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Caffé Milano serves authentic Italian cuisine in a rustic, brick-walled dining room near downtown’s Fox Theatre. The cafe changed ownership in 2013 and is now helmed by Fulvia “La Fufi” Steffenone, a haute cuisine chef trained in northeastern Italy. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and, while it’s especially hopping during lunch, the dinner menu is considered a hidden gem.
The Caffé Milano dinner menu offers classics recognizable to the average American diner, like spaghetti and lasagna, as well as less familiar dishes, such as salmone al cartoccio—salmon baked in parchment paper with garlic, lemon juice, white wine, and parsley. Hard to find Italian ingredients like prosciutto, bresaola, and Taleggio cheese all make appearances, and most of the food is cooked in or accompanied by high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Dessert offerings include tiramisú, panna cotta, and fragole al limoncello—strawberries with limoncello and ice cream or whipped cream. There is also an extensive selection of European wines.
For lunch at Caffé Milano, you can enjoy pastas, salads, and paninis. Paninis of special note include the Galleria—with parma prosciutto, brie, olive spread, lettuce and mayo— and the Prada—Tuscan bread with Alaskan smoked Salmon, creamy goat cheese and spinach. If you want a lighter option, you can order from their extensive salad menu, which includes classics like caprese and niçoise salad. Breakfast focuses on eggs dishes, breakfast meats, and coffee.
In addition to running the kitchen at Caffé Milano, La Fufi recently started a cooking school, which operates out of the Community Kitchen at Mercado San Augustin. Call (520) 628-1601 to find out more about the classes.