If there’s one city in Italy that dares to mix culinary traditions with gourmet experimental twists and sublime concoctions, it’s Milan.
You may want to travel here just for the fine dining.
Forget the stereotypical cotoletta alla milanese (veal steak fried in bread crumbs) and prepare for extravagant influences from all over the world.
These five high-end, cosmopolitan spots are all highly regarded for the niche recipes they serve in superb, glamorous settings.
Milan's top tables
Young chef Andrea Aprea’s innovative cuisine reflects the bond between the best of his Neapolitan roots and Italian classics.
That’s the reason behind the name VUN (meaning “one” in Milanese dialect) of this two Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Fashion Quadrangle.
Signature dishes include the pasta dish Tortelli Cacio Cheese, pepper and caramelized onion while The Caprese Sweet, Salty is an isomalt sugar inflated ballon filled with Buffalo milk mozzarella cheese foam with tomatoes and a basil infusion.
The whole of Italy is portrayed in Black Pork “100 Hours”: red chicory, smoked provolone cheese, honey and chilli pepper with products from across the peninsula.
VUN, Via Silvio Pellico 3; +390288211234
The sweet-sour concoctions of this one Michelin-starred deluxe establishment tantalize taste buds.
With deep roots in southern Italy’s Puglia region, chef Antonio Guida combines his native cooking style with unexpected Asian ingredients, primarily from Japan and China.
Behind tall glass windows and in front of an open kitchen, diners savor exotic flavored dishes such as butterfly-shaped farfalle with king crab soup, coriander scented seafood and coconut, cauliflower with almond milk sauce, yuzu juice and seafood, and roasted blue lobster with zabaglione, white miso and matcha tea.
The wine list features more than 1,300 bottles from Israel, California and South Africa among others.
Seta, Via Monte di Pietà 18; +39 02 8731 8897
Set in the futuristic district of Porta Nuova, the niche private rooms of this one-Michelin starred restaurant offer intimate dinners.
Here, it’s all about the broth philosophy. When Italians say “it’s the usual broth,” they mean the usual plain stuff, the drill – a popular Italian sentiment. But not chef Andrea Berton.
Broth is literally the king of his cuisine. He’s dead serious about it and believes it can be drank or poured in a plate.
The eight-course broth-tasting menu spans from raw ham broth with codfish, parsley bread and radish to veal broth with Nonino grappa liqueur spray and lemon, caramel and rosemary broth with cereal and beer ice cream.
Ristorante Berton, Via Mike Bongiorno 13; +39 02 67075801
Tano Passami L’Olio
The name says it all. Literally meaning – “Tano, please pass me the (olive) oil” – Gaetano Simonato’s one Michelin-starred cuisine is funny, simple, healthy and creative.
There’s no butter or cream – just the premium extra virgin olive oils he uses to spice up the dishes. But the recipes are far from ordinary.
A caramelized dish of scallops and leeks served with meringue and crunchy red beetroot is just as extravagant and unexpected as homemade ricotta and caviar ravioli with purple potato puree.
Tano Passami L’Olio, Via Villoresi 16; +39 02 8394139
Chef Tommaso Arrigoni believes food is not just food.
His seasonal menu is the constant pursuit to transform the best raw materials into emotion-arousing plates and savory experiences, hence the name “Innocent Evasions” of his Michelin-starred temple located in an old industrial district and featuring a Zen garden.
It’s an ideal location for escaping the metropolitan buzz and enjoying a moment of peace and relaxation.
Fish and meat are cooked with fresh and dry fruits. Signature dishes include fried oyster with raisins, swordfish with pistachio mayonnaise and baby piglet with sweet potatoes and balsamic vinegar.
Innocenti Evasioni, Via Privata della Bind, +39 02 3300 1882