Gourmand Guide

Unusual Dinners: Five Unique Food Experiences

Tasting itineraries based on wild herbs, cocktail pairing, and industrial atmospheres, including collectible cars and motorcycles. Here are five restaurants not to be missed.
Reading time 6 minutes

Are you looking for something new? Then these five restaurants are just right for you! Thanks to special tasting menus, pairings with cocktails and breathtaking locations, they will satisfy your appetite in an unusual way. Try it!

The Rose Salò Herbarium

Herbs without water. When it is so easy to summarise the culinary philosophy of a restaurant, it means that their path is the right one. At Rose Salò, two young chefs are the creators of this particular and winning project. Andrea De Carli and Marco Cozza are originally from Lake Como, and, after their experience at Albereta by Gualtiero Marchesi, decided to move and develop a gastronomic concept that goes beyond the obvious. So at the Rose Salò, botanists talk about Lake Garda, without forgetting traditions and the strong local identity. Wild herbs are the central theme of the tasting menus and enhance the raw materials coming from small local producers. The appetizer "Grilled wild herbs and bagna caoda di lago" is a sort of manifesto of the restaurant, and it is no coincidence that it opens the tasting menu with 27 different native species. The special bagna caoda di lago sauce completes the recipe, with the sardines that complement anchovies and red garlic, boiled in milk. Also interesting is the Campagna, containing snails, zichi bread, and red bath, made by the hands of Sandra Sanna, a fantastic maître of the room and sommelier from Sardinian origins.

Rose Salò, Via Gasparo da Salò, Salò

The Memorabilia collection, via Archimede 8, Agrate Brianza (MB)

Memorabilia is a place with different souls: a cocktail lounge run by Edoardo Brambilla, a kitchen headed by chef Luca La Peccerella, an art gallery consisting of unique pieces and a garage space that houses a priceless selection of vintage cars and motorcycles. The interior design with references to 20th-century art films and industrial touches softened by the elegance of brass details, and cobalt blue was done by David Fabio Colaci, who also is a curator of the art collection. As for the kitchen, there is a wide range of Italian dishes: egg and parmesan mousse, risotto with watercress and morels, and an epic babà in maxi size served with fresh cream separately.

Image by Claudia Castaldi

Memorabilia, via Archimede 8, Agrate Brianza (MB)

Dinner with the Mi View

If you look outside of Mi View, located on the twentieth floor of the World Join Center, you have a privileged view of the Milan skyline, but inside, you see the large, glazed kitchen and the movements of Cristian Spagnoli’s brigade. The goal of Antonio Intiglietta, owner of Artigiano in Fiera and Artimondo, was to redevelop this place of catering by mixing culinary art with the richness of the best Italian artisan excellences. The furniture consists of unique pieces, custom-made for Mi View, while the raw materials come from local producers and follow the principle of seasonality. On the menu, there are well-known dishes full of surprises, such as risotto with balsamic vinegar flavored with cherries, linden honey, and black garlic, creamed with Parmesan and artisan butter from Val Brembana or D oppio tortello with goat's milk and beetroot. Here, the vegetables are proposed in different consistencies - biscuit, sponge cake, and sauce, while a blue-veined mousse completes the dish with a firm air.

Mi View, Viale Achille Papa 30, Milan

Fish & Cocktails from El Pecà

For a year now, El Pecà, an idea by Filippo Cadeo and Carlo Carnevale, is the place to be for an alcoholic aperitif at the bar or a relaxing dinner with dishes made by the chef Romeo Poltronieri. Trained at the Marconi restaurant and having passed through Cracco in Galleria, he proposes a path of contrasts between tastes and textures, making the sea the real protagonist of the menu. Excellent scalded scallops, which in autumn are accompanied by cream and pumpkin chips, pomegranate, and marinated ginger, as well as the tantalising aperitif offerings, including Canestrello with red turnip and anchovy mayonnaise. To the lovers of "out of paper" we recommend the Risotto with Champagne creamed with smoked butter and completed with roasted shrimp and currant. Milano al mare truly is a dish that deserves an honorable mention: a tuna cutlet with double breadcrumbs cooked in clarified butter served with a bottarga mayonnaise and fresh orange, fennel, and caper salad. 

El Pecà, via Orti 7, Milan

Return to Origins

In Milan, near Porta Romana, there is another little gem set among the less busy streets of the area. It is All'Origine, the reign of the Sicilian-Emilian chef Fabio Titone and his partner Erica Caputo. Together, with a kind and elegant service, they welcome guests inside a collection room that, in the evening, is coloured with warm lights and stories of Fabio's dishes. Despite his young age, Titone has been working in professional kitchens for over ten years, such as Alfredo Russo's Dolce Stil Novo at the Reggia di Venaria Reale. Titone had the idea of returning to the origins and producing everything inside the restaurant (from bread to ice cream) by themselves while respecting traditions and maintaining high-quality standards. But ample space is also left to experimentation with smokes, infusions, and contrasts between sweet and savory that are found in the gourmet tasting courses of Fabio. So a cod Cappuccino with potato and shortbread mousse is served inside a cup and anticipates a textbook “Boiled not boiled,” with a Nebbiolo-flavored veal cheek with peppers and polenta chips. 

All'Origine, via Lamarmora 36, Milan

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