Over the weekend, we tried a new-to-me restaurant in our town where my boyfriend, Paul, used to be a regular. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Tyler, Texas, for seven years and had not been to this restaurant yet (especially with my love of eating out), but I hadn’t. When Paul suggested it for a pre-symphony feast, I readily hopped on board.
The Italian restaurant, in an unobtrusive commercial location, strikes the perfect balance between traditional and kitschy, with homage to the red-checked tablecloths that have come to mean Italian dining, juxtaposed with pictures of famous movie stars and singers that lend a slightly pretentious suggestion of connections to a bright, bold and flashy world. The lounge singer who came on while we were there was the perfect touch.
Kitsch aside, the waitstaff and the food were impeccable. The bread, freshly out of the oven, was crisp on the outside, and chewy and hot on the inside. The house Chianti was fragrant and fruity, and the meatballs were just like the ones my mom makes.
I indulged in the Veal Milanese because it’s a dish I would rarely make at home, except for maybe a special Friday night every once in a while. A traditional milanesa is a breaded veal cutlet. This version featured a lemon wine sauce, but what set it apart, other than the fact you could tell it was fresh and homemade, was the capers. The capers were plump and bright, and lent a burst of acidity to the rich dish.
This dish also works if you substitute chicken for veal.
Veal Milanese with Lemon Wine Caper Sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
2 lbs veal, portioned into 4 parts and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup capers
1/2 lemon, juiced
chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Mix salt, pepper and flour in a shallow dish.
Pound veal cutlets to thin and even dimensions.
Dredge the veal cutlets in the flour mixture. Shake off excess; set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons olive oil with the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the veal and brown on both sides. When cooked through, remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with white wine and swirl, scraping the bits of browned veal up into the sauce. Add the chicken stock; cook until the liquid has thickened. Add 1 tablespoon more olive oil, capers, lemon juice and parsley. Stir over high heat for about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over the veal. Garnish with sliced lemons and serve.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 687, Calories from Fat: 305, Fat: 34 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 250 mg, Sodium: 886 mg, Potassium: 853 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 59 g.