4 Must-Try Restaurants in Milan, Italy
We’re dishing out some of the best places to go for lunch and dinner in one of the world’s most fashionable cities.
Creamy, buttercup-hued risotto alla Milanese and veal cutlet coated in breadcrumbs and butter-fried are Milan’s most famous dishes, found in almost every trattoria around town. Seek out other Northern Italian gastronomic bounties in a culinary journey through Milan that starts at La Veranda at Four Seasons Hotel Milan. Executive Chef Sergio Mei has set the city’s new dining template by transforming simple seasonal ingredients into spectacular modern cuisine. Choose from a menu of authentic Italian dishes such as artisanal Verrigni spaghetti, or pick from the selection of contemporary offerings like steamed red snapper with pearl eggplants. If you’re venturing beyond the Hotel, seek out these local favourites.
Via Spadari 9, 39 02/802-3161
Why go: The latest addition to Milan’s Peck food empire, Al Peck—which includes a chic bar and a luxury first-floor delicatessen packed with every type of cheese, salami and indulgent Italian essential imaginable—specializes in handmade fresh pasta, grilled meat and fish dishes.
What to eat: The fish soup with strawberries has a refined sweet taste, but it’s only on the menu on Fridays. Any other night of the week, try the coal-grilled mix of tender meats and crispy oven-roasted potatoes.
Take note: Ask for a table near the glass kitchen window for a direct view of the chefs at work. Take your reading glasses—Al Peck’s impressive wine list boasts more than 200 wines from every region of Italy.
Via Guglielmo Marconi 1, 39 02/7209-3814
Why go: Adored by the fashion and finance set, Giacomo’s fish restaurant, bistro and patisserie are joined by this latest locale that’s equal parts swank positioning and exquisite food. Looming high above the majestic Piazza Duomo, Giacomo Arengario’s opulent belle-époque–style interiors are as dramatic as the view of the cathedral’s spires.
What to eat: The combination of earthy spelt with plump mussels and clams creates an unforgettable spaghetti dish. When berries are in season, don’t skip the raspberry custard tart.
Take note: Can’t fit in a dinner reservation? Take a traditional aperitivo at the 7.5-metre-long (24-foot) black lacquered bar.
Via Solferino 48, 39 02/9176-5472
Why go: Contemporary twists on Italian classics are more delicious than the originals. Edgy and elegant, with attentive service, Pisacco has perfected a rarity in the city: modern Milanese dining.
What to eat: The gazpacho with crispy vegetables and creamy strips of buffalo mozzarella, risotto al Milanese with veal ragu, and liquorice custard with mint gelato and crumble for dessert
Take note: Deviating from the antipasto, secondo and dessert menu format, several dishes can be ordered in two sizes. No success finding a table? Settle for gourmet pizzas at Pisacco’s bar and pizzeria across the road.
Viale Achille Papa (top floor of Skyscraper WJC), 39 02/3926-1025
Why go: With a Michelin star under his belt for a restaurant he helmed in Rome, Fabio Baldassarre is one of Italy’s talented new generation of chefs. Sitting atop a skyscraper on the edge of Milan, Unico Restaurant is his love note to high-end cuisine.
What to eat: Beetroot gnocchi on potato mousse with smoked ricotta cheese and black truffle
Take note: Book the table inside the kitchen and watch the chefs chop, glaze and braise with finesse. Every Sunday, Unico Restaurant hosts a themed brunch, laying out a cornucopia of dishes based on a region of Italy or a decadent food pairing, such as early November’s not-to-be-missed feast of molluscs and Champagne.