I'm very excited to share a special feature of Foreign Kitchens! One that involves a world traveling Italian sharing with us the dynamic food scene of Milan, Italy. From contemporary restaurants offering fresh pressed green juice as an appetizer, to train stations serving chia pudding, this is a Milan that defies the classic Italian food culture. Told by my dear friend and travel + wellness blogger, Ambra, from Little Bites of Beauty!
PS: If you'd like to join and feature one of your favorite places or the city you live in, the simple steps are at the bottom of the post under 'How to Join'. Would love to feature you!
TASTING THROUGH: Milan, Italy
Name: Ambra Torelli aka Little Bites of Beauty
From: Cremona, Italy
1.) Sight, sounds and taste of the local markets?
“Eataly Smeraldo” in Milan is one of biggest Eataly’s in the world. This 3 story gourmet store features all the best of Italian food - from organic produce to local delicacies - and several restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and a pastry store that bet everything on quality. You can stay here for hours: from lunch time with an amazing gourmet pizza, to late at night (it’s open until midnight), when after a stroll through the vibrant Corso Como, it’s nice to hop in for a late night gelato at “Lait” or a piece of Venchi dark chocolate (the display is to die for!).
2.) Ingredients you can't find anywhere else?
Being a big, international city, Milan has by far one of the most eclectic and interesting food scenes in Italy, mixing the local cult for quality with the multicultural ethnic trends and latest gastronomic currents.
From gourmet burgers made with traditional delicacies like mozzarella di bufala, to Sri Lankan food made with locally sourced ingredients and extravagant molecular cuisine, Milan has it all. And healthy food has recently become a big hit as well, with chia puddings being sold at the train station and green juices being offered as a pre dinner aperitivo!
What Milan is famous for is Risotto alla Milanese (a creamy saffron risotto) with Ossobuco and you can enjoy it pretty much anywhere being sure it’s going to be amazing.
Some of the things that stick into my mind when I think about the food in Milan are:
At Lait Gelateria Alpina, right inside of Eataly, you can have one the most amazing pear sorbet I have ever tried! And their “latte e mente” (milk and mint) is the creamiest, most amazing gelato ever!
Manuelina Focacceria di Recco (on the ground floor of the new Rinascente Annex) this spot just opened at the beginning of 2016 in Milan after they had their store in Recco, Genova for the last 125 years! They makes the most incredible stuffed “focaccia genovese” you have ever seen. The lab is on the store front and I could stay there for hours just watching them roll focaccia by hand.
3.) Eateries that do it right?
Osteria del Corso: Every time I have dinner here I am impressed by the amazing nuances of flavor they can give to the most simple dishes. Their brown risotto with shallot and prawns is to die for and yet so clean. And their baked branzino deserves an applause for the complexity of flavor the white wine and pepper create. Plus the atmosphere is hip and classy. Definitely one of the coolest spots to hang out on a Friday night after enjoying an epic aperitivo in Corso Como.
Serendib Ristorante Indiano e Sri Lankese: What an incredible place this is!! My husband and I are faithfully devoted to Indian food, and this place is one of the best we have found in the world!! Seriously, I had Indian in some of the best restaurants in California, New York, Hong Kong and London… but this one beat them all. Their Dhal is outstanding. I ordered 2. Their curries have all different nuances of flavors that make them super particular and the Italian squash cooked in coconut milk is one of the best side dishes I have ever tried! And did I mention the ambiance is incredibly charming? Red walls, golden decor, candle light… and you feel like you are in Sri Lanka!
Ristorante Langosteria 10 Bistrot: Modern and trendy while still maintaining a very typical Italian attitude. At the Langosteria the staff will make sure you have an amazing meal and they'll be happy to cater any dish you want according to any possible food allergies (they can make any pasta dish gluten free using corn or rice pasta). They are big on fish and have amazing wine, and you can't go wrong with anything you find on the menu. Every time we have dinner there, we end up leaving the restaurant at 1:00 am!
22 Milano: This is by far my favorite place for coffee in Milan. Not only do they make the cutest cappuccinos (the milk foam on top is always designed with cute bears, hearts on pretty shapes), they also have a great selection of pastries, juices and teas (I love the Oolong Tea that was brought here by the owner’s wife who’s from Korea) as well as amazing food for lunch and dinner!
4.) Divy hangout?
Corso Como and Moscova are the best areas to hang out from aperitivo time (6:30 – 7:00 onwards) to late at night. The main street is only open to pedestrians and it’s packed with great coffee shops, like “Princi Caffè” and “California Bakery”, awesome restaurants and trendy aperitivo bars like Pandemus.
Brera is a very elegant neighborhood, full of art, history and characteristic Italian restaurants that scatter the cobblestone alleys with pretty tables where you can enjoy an amazing dinner outside.
The Navigli area that develops along the river is the place to go when the weather is nice. Aperitivo here is huge and the boardwalk is lined with endless bars when you can enjoy “stuzzichini” (small bites) and a glass of “Spritz” (the most famous Italian aperitivo drink made with Aperol and Prosecco) while chatting with friends and people watching.
5.) What brought you here?
I was born and raised in Cremona, but I spent the last few years traveling the world and falling in love with the excitement of experiencing different cultures. Sometimes, when I am back in Italy, the century old traditions and the implications of living in the countryside get a bit nerve wrecking ;)
And whenever my husband and I get overwhelmed with too much Italy, we bounce to Milan, which represents a perfect escape, without escaping too far.
Milan is young and fashionable, stores are open all the time, people come from all over the world and you always meet tons of interesting people here.
6.) A moment to capture?
The day my husband and I patrolled the entire city on foot (and subway) tasting all the best food that’s been on our Milan must try list for a long time! We literally stayed out from 10:00 am to 1:00 am simply exploring and enjoying food (…and lots of gelato) everywhere.
Milan is a huge city, but it’s so safe and well served by public transportation that getting anywhere is super easy and hopping on the metro at 1:00 am feels like walking in a bank in the morning!
I hope you guys loved reading about the unconventional, yet beautifully classic, Milano through the eyes of my lovely friend, Ambra! To keep up with Ambra's explorations throughout Italy and all over the world (really, she is always on the road!) check out Ambra's links below:
Website: Little Bites of Beauty
IG account: @littlebitesofbeauty
Youtube: Ambra Torelli
Twitter: Little Bites of Beauty
HOW TO JOIN:
Want to be feature and share a tasting of your favorite place you've visited or the city you live in? All you have to do is send me (via email on my contact page) 4-6 high-quality pictures of the destination you'd like to share, answers to these same questions and thats it!
Can't wait to share more Foreign Kitchen inspiration with you guys on Wednesdays!