ready to just leave. We requested to stop the tasting menu and pay the bill so we could all leave and find the nearest McDonalds to eradicate all flavours experienced of the night, but the manager insisted we stay and continue our experience….. Mentioning that the next dishes were simple, one being a fillet and the other a spaghetti dish, so we all decided what could be so bad about those, surely a 2 star Michelin restaurant could not get that horribly wrong…. Wrong yet again…….. What arrived was egg yolk spaghetti infused with chilli, awful and really difficult to swallow, chewy and nothing reminiscent of basic good simple Italian pasta. I at this point refused to eat anything further for fear of being poisoned by some crazy ill reputed kitchen staff member who has obviously been shown the dishes to do but getting them horribly wrong or the creative inspiration for your dishes were so severely misadvised that you disregarded your customer for sheer arrogance. I have to wonder if you were on drugs when creating this tasting menu??? All dishes from this point were served but not eaten as we all could not wait to get out of your restaurant that kept trying to poison us, dreaming of fresh prosciutto, good cheese and a fresh baguette. My fiancé gracefully excused himself from the table in the middle of the 12 dish menu of horror, paid the astronomical bill with every intention not to make a fuss and leave…., at no point were we offered any remission too be allowed to leave. Upon final announcement that we may go we get asked would we like a taxi, a simple request and nothing unusual to expect of an upstanding restaurant, we waited for a further excruciating 15 minutes and then got promptly ushered upstairs and out the door. After waiting in the drizzling cold, shivering and desperate to end the evening we realise after a further 15 minutes that the taxi is not arriving. We try flag one down but alas it is late at night and all Italian taxi drivers have gone to bed even though it is most likely one of Milan’s busiest periods with the furniture fair….. We were then left with no further choice but to go back into the restaurant say a few stern words to finally get our taxi. I cannot and have thought about this evening now many times in my head and cannot understand why you have been awarded 2 Michelin stars as the food was diabolically bad and the service equally as horrid. I would like to inform you that I will be forwarding this email to Michelin as I feel the reputation they have as a respected gastronomical guide will be severely tarnished by your kitchen and restaurant. I will be pasting this on all sites that recommend restaurants too. I trust you will have the decency to revisit your menu or look into employing capable kitchen staff and save many other honest people the terrible bad experience we had both in taste and expense. In all the years I have been coming to Italy I have always enjoyed it but this time, after being ripped off so badly I am no longer a big fan of Italy at all. The only thing remotely close to heaven was the ridiculous bill.
Jun 2, 2008
I have always found the Michelin ratings to be reasonably accurate until my dinner last week at Cracco. The food was lackluster, at best, and the service was shockingly poor. This was apparent not only at my table but also at neighboring tables. How it ever received 2 stars is beyond me.
Apr 23, 2008
I ate at Cracco last week with two friends and was very unimpressed. Pork cheeks were good and risotto Milanese didn't disappoint but otherwise the food was flat and uninspired. Too much invention not enough flavour. Service was fine but didn't make up for stuffy atmosphere and a price that was the only aspect to hit the heavens.
May 25, 2007
My husband and I ate at Cracco Peck last week and were extremely dissapointed. The artful presentation and originality of the ingredients was appreciated but the taste was a letdown. Plus, it is completely overpriced. Our bill was 360 euros (about $500) which included a bottle of wine that was 120 euros. I felt that the sommelier was very pushy with the choice of wines - when I told him I wanted a wine in the 100-150 euro range he rolled his eyes
at me. I would suggest trying a different restaurant in Milan for a fine dining experience or eating at the Peck store instead for lunch.