Eat, Drink and Buy

In Milan and other cities there has been a rather quick move towards a new type of venue we might call “morning to evening,” open from breakfast till after dinner, granting equal dignity to the three meals of the day, including the first one, no longer just the classic croissant (usually industrially produced, at this point) dipped in cappuccino (serious questions are being raised about cow’s milk, including the scientific research reported in the famous book The China Study, also published in Italian).

Another new development is the offering of products to take home, usually special items under an exclusive label, the same ingredients used in the food consumed in the venue. Therefore you can taste it first and then take the ingredients home: from pastarella to tomato sauce, wine to oil, pasta to spices, anchovies to sushi…

Restaurateurs with lots of experience (in Milan, for example, Langosteria 10 and Giacomo) offer raw materials found across the nation and then personalized with their own brand, often of very high quality.

Some, like Un posto a Milano, inside the Cascina Cuccagna farmhouse (1695), offer excellent take-away and a twice-weekly market (Tuesday and Friday, 15.30-20.00), a farm-to-table affair for local, seasonal, organic products of certified origin at reasonable prices.

Speaking of organic, in Milan is also a big hit, from breakfast to dinner (9.00 to 22.30, also on Sunday), offering Mediterranean dishes and provisions, and even supplying you with the recipes; it’s located at Porta Nuova, the trendiest zone of Milan, in the shadow of the Bosco Verticale towers by Stefano Boeri.

Those who like vegan can try out Mantra Raw Vegan, “the restaurant where nothing is cooked,” where you can also do some shopping on the same theme.

Among the various formulae of aware, innovative consumption, maybe the most relaxed is that of the ‘nomadic restaurant,’ also offering sweet and savory homemade preserves, known as Vasiliki Kouzina, run by a chic Greek who after years of university studies has decided she simply likes to cook, keeping faith with the tradition of her grandmother Cristina: so in Milan she has created a catering service and offers homemade treats. One of the big hits is octopus cooked with honey and red wine.

by Olivia Cremascoli