“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”, Pablo Picasso once said. We love art in any of its forms and in every city we live, as citizens or tourists, we love searching for places that inspire our daily life. This is why we’ve selected 5 places to eat in Milan that are, somehow, related to the world of contemporary art and that were able to create unusual settings involving artists and installing site-specific works. Places that connect with artworks and design objects that will trigger your curiosity satisfying all your senses!
THE SMALL (Via Paganini Niccolo 3 | Angolo Piazza Argentina). A cabinet de curiosities located in a side street of the chaotic Corso Buenos Aires, that harmoniously combines 18thcentury mirrors, French porcelains, modern antiques and street art…and it’s all for sale. A little bistrot where time appears to have stopped to allow us to enjoy the beauty around us. The menu is simple and it varies based on the season with traditional recipes that always feature a touch of creativity, especially when it comes to the low-temperature cooking method that preserves all the food nutrients. Great for a business lunch or a romantic dinner in which you’ll satisfy your eyes as well as your palate!
PISACCO (Via Solferino, 48). Located in the heart of the Brera district and created by a group of partners that include chef Andrea Berton and some art collectors, this restaurant recalls the essentiality of an art gallery. As you enter the Pisacco, you immediately perceive a sensitivity towards beauty in a balance of simplicity and experimentation. Designed by architect Tiziano Vudafieri, this restaurant is the continuation of an aesthetic that recalls the post-avant-garde with natural flooring, zinc finishing, bricks, raw wood, naked light bulbs, neon writings and a wall drawing by artist Gabriella Ciancimino. Recommended for a dinner of two or a lunch with an important guest.
MADAMA HOSTEL & BISTROT (Via Benaco,1). A few steps from the Fondazione Prada, this is a new great find. Welcoming as a home living room this is a meeting spot for locals and travellers that stay at the hotel. A melting pot of cultures sharing one single table; ideal for a brunch with friends, breakfast or casual lunch. The walls are decorated with the mural created by street artist Zed01 while all furniture features recycled woods assembled by design studio Controprogetto.
DOPOLAVORO BICOCCA (Via Chiese, 2). The Hangar is undoubtedly one of the most interesting locations in Milan. Industrial aesthetic, huge permanent installations and most of all a series of ongoing exhibitions by the greatest contemporary artist make of this place a location to be kept on your radar. A section of the hangar is dedicated to the cafeteria, which is perfect for lunches during which you’ll be able to taste several ‘street food’ variations. Highly recommended in the warm season to enjoy the outdoor area relaxing on the design sofas while listening to the sound of crickets.
LARTE (Via Alessandro Manzoni, 2). Not just a simple restaurant but an expression of Italian excellence housed by what was once the home of writer and poet Emilio Gadda. Cafeteria, bistrot, gallery and shop. Born from the association of major food, design and fashion companies, this place offers a multisensory journey in which ‘all is admirable and all is buyable”. The displayed works of some of the most famous designers and artists of the last centuries, as Achille Castiglioni, Fortunato Depero, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Alberto Burri contribute to creating a extraordinary atmosphere.
Text and selection by Elena Di Marco