Best Expensive Italian Restaurant - 2010
Hey there, Mr. I-Used-to-Have-a-Bottomless-Expense-Account. Back then, you would breeze into Il Mulino like a big shot, thumb through the wine list, and choose one of the vintage reserves. Lucky for you, there are bottles starting a bit below $50. Plus you'll still have your classic Manhattan cocktail — for chrissakes, a man's gotta live. And if you're polite, there's a good chance you'll be served a free glass of green apple-infused grappa after your meal. Listen: Sacrifices have to be made, your mindset must be adjusted. (Hint: Take advantage of all the complimentary antipasti, garlic bread, and focaccia piled in front of you before dinner.) But you don't have to give up the larger-than-life flavors found in Mulino's jumbo prawns from Sardinia, in the Dijon-crusted rack of lamb, in the homemade cannelloni stuffed with veal, lamb, and beef. You needn't part with your beloved chicken parmigiana, whose pounded European breast is smothered in Old World marinara sauce, or — God forbid — the signature veal osso buco with porcini mushrooms served over flawless saffron risotto. If anything, dining at Il Mulino and gazing at the stunning ocean vista will keep you from dwelling on pressing problems — like who are those people in the black van parked across from your house anyway? Sure, a tenderloin steak the size of a cattleman's fist or a whole imported branzino fish might cost more than $50, but there are plenty of choices in the $28 to $38 range. Keep your chin up, Mr. Down-But-Not-Out, and be thankful Il Mulino is a luxury you can still afford. You just have to start living with the idea of not doing so every night.