Giacomo is not some guy (or, rather, he may be/have been) but a restaurant in Milan.  Not far from me, between Porta Venezia and Porta Romano at Via Sottocorno 5-6.

It had all the ‘look’. There was a serenity about it, partly because of the green, sort of chalkish but a bit darker, wooden half-panels on the walls, the fans on the ceiling, the ambiance, the waiters with their long aprons, reminding one of bygone days.

The food was superb. One of the best fish restaurants in Milan, F said. I had soup – mussels and clams – to start with and then the cod with a loose crunchy crust and saffron sauce (hollandaise). We had some deep fried courgette flowers and courgettes to accompany the main course.  F had the mixed raw fish starter (which was divine) and then the seared tuna with a really strong, sweet caper sauce.

I don’t know what the wine was. F chose it. It was his birthday, after all.

And, just the two of us.

The only thing that let it down a bit was the service – although excellent and attentive, the staff kept on leaning over me to get stuff off the table.  Of course, being in Italy, there’s no soft light in the restaurant – people prefer to see what they’re eating – but it wasn’t as harsh as you normally have.

The clientele were mixed but I did hear a lot of foreign voices.  This is, after all, not cheap.  I don’t know how much it was for the two of us (the rule here is that, if it’s your birthday, then you pay) but the starters were about 18 Euro and the main courses about 25+, so, with wine and dessert (F had a chocolate bombe which was to die for) it would have been upward of 75 Euro per head.  However, a must if you’re here and don’t want to worry about the price.

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