You Decide: Is Milano Italian Gourmet Just Another Generic Midtown Deli
Our Downtown Lunchers have been eagerly searching for a Rosario’s replacement ever since the popular Italian deli closed last year. But when Lunch’er “Goats” suggested in the comments that there was a Rosario’s-like option in Midtown, I had to check it out.
“My heart still cries when I think of Rosarios and how it was taken so quickly from me (after only 3 visits)…That was the first establishment I found via Midtown Lunch (and It was a downtown establishment!) .I was there the last day and was as close to tears as I get when a beloved food establishment shuts its doors. I have found 2 replacements in the last year as well, Milano Deli on 34th between Madison and 5th (HUGE Italian sandwiches for 7.75:get the Milano special and you will almost think you are back at rosarios) and Defontes of Brooklyn on 21st and 3rd.”
Defonte’s is well know, but sadly too far out of bounds for me… so I excitedly headed over to Milano last week to check the place out.
The place looks like every single other generic deli in Midtown, and despite the long board filled with classic Italian sandwich options, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this did not seem like Rosario’s at all.
The parade of fresh roasted meats in the back did look pretty good though… uncut roast beef, brisket, roasted turkey (although it was right next to standard deli turkey), corned beef and pastrami, plus chicken and eggplant cutlet were all on display (just like most generic delis, but maybe this was better?)
I’ll admit that in the face of all that meat, I forgot Goats’ original recommendation to order the “Milano Special” (ham, salami/ham cappicola, mortadella, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, roasted peppers, Italian dressing on fresh baked semolina bread.) Maybe that was my big mistake.
Instead I went with a brisket sandwich on roll. They cut the brisket with the grain (terrible), and offered me lettuce and tomato with it (no!) No grilled onions or gravy, so I was forced to just get it plain with mustard. It looked so good up on the counter… but failed miserably on taste. Very upsetting.
It’s tough to ignore the overall feeling of generic deli-ness, or to ignore how horribly they butchered my brisket sandwich. But maybe I did order wrong. The Milano Special does sound good… anybody else been to this place? I’m curious to hear what you guys think. Generic Midtown Deli? Or hidden Italian sandwich gem? You decide.
Milano Gourmet Italian Caterers, 14 E. 34th St. (btw. Mad+5th) 212-532-1177