Congestion

Biosserì is a restaurant, delicatessan, coffee shop, ice-cream and yoghurt parlour and pizzeria all rolled into one together with the magic word "organic" or "bio"! Thanks to its partnership with Naura Sì - the Italian organic supermarket chain - Biosserì has opened the first organic restaurant in Milan after its success in Palermo.The owners and masterminds behind this project have taken heed of people's concerns about the environment and the increased demand for environmentally friendly products, using Naura Sì's products to prepare the dishes proposed by Biosserì. Even the the paint used on the walls, the cleaning detergents, take-away packaging and the paper on which the menus are printed are environmentally friendly.As for the menù: there is a wide selection to satisfy all tastes. You may choose from vegan dishes, raw fish or meat, soups, plates of cheese and cooked meats, pizza, rice of every type, salads etc.In addition to lunch and dinner, Biosserì offers Sunday brunch as well as delicious aperatifs with smoothies, artisinal beer, organic wine etc. Breakfast offers a selection of coffees, fresh juices, vitamin packed smoothies, croissants, cakes and tarts (using different types of flour), the choice is endlessWi-fi is free and there is a lounge area surrounded by plants where you can read the paper, as well as areas for family meals or more intimate ones. Biosserì offers take-away through "Deliveroo" www.deliveroo.it What can we say? We love it!
Via Fatebenefratelli 2 Milano
infomilanobrera@biosserì.it
02 89071052
Buying decent fish in Milan seems to be getting harder and harder, especially if you live or work in the city centre. Now you need look no further than Marco Fuolega's fishmongers off of Piazza Santo Stefano. It seems that I've been cycling the wrong way round the Piazza for the last 10 years as I have only just discovered this little cove of deliciously fresh fish which has been there since 1935! Better late than never I suppose. Every day Marco offers a wide selection of fresh and salt water fish and seafood such as : swordfish; tuna; monkfish; salmon; John Dory; sea bass; sea bream; sargo; mackerel; trout; cod; prawns; mussels; clams; scallops; octopus; calamari; anchovies etc. My kids love Marco's kebabs with prawn tails, monkfish, salmon and swordfish (make sure you call in advance and Marco will prepare them specially for you).  
Via Bergamini, 1 Milan
02 5830 4416
Seta is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself to Michelin star chef Antonio Guida's divine cuisine. Located inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Seta is an oasis of calm and elegance. As soon as you step inside the door, the attention to detail is evident in even the smallest of things; staff are welcoming and attentive, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is modern yet refined with large open spaces, an abundance of velvet, exquisite lamps, black and white marble and enormous vases overflowing with stunning floral arrangements. If the weather permits, make sure you ask for a table in the restaurant's elegant courtyard which is kept cool during the relentless summer heat thanks to an ingenious air-conditioning system. For those of you not familiar with chef Antonio Guida's cuisine, prepare to have your tastebuds delighted with his carefully composed dishes: cavolfiore con salsa al latte di mandorla, succo di yuzu e di frutti di mare (cauliflower served with almond milk, yuzu and seafood), riso in Cagnone con verdure, maccagno e polvere di lampone (risotto with vegetables, maccagno cheese and powdered raspberry) (one of the best risotto's we've ever tasted), coda di rospo con nocciole e salsa alla liquerizia (monk fish served with hazelnuts and liquorice sauce). While you are waiting for your meal enjoy the mouth-watering amuse-bouche with a glass of prosecco or wine from the extensive wine list. Try and resist emptying the bread basket full of homemade, light, super thin grissini and Altamura bread served with salted or alga butter, so you can make sure you have room for dessert.The dessert menu is to die for, as are the selection of pre-desserts. We tried the cioccolato al lime, salsa al caramello e fior di sale e gelato all'avena (lime flavoured chocolate with caramel sauce, salt and oat ice-cream) as well as parfait di liquirizia con cristalli e foglie di tabacco Kentuchy, pere alle spezie e crema al caffe' (liquorice parfait with crystallised tobacco leaves, spiced pears and coffee cream). Heavenly!Definitely an experience to remember! 
Via Andegari 9 20121 Milano
02 87318897
It's not often that I meet someone who inspires me (especially after a very late night out with friends and a hangover: whoever said Italians don't drink much lied), however, today was one of those rare days. After enjoying a regenerating Hatha yoga lesson I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Brumer, the woman behind CityZen. Like many expats, Carol has been living in Milan for years and had the pleasure of raising a family here while working in fashion and investor relations. However, unlike many of us, Carol decided to make a difference and at the on-set of middle age decided to turn her life around and start giving back to others.After giving up her career, Carol started working for the Fondazione Francesca Rava, that does amazing charity work in Haiti. During this time Carol was constantly travelling back and forth between the States (her native country), Haiti and Milan. In order to help her juggle family life, ageing parents and work, Carol turned to yoga, healing arts and meditation to keep her centred and in control. It was also thanks to yoga that she had the amazing idea to "generate profit for non-profit organisations" and open a yoga studio that gives all of its profits to the Fondazione Francesca Rava. CityZen is quite something. Situated in a courtyard 5 minutes walk from Corso Italia, CityZen boasts light, airy yoga studios with high ceilings and an industrial vibe. Tastefully decorated and brimming with fresh flowers and plants, CityZen is truly relaxing. This space is also very versatile as the walls that divide the large yoga studios and relaxation area can be be folded back to make a huge open space that is great for large classes and the series of events that Carol has planned for the coming year. CityZen not only offers every type of yoga under the sun from 7.00 to 21.00, including "Hot Yoga" in a specially designed studio, it also offers: Ayurveda treatments and consultations; Shiatsu; Jin Shin Do; massage; reflexology; nutrition counselling; rebirthing; osteopathy; mind and body counselling; posturology etc. For more information regarding pricing, courses and treatments we suggest you contact CityZen directly.  Carol feels very passionately about CityZen and what it stands for and is constantly looking for new ideas to raise as much money as she can for Fondazione Rava or any other charity willing to host an event at CityZen. If any of you are looking to host a private party, Carol is also willing to hire out the space to help CityZen cover its costs. 
Via S. Francesco d'Assisi,15 20122 Milan
info@cityzen.it
02 36632090 or 02 36632091
Massimiliano Locatelli, or "l'architetto" as Untitled's pleasant shop assistant calls him, has revolutionised my concept of tableware. After several months I finally plucked up the courage to venture into and browse around this tiny store next to my local parish church - Chiesa di Santa Maria al Paradiso - which opened up in November 2015. (Despite having lived in this country for a lifetime I still feel quite self-conscious about going into stores to browse...goodness knows why, it must be in my DNA).In any event I was delighted to discover an array of plates and dishes in a multitude of patterns and colours that can be mixed and matched with a variety of table services ranging from my every day pure white to an incomplete set of elaborate hand painted plates and bowls that I inherited from my granny. Massimiliano Locatelli ingeniously mixes clear or coloured glass plates with details in gold and titanium or with hand painted butterflies or lady birds that can be placed over simpler or more elaborate plates rendering them more modern and entertaining. No longer will we have to save up for several years to add an extra 6 plates to an expensive wedding gift table service as 6 glass fruit plates cost appoximately €170. Having said that Untitled also sells very beautiful but expensive hand painted Herend plates as well as slightly cheaper yet divine porcelain ones from Locatelli's own collection.Not only are Untitled Homeware's designs original yet simple, Massimiliano Locatelli has also come up with the ingenious idea to sell his plateware in simple cardboard A4 filing boxes decorated with medieval letters which can be easily stored on shelves in plain sight without them looking out of place in any home. Perfect for apartment living! Untitled also sells its own range of glassware including beautiful Murano glass carafes and bowls as well as wine glasses dipped in gold or titanium, cutlery, trays and furniture exclusively designed by "l'architetto".  Naturally I didn't leave the shop empty handed....
Corso di Porta Vigentina, 12 20122 Milan
info@untitledhomeware.com
02 866247
Anyone for a pizza and cinema in the city centre? Well, then you 'have' to try Gino Sorbillo's Neopolitan style pizza at Lievito Madre al Duomo! His famous pizza is made using organic 00 flour, the dough is made by hand and laid to rest for 28 to 40 hours and cooked in a wood fire oven. The result is beyond expectations: a delicious, crispy pizza with a low crust.  Gino Sorbillo only uses San Marzano D.o.p tomatoes, Italian mozzerella and extra virgin olive oil from Umbria. Even the desserts come from Naples and the Amalfi coast.Gino Sorbillo's pizza is so famous that the restaurant is always packed. We suggest you avoid peak hours if you don't want to wait: unfortunately you can't book. However, once you are seated the service is really quick, unless of course the dough has finished and then you'll have to come back another day. Gino Sorbillo only makes 400 pizzas per day!  The restaurant is on two floors and really buzzy. The tables are small and placed close together, but then that's not a problem as you have a film to catch. Don't you?
Largo Corsia dei Servi 11 20122 Milano
02 45375930
For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure, you must try out these amazing products by Australian brand: Aesop. Established in Melbourne in 1987, Aesop is well known for its facial, body and hair products that are rigorously eco friendly  and contain only carefully selected natural ingredients. Aesop's Milanese stores are in keeping with Aesop's simple yet retro image looking more like an alchemist's laboratory than beauty stores.Aesop's Piazza del Carmine store is located in an old 'salumeria' whose sign is still above the door, while its most recent addition in Via Meravigli opposite "Pasticceria Marchesi" sports ceramic tiles and pale green cabinets. As with all of Aesop's stores there is a large ceramic sink which allows you to try out all of their products making it almost impossible to leave the shop empty handed. Personally I'm a fan of Aesop's Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm which you can even use on your feet - divine.  
Piazza del Carmine 1 20121 Milano
[English version to follow shortly]‘ Pacifico, ovvero un angolo di Perù a Milano. Questo si è proposto lo chef Jaime Pesaque che, dopo aver lavorato nei migliori ristorantii al mondo, ha portato la cucina peruviana con le sue influenze asiatiche qui a Milano (dobbiamo ammetterlo, non sapevamo di questo connubio tra la cucina peruviana e asiatica e leggere sul menù la parola dim sum ci ha al momento lasciate un pò perplesse...).Parliamo quindi del menù: i piatti tra cui scegliere sono pochi, ma ben selezionati e preparati con ingredienti freschissimi. Diciamo anche, a scanso di equivoci, che se cercate la cucina peruviana più autentica e un pò "ruspante" questo non è il posto che fa per voi! Tre sono le specialità del ristorante da assaggiare: il ceviche, tiradito e la causa.  Il ceviche è il pesce crudo marinato nel limone qui preparato in sei diverse varianti. Noi abbiamo ordinato il ceviche con branzino, leche de tigre classica, limo, patata dolce, mais tostato peruviano, cipolla rossa e quello misto con polpo, capasanta, gamberi, leche de tigre, salsa piccante, e coriandolo. Ottimi entrambi.Ci sono poi i tiradito, una specie di sashimi, anche questi tipicamente peruviani, sempre a base di pesce crudo. La nostra scelta è caduta sui tiradito tamarindo a base di tonno. La causa è invece una sorta di purè di patate con dentro pesce crudo servito freddo. Abbiamo optato ancora per il tonno con la causa costena: tonno, purè di patate, aji amarillo, pure di avocado e bottarga. Anche questa deliziosa.Le altre proposte del menù sono i Dim Sum di cui sopra, piatto in cui si ritrova meglio l'influenza asiatica, il pollo pad thai o il manzo satè. Sono anche questi ottimi, ma a nostro giudizio meno particolari degli altri piatti.Il locale è su due piani: al piano strada c'è la sala principale, sotto ci sono altre due sale che possono essere affittate anche per cene private o per gruppi più numerosi. L'ambiente è moderno, elegante, un pò scuro. Domina il colore blu. Il design del ristorante e l'arredamento sono molto raffinati con poltroncine e divanetti in velluto. Purtroppo il locale non è molto grande ed i tavoli sono un pò troppo vicini quindi inevitabilmente e involontariamente si sente la conversazione dei tavoli di fianco.Pacifico è perfetto anche per un apertivo: all'ingresso c'è un bancone bar dove gustare oltre alle specialità peruviane, anche cocktail a base di pisco, la tipica acquavite sudamericana. A noi Pacifico è piaciuto, amiamo sperimentare nuove cucine e siamo entusiaste quando a Milano aprono ristoranti che propongono menù internazionali. 
Via della Moscova 29 20121 Milano
02 87244737
I have two words to sum up my culinary experience at Misha Sukyas's restaurant next to the Colonne di San Lorenzo - "differently delicious". Born in Milan with Armenian roots, Misha Sukyas has travelled the world to learn his trade and worked with some of the best chefs in London, Amsterdam and Australia.  Misha combines simple yet interesting ingredients that are cooked to perfection and beautifully served in an array of dishes. The menu varies constantly according to the whims of the the chef as well as the seasons, and never fails to surprise. Dishes are small so make sure you choose an array of different ones to share with your dinner companions in true Middle Eastern style. We tried the delicious 'Jerusalem artichoke soup with crispy speck'; tangy 'Parmigiana di Melanzane'; spicy 'Dahl lentils'; unexpected 'salted and marinated tuber salad with white chocolate' and the melt-in-the-mouth 'Blanchet chicken'. Oh and top it all we had the 'cannellone alla n'dufa' - a strange yet delicious combination of traditional Sicilian cannellone with spicy salami!Spice makes delicious cocktails and also has a great wine menu which Misha Sukyas insists be of high quality at great prices. In fact our whole meal came to a very reasonable €38 per head including wine and water. Spice is definitely one to try!  
Via E. de Amicis, 4 Milan
spicebistrobar@yahoo.com
02 58102106
One of the many joys of living in Milan is that everyone here really takes their food seriously and I don't just mean the finished product, but also the raw materials lovingly put into every meal. The "chilometro zero" or farmers' market movement has steadily been taking root over the last few years and thanks to local demand, local food producers have wised up and are selling their fresh produce directly to the consumer, thereby cutting out the middle man and reducing the carbon footprint. Imagine my joy this morning when I came across a number of local producers who sell their produce every second and fourth week of the month in Piazza S. Nazaro in Brolo along Corso di Porta Romana. Not only did I get to taste the delicious cheeses, salami, jams, fruit, wine and honey on sale but I actually got to ask questions about the products themselves which I never get the chance to do when buying in a supermarket or over the internet. I also picked up some great recipes to boot!Definitely try the Riserva San Massimo Canaroli rice, which according to its grower is used by Michelin star chefs around the world. We also loved the goats cheeses, chestnut honey, wild boar paté and fresh walnuts. I'm not sure I'm game to try the blood sausage yet though!  
Piazza S. Nazaro in Brolo Milan

Pages

Subscribe to Congestion