In Munich and need a break from the wealth of local Bavarian food and beer? That was me as I skimmed through an old published travel guide (2005 to be precise) which recommended Adolf Hitler’s favourite Italian from back in the day.
I wasn’t sure of what to expect from this oldest Italian joint in town -Osteria Italiana.
“Adolf Hitler’s favourite Italian from back in the day“
If you look carefully before entering, there is a big red ‘X’ on the pavement outside, where Adolf Hitler stood to have his picture taken. Not exactly something to be proud of but intriguing that this old Italian stood out to such a complex and lets face it, horrifying individual.
Standing in the doorway it could’ve been any other restaurant in town, but as soon as you step inside the lights are low, waiters are buzzing back and forth bellowing in Italian and there is hearty chatter coming from tables of patrons with hearty laughter consuming copious amounts of colorful wine. A very warm welcome as a chirpy Italian waiter dressed in old school garb cracking a joke or two takes you to your table and serves either a bottle of still or sparkling. Your choice 😉
It may put some foreign diners like myself off as the menu is only offered in handwritten scrawled German (as the menu changes on a regular basis) but thankfully the waiter was well versed in English and kind enough to go through all the recommendations and choices with detail.
I finally settled for the Sicilian Tuna Carpaccio or as on the menu “Thunfisch Carpaccio alla Siciliana” (EUR 14,-) as a starter and the pepperoni filled Ravioli for my main course (EUR 17,-) topped off with a beautiful bottle of Italian white (EUR 35,-).
The Tuna Carpaccio was well dressed with luscious extra virgin olive oil and was sliced to perfection, the type of perfection where it doesnt break but simply melts in your mouth with the first bite. My observation was that the fish was slightly pinker than usual but obviously that goes down to the freshness of the fish, which yes- was extremely fresh.
“well dressed with luscious extra virgin olive oil”
Besides it being a fantastically simple dish with perfect cuts of tuna, a little extra seasoning can go a long way, maybe even a dash of garlic salt and some extra ground black pepper? Presentation wise, it was slightly jumbled and random but it may have been an Italian way of describing ‘home-style’ or ‘comfort’. For the price you pay there you would subconsciously expect a fancier plate layout.
Glancing over to the table next to mine, I caught an interesting sight of the waiter serving and unwrapping what looked like a baked turbot fish in aluminum foil (or flounder fish) “Baby-Steinbutt für 2 Personen” (EUR 51,90) caked in hard salt-like layered texture which was hammered off to reveal the steaming white fish for the anticipating guests. It looked grand and I remembered that this choice was for two on the menu (a chefs specialty), if I were to return here this would be what I would try next.
Next, my ravioli arrived. After consuming the appetizer the portion size was just perfect. The first bite was absolutely divine and the pasta layer was cooked to perfection. The melted cheese on top, was importantly not overdone and was the perfect partner combination to the mildly spicy pepperoni stuffing on the inside. Each bite left me wanting more. Unfortunately, presentation wasn’t as exciting as the taste but nevertheless the taste was perfect.
Osteria offers two different types of ravioli, the other which I was tempted to try before making my decision was the Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese stuffing or “Ravioli di Spinaci e Ricotta”(EUR 15,50) which was on the chefs recommendations list.
A comical encounter which capped off my experience at Osteria was looking for the bathroom after my meal. I walked towards the kitchen and asked the friendly waiter where I could find it. He then lead me into the kitchen where I was greeted by a myriad of Italian chefs who blew me kisses and one named Claudio of course, took it upon himself to lead me by the hand to the ladies room. He gave me a cheeky Italian wink and I could not contain my laughter. What a friendly bunch!
“He gave me a cheeky Italian wink and I could not contain my laughter”
The pricing was a bit expensive but totally worth it if you’re looking for an enchanting, warm and romantic setting, especially for two. Just enough to make you smile and feel good throughout your meal and the evening.
Schellingstraße 62, 80799 München
+49 089 2720717 (Yes! Reservations are necessary)