Milan is a design reference point, the city demonstrates this annually at the Furniture Fair, which each April animates the city with meetings and unmissable events. During the rest of the year Milan is still a city where you can breathe design, just by walking around, visiting an exhibition, or simply while drinking a coffee or going out to dinner. This is because the city is rich in reconditioned spaces that have been transformed into something different; bars where you can have a physical and perceptive design experience, not just something to look at! We’re suggesting you visit 5 restaurants that we love, have you already tried some of them?
1. Marta Bibendum
Marta Pulini is the international chef who has opened her restaurant in Spazio Rossana Orlandi, a notable breeding ground for new talent and famous names, and most of all ‘home’ to one of the most surprising Milanese designer. The style, designed by the architect Paola Navone, combines food philosophy perfectly with a menu of simple and balanced dishes that are “first emotion and then memory”. The space is divided into three rooms, with refined furnitures, flowers, white dishcloths hanging from the ceiling, grandma’s dishes on the walls and warm lighting that remind you of home. It’s ideal for lunch or dinner and for those who can’t forget traditional flavors and modern gastronomic interpretations.
2. Carlo e Camilla
You enter via a small green iron door from an indistinct street and then dive into an intimate, refined atmosphere, which at the same time has intentionally been left empty, raw, with exposed bricks, beams and peeling paint that transport you back to the building’s original use; a sawmill. Carlo Cracco’s restaurant, opened just two years ago, is a magical place, theatrical, with every element from the crystal chandelier to the vintage tablewear down to the designer seating thoughtfully chosen in a deliberately strong contrast, which is also expressed in the cerebral and contemporary menu. Recommended for an important evening: to surprise and inexorably conquer!
3. Il Mercato del Duomo
Designed by the architect Michele De Lucchi, at Il Mercato del Duomo we are welcomed by a big olive tree made from a special brass alloy made by the artist Adam Lowe, which through the spreading of its impressive roots, symbolises this place’s philosophy, or rather its back to the roots concept, which is a tribute to nature and the rediscovery of Italian traditions. It’s an innovative concept, which binds high gastronomy and design in a light-filled and informal environment. It is ideal for lunch breaks. For dinner, however, move instead to the last floor of the building where you’ll find chef Niko Romito’s restaurant training school; Spazio Milano. It has an extremely clean aesthetic, offers balanced and simple meals, and also an excellent view of Piazza Duomo.
4. T’a Milano
Next to the historical Palazzo Clerici Tancredi and Alberto Alemagna – the owners of this elegant bar right in the city centre is winning us over with its style, taste and design! In perfect art deco style with sophisticated interiors such as vein marble floors, brass lamps and refined velvet seating in blue and ochre. The bar is the perfect window to a selection of unique pieces by the interior design studio Vincenzo De Cotiis Architects. From breakfast to an evening cocktail, every situationhas been studied to seduce guests: be tempted by the vast selection of chocolates at different moments of the day, you won’t regret it.
5. Zaza Ramen
What happens when a Dutch chef who collects contemporary art, Brendan Brecht, and Japanese entrepreneur, Kevin Ageishi, meet in Milan? The answer is in via Solferino where together they have given life to a place characterized by an innovative concept of Japanese restaurants and which is a temple for one of the least known dishes in Italy – even though its one of the most traditional of Japanese cusine: Ramen. A pasta broth served with meat, fish or vegetables, which reminds you of the Lupin III anime, it’s one of the favourite dishes of detective Zenigata (nicknamed Zazà: from which the restaurant name is taken). Served in a context that fuses East and West with an interior that pays tribute to the designer George Nakashima, inspired by nature and interpreted in a completely contemporary way by using simple woods, raw materials and cement floors.
Text and selection by Elena Di Marco