Our search for the best truffled desserts brought us to Oso Ristorante, where chef Diego Chiarini and business partner Stephane Colleoni set up shop after leaving Senso.
Oso’s leather sofas dot the lounge as you sweep into the homey, luxurious bachelor pad of a dining area. Italian fine dining makes itself plain in the fairly extensive menu, as well as the restaurant’s separate climate controlled cheese and wine rooms. Nearly every table was full of conversations in foreign tongues, but the all-male floor staff were perfectly poised to rattle off the menu by heart.
We had some help in choosing the cold cut platter, or affettati—five thinly sliced types of ham and beef. The fine slivers of meat were delicious wrapped around the accompaniments of shallots, onion and gherkin, and whetted our appetites for the stracci and asparagi to follow. The former, whole wheat pasta with braised wild boar, was a delightful combination of shredded gamey meat oozing with hints of earthy red wine, made headier by the strong pecorino cheese. The asparagus in mixed cheese fondue in balsamic reduction sauce sounded too grand, but the crispness of the spears and its happy match with the light sauce didn’t disappoint.
For mains, the classic vitello Milanese, breaded and pan-fried veal served with rucola salad and tomato, came not as the thin chops we envisioned, but as two massive chunks of meat. Arriving at the same time was the Agnello, which turned out to be just as massive—an eight-hour baked lamb rack with black onions and salsifis. A large, solid fillet of the meat was set aside, while the rack contained heavenly and excessive amounts of melting fat—delicious. We ate up both portions of the lamb.
The highlight was the divine frozen black truffle parfait with chocolate sauce. Generous shavings of truffle dotted this creamy, nutty, genteel dessert. The Sicilian cannoli filled with ricotta cheese mousse tasted over the top next to the understated parfait, but our companion loved its unusual ricotta flavor and pronounced it a winner.
Oso is a true Italian dining experience.