I was searching for a tip on Milanese eating for a friend when despair reached up and smacked me, straight across the face. The lovely, arcane and esoteric Bagutta is no more. It closed in June 2016, going the way of its erstwhile companion, Assassino.
I only ate there once, in 2008, stumbling upon its unbecoming, uninviting door at the wrong end of Via Napoleone, and walking into a labyrinthine maze of rooms covered in picture frames and frescos that I would have honestly mistaken for Chagall.
It was in these same rooms each year that the Italy’s famous Bagutta literary prize was awarded. The antipasti table was something to behold, and hard to resist, so hard to resist that by the time the vitello milanese arrive or the bollo misto it was difficult to eat any more. This was no Michelin starred affair, but the waiters wore old school white and black and were friendly and forgiving.
But now it’s gone the way of Druot in Paris with only Chartier up-holding the flame…and even then the food at Bagutta was way better. Of course it was, it was Italian.
And all that change for what? For another superfluous cashmere sweater shop. It’s a travesty, and a tragedy. I have to go and see L’Ami Louis before that crumbles into memory too. One reason less to visit Milan now. Purtroppo.
Huffington post article on Milan’s trattorias in 2015.