Milan Dining Guide for August 2017

It’s that time of year again…the ferrie! In case you’re not aware, Milan has a serious case of the rolling tumbleweed in August. Stores, shops, offices, restaurants, and pretty much everything closes as the businesses respective owners, employees and client/customers have checked out of the city for a little R&R on the seaside, in the mountains or abroad.  Milan isn’t as dead as it used to be in August as a great deal of places open for (at least a part of) the month of August so check out this list below of restaurants in Milan for some August 2017 dining guidance. We’ll keep updating the list, please include any tips / suggestions you might have in the comment section!

Al Fresco: Closed August 7th – 24th, reopening 23rd. (Via Savona 50; + 39 02 49533630)

Alice: Closed August 13th – 16th. (Eataly Smeraldo, Piazza 25 Aprile, 10 – top floor; +39 02 4949 7340)

Birrificio Lambrate:

  • Via Golgi, 60: Open from 7 August to 2 September nights only, 6pm to 2pm; Saturday nights 7.30pm to 2am; Closed Sunday and 14 & 15 August
  • Via Adelchi 5: closed 6 – 31 August

Cantine Isola: Open all of August except Mondays, however will be open from 10am – 1.30pm on the 15th. (Via Paolo Sarpi, 30; +39 02 331 5249)

Casa Ramen: Closed from 1 – 28 August. (Via Porro Lambertenghi 25; +39 02 3944 4560)

Ceresio 7 Pools and Restaurant: Closed August 13th – 16th. From the 17th – 19th, the  restaurant and bar will re-open from 6pm to 1am. From the 20th, back to business as normal.  (Via Ceresio, 7; + 39 02 310 392 21)

Contraste: Closed 12 – 27 August. (Via Meda, 2; +39 02 4953 6597)

Dry Cocktails and Pizza:

  • Closed from August 7th – 21st, re-opening on the 22nd. (Via Solferino 33; +39 02 63793414)
  • Closed from August 13th – 28th, re-opening on the 29th for lunch. (Viale Vittorio Veneto, 28; +39 02 63793414)

Erba Brusca: Open all of August for lunch and dinner from Wednesday through Sunday. (Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286; +39 02 8738 0711)

Ernst Knam:  Closed from 7 – 21 August.  (Via Augusto Anfossi, 10; + 39 02 5519 4448)

Essenza: Closed from August 7th – 31st. (ViaVia Marghera, 34; + 39 02 498 6865)

Gelato Giusto Closed 3rd – 21st August. (Via San Gregorio, 17; + 39 02 29510284)

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia: Closed 1st – 29th of August. (Via Privata Raimondo Montecuccoli;- +39 02 416886) From the 1st –  20th of August, Il Luogo will move to the Forte Village Resort in Santa Margherita of Pula, in Sardinia.

La Brisa: Closed 11th August  – 5th September. (Via Brisa 15; + 39 02 8645 0521)

La Cieca: Closed 1st – 23rd August.  (Via Carlo Vittadini, 6 ; + 39 02 5843 7901)

Lambiczoon: Open daily, but closed 13th – 15th August.  From 16th – 27th August, open from 8pm to 1am. (Via Friuli, 46; + 39 02 3653 4840) 

Langosteria: Closed from 12th – 27th August. (Via Savona, 10; 39 02 5811 1649)

LumeClosed from 14 – 28 August. (Via G. Watt 37; +39 02 80888624 )

Marghe: Open all month, including the 15th. (Via Plinio 6, +39 02 2047117; Via Cadore 26, +39 02 5411 8711)

Open More than Books: Closed 12th – 20th August. (Viale Monte Nero, 6; + 39 02.83425610)

Osteria Brunello:  Open everyday for lunch and dinner. (Corso Garibaldi 117; +39 02.659.2973)


  • Via Felice Casati 27: Closed 7th – 21st August; Tuesday – Saturday 8am to 3pm; Saturday and Sunday 8.30am – 3pm
  • Via della Commenda 25: Closed 6 – 27 August

Peck: Closed 14 – 20 August. (Via Spadari 9; +39 02 80 23 161)

Pisacco: Closed 13 – 30 August. (Via Solferino 48; +39 02 91765472)

RatanàClosed from 12th – 28th August. (Via de Castilla 28; +39 02 87128855)

Rebelot:  Open all of August, 7 days a week. (Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55; +39 02 84194720)

Un Posto a Milano: Open the entire month of August but closed on Mondays. Tuesday through Friday, open from 6pm to 1am, Saturday Sunday open from 10am to 1pm  Open from 10am to 1pm on the 15th. (Via Cuccagna, 2; + 39 02 5457785)

Upcycle Bicycle Cafe: 5 – 28 August. (Via Ampère, 59; + 39 02.83428268)

Zazà Ramen: Closed from 31 July – 29 August.  (Via Solferino, 48; +39 02 3679 9000)

Italian style breakfast at Piccolo Peck

We count Peck among one of our favorite gourmet shops in Milan, but Peck is so much more than that…’s an ever evolving gourmet institution! And one that we love. So much in fact, that it’s a stop on one of our food tours.

Last year, the Peck team inaugurated Piccolo Peck, a charming café inspired by Viennese coffee houses located in the heart of the shop, where you can sip your coffee, read a newspaper, meet a friend, have a meeting or just pass the day away. It’s lovely.  (Plus, there’s have wifi!)

From a great selection of both sweet and savory pastries to stellar coffee to delightful juices, we’ve also come to love Piccolo Peck for breakfast.  If you’re not joining us on a food tour, what better place to kick off your day exploring the historic center than by breakfasting in a historic gourmet shop?

Now, Italian breakfast isn’t bacon and eggs, and even though the Italian’s don’t consider it the most important meal of the day, we find it’s satiating regardless if done right. Breakfast usually begins on a sweet note by coupling a cappuccino with a pastry, which can seem a bit strange but trust us…it works!

Here’s a look at some of the delightful pastries you can start your day with at Piccolo Peck. If you insist on something savory, opt for the toast with prosciutto crudo and fontina Valdostana. By the way, here, toast is not necessarily made out of bread that’s just popped out of the toaster oven. Toast is a hot sandwich, kind of like a grilled cheese.  Buona colazione!

Piccolo Peck Kranz con uvetta e arance candite

Kranz, or treccia (braid), with raisins and candied orange.

Fagottino integrale

Whole wheat fagottino pastry

Croissant con crema di mandorle e mandorle caramellate

Almond croissant

Brioches con crema pasticcera

Cream-filled brioche

Brioches classica vuota - Veneziana

La Veneziana, made with a dough that includes three different types of vanilla and orange zests.





























Piccolo Peck: Via Spadari 9;+39 02 80 23 161; website

Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Monday: 3pm – 8pm

Three unusual panini in Milan

We’re not shy about how much we love the food in our dear Milan and while many Milanese get their casseuola on this time of year, every once in a while, they (we included) just want a sandwich—or, rather, in Italian terms: A panino. We love chowing down on the usual suspects like a caprese, prosciutto, or speck and brie, but we also appreciate when panini makers throw some creativity into the mix.

Here’s a look at three unusual panini you can find in Milan, all of which suffice for lunch, a merenda or even dinner, though for the latter, you might want to double up.

Best unusual panini in Milan Panino Giusto Milano Panino Ragusano

Panino Ragusano photo: Panino Giusto

1. Panino Ragusano, Panino Giusto: We heart Panino Giusto! Since opening in 1979, Panino Giusto has never sacrificed quality as its panino empire has expanded. Among the many delicious offerings is the Panino Ragusano, made with sliced grilled beef, cacio cheese from Ragusa in Sicily (hence the panino’s name), Giarratana sweet onions (massive sweet onions also from Sicily), corn salad and a mustard mayo. You can find this at Panino Giusto’s various locations, including those on Corso Garibaldi and near the Duomo.

Best usual panini in Milan El gran burgher di Milano Le Biciclette

El gran burgher di Milano at Le Biciclette photo: M. Barro

2. El gran bürgher de Milàn at Le Biciclette: This 18-year-old café serves an homage to Milan and local territory all sandwiched neatly inside a Michetta, the Milanese version of a Kaiser roll: A Luganega patty (local pork sausage), Gorgonzola, Savoy cabbage leaves and finely chopped white onions. Pair the burger with the Tutt el’Di cocktail, which translates to “all day long” in Milanese dialect, a perfect Milanese marriage. (Via Giovanni Battista Torti, 2; 02 5810 4325; website; open seven days, 6pm  – 2am)

Best unusual panini in Milan Fried octopus panino Pescaria Milano

Fried octopus panino, photo: Pescaria Milano

3. Fried Octopus Panino at Pescaria: If you follow any Milan food enthusiasts on Instagram, it’s highly likely you’ve seen a close-up of the crave-worthy fried octopus sandwich with sautéed chicory, ricotta and pepper, finished with an anchovy sauce. Pescaria comes to Milan via Polignano a Mare in Puglia, so you can take your pick from a number of other seafood delights if octopus isn’t your thing. Note: Be prepared to wait, but know it’s well worth it. (Via Bonnet 5; + 39 02 659 9322; open 7 days, 12.30pm – midnight; website)

New Year’s Day in Milan

Yes, finding a (good) restaurant that is open in Milan on New Year’s Day is tricky as many of the restaurants close for a few days starting sometimes before or after Christmas, and not re-opening until either January 2nd or after the feast of the Epiphany which is on 6 January. If you’re ringing in 2017 in town, here are some noteworthy restaurants in Milan that are open on New Year’ Day. And if we’re missing anywhere, just let us know in the comments.

Mandarin Bar and Bistro: If you’re looking for a meal that’s more on the fancy side, Mandarin Bar and Bistro (the little sister to chef Antonio Guida’s two-star Michelin restaurant Seta) is serving a special four-course brunch for 95 euro per person. Menu includes an appetizer buffet, tortellini in broth, duck with sweet potatoes and a dessert buffet, plus a choice of a Mimosa or Bloody Mary. You can see the full menu here and as reserve online here.

Erba Brusca: This lovely restaurant with a garden will be open for service as normal on Sunday, 1 January. Chef Alice Delcourt serves delicious seasonal fare and you can’t beat the ambiance. Reserve a table for lunch and dinner here.

Osteria Brunello: This Corso Garibaldi gem will be open for lunch and dinner as normal, with the kitchen closing thirty minutes early during the latter at 10.30pm. Reserve your table here. You can sample one of the city’s best cotoletta alla milanese here!

New Year’s Eve in Milan 2017

Another year over and a new one is about to begin! If you’re in our dear city and looking to ring in 2017 with a superb dinner, here are some restaurants in Milan where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Restaurants Milan Dinner New Year's Eve 2017 Armani Restaurant

Potato gnocchi, lobster, cockscomb ragout, ginger, sea urchins, sea asparagus at Armani

Armani Restaurant: The one-star Michelin restaurant on the rooftop of the Armani Hotel will feature a five-course menu of himachi, foie gras, gnocchi, wagyu and mascarpone-centric dishes.  270 euro per person, beverages not included. Book online. (Cover photo)

Erba Brusca: Enjoy chef Alice Delcourt’s delicious seasonal fare on a special festive evening. The six-course menu includes octopus, puntarelle, ravioli del plin and lamb courses. DJ set starts at midnight so you can dance the night away into the early morning hours. Dress code: Hip Hop Nation vs Dance Fever. 70 euro per person; beverages excluded. Book online.

Restaurants Milan Dinner New Year's Eve 2017 Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, photo: F. Bolis

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia: This historic two-star Michelin-rated restaurant is offering an eight-course tasting menu  plus a midnight serving of ‘Salama’ with small lentils from Castelluccio. Dishes from chefs Fabio Pisani and Alessandro Negrini highlight regional ingredients like purple shrimp from San Remo and lamb from Gargano.  250 euro person; wine not included. Book online.

Liberty: Chef Andrea Provenzani is pulling out all the stops with an eight-course tasting menu showcasing dishes like his own vitello tonnato, risotto alla Catalania with red shrimp, and a lentil-and-cotechino-stuffed panzerotto. 120 euro per person; wine not included. Book online.

Restaurants Milan Dinner New Year's Eve 2017 Seta

Seta restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Milan

Seta: At Antonio Guida’s two-star Michelin restaurant at the Mandarin Hotel, you’ll find an eight-course menu with dishes like langoustines, pheasant and lobster ravioli while the less formal Mandarin Bar & Bistro offers a six-course meal with dishes such as foie gras terrine, braised veal and red mullet. You can see both menus here as well as reserve online for both Seta and Mandarin Bar & Bistro. Seta: 490 euro. Bar & Bistro: 210 euro. Wine is included in both prices.

Restaurants Milan Dinner New Year's Eve 2017 Terrazza Gallia

Terrazza Gallia at Excelsior Hotel Gallia

Terrazza Gallia: Under the consultation of the Cerea Family, executive chefs Vincenzo and Antonio Lebano have created a four-course menu with dishes like risotto with lemon, Cantabrian anchovies and Noto almonds and venison noisettes with pumpkin gnocchi plus cotechino and lentils at midnight. Dancing starts at midnight! 290 euro per person; wine included.  Book online.

Where to buy Panettone in Milan

Updated for 2016!

It’s December and with Christmas right around the corner, there’s one treat we can’t get out of our heads (or our  hands!): panettone!  This fluffy brioche cake that is practically synonymous with Milan is made from eggs, flour, butter sugar, raisins and candied fruits.

These cylindrical shaped Christmas cakes with mushroom-like tops have started popping up left and right at all the pasticcerie around Italy, both a good and a bad thing as there are both deliciously authentic and mass-produced options available.  If you’re local, we have collected five of the best pastry shops where to buy panettone in and around Milan.

If you’re not local, where do you begin?  How do you discern the good from the not-so-good? Well fear not! We sought advice from our lovely friend and panettone expert Lydia Capasso, writer for Gastronomia Mediterranea, archeologist and all-around awesome lady who was one of the judges for GazzaGolosa’s Best Panettone in Italy.

We asked Lydia for some tips on how to make sure your panettone falls into the good (not the not-so-good) category. She advises starting with sight and smell as those senses can discern quality in addition to taste:

  • All of the dough must be leavened first; the upper cap should not have any cracks or imperfections and should only exceed the paper cup lining by no more than the width of 2 or 3 fingers.
  • Once the panettone is cut open, the bubbles produced during the rising must be regular and elongated; the presence of large bubbles is a sign of poor workmanship.
  • The cake inside should be soft and moist.
  • The candied fruits and raisins should be evenly distributed and soft.
  • The panettone should smell like butter, along with an intense, pleasant aroma of candied fruit.
  • Once tasted the cake should not have a strange aftertaste that indicates the presence of artificial flavors or low quality fat.
  • Homemade panettone almost always has a cross engraved on the top of the cap and, if you look hard enough, four small holes at the bottom  as it’s usually cooled upside down hanging from two iron rods.

In no particular order, here are five pastry stops where to buy panettone in and around Milan, all approved by Lydia. :)


Located in Abbiategrasso, a charming quintessential Italian town about a 30-minute drive from Milan.  Andrea Besuschio prepares some at his pastry shop that has received nationwide acclaim.

Piazza Marconi, 59 Abbiategrasso (MI); + 39 02 94966479
Thursday through Tuesday: 8am – 8pm Closed Wednesday


Bread master Davide Longoni has a way with panettone, too.

Via Tiraboschi 19;  +39 02 9163 8069

Tuesday – Friday: 7.30am – 10.30pm
Saturday: 8am – 10.30pm
Sunday: 8.30am – 1.30pm
Monday: 7.30am – 3pm


Placed on Gazza Golosa’s Best Panettone in Italy competition!

Via Cagliero, 14; + 39 02.66986634
Open Seven Days: 7.30am – 8.30pm

Via Paolo Sarpi, 64; + 39 02 9926 5069
Open Seven Days: 7.30am – 8pm


One of our favorite places for anything sweet, Pave makes an awesome panettone, available in both classic and a chocolate flavored.

Via Felice Casati, 27; + 39 02 94392259
Open: Tuesday– Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8.30am to 7pm
Closed Monday


A classic pastry shop dating back to 1842 puts forth one of our favorite classics.

Via S. Maria alla Porta 11/a; +39 02.862770
Monday – Saturday: 7.30am – 8.00pm
Sunday: 8.3 am – 1pm

Via Monte Napoleone 9; +39 02.76008238
Monday – Sunday: 7.30am – 9pm

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; +39 02.94181710
Monday – Sunday 7.30am – 9pm


This venerated gourmet institution sells panettone year-round and during the holidays, they offer two flavors in addition to the classic: orange, ginger and pineapple as well as chocolate and pear.

Via Spadari, 9; +39  3902 802 3161
Monday – Thursday: 9am – 8pm
Friday: 8.30am – 8pm
Saturday: 7.30am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 7pm


Placed in Gazza Golossa Best Panettoni in Italy contest.

106, Via Roma in Pioltello (outskirts of Milan); +39 02 92105824
No website

Christmas dessert recipe

If you’re spending Christmas in Milan and don’t want to dine out, it’s highly likely there will be something from Peck on your Christmas table. Whether it’s the pate, Russian salad or foie gras gelatin, there are some dishes from Peck that are just so Milan, whether or not they’re from the canon of La Cucina Milanese.

On the dolce front, Peck puts forth some top desserts and other sweet goods like pralines, macarons and an assortment of cakes.  Pastry Chef Galileo Reposo has created an Autumn Bouquet tart, which despite its name, is every bit as winter as snow flakes.  If you’re stayng at home, you should make this one of your Christmas desserts. A short bread base with cinnamon biscuits, calavados cream, creamy mascarpone, candied orange, dried fruits and more. It’s a delight! 

Not in Milan? We have the recipe for you! It’s not for the faint of heart, but we suggest giving it a try.

Peck’s Autumn Bouquet Christmas Dessert Recipe

Sablés Breton (shortbread):

  • 300g flour
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 50g egg yolks
  • 5g baking powder

Mix the flour, baking powder cold butter
Add the sugar and the egg yolks until you have a homogeneous mixture
Let stand for 1 hour in the refrigerator
Roll out to 5 mm and cut the size of the molds
Bake in the molds for about 18 minutes at 170 ° C
Cool on the grid and keep in oven

Creamy mascarpone:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 205g milk
  • 7g glucose
  • 215g white chocolate ivore
  • 10g edible gelatin

Boil the milk and sugar and pour over chopped chocolate
Dissolve gelatin in ganache
Add the mascarpone and blend with an immersion blender
Withdraw in the refrigerator and allow to cool at least 12 hours
Place in a pastry bag

Cinnamon biscuit:

  • 120g egg yolk
  • 180g egg whites
  • 150g sugar
  • 60g cornflour
  • 60g weak flour
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 10g cinnamon powder

Mix and sift flour
Beat the egg yolks with 50 g sugar
Beat the egg whites with the remaining 100g sugar
Combine very gently, alternating, the egg whites and flour to the yolks
Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake at 175 ° C for about 14 minutes
Allow to cool and place in the freezer
Cut rectangle of size such as to leave 2mm on each side with respect to the base of the Breton
Store in freezer

Light calvados cream:

  • 300g custard
  • lightly whipped pana 200g
  • 5g edible gelatin
  • 40g calvados

Mix the custard with calvados
To cool a part of cream and dissolve into the previously soaked gelatin in very cold water
Combine with the help of a licking pots cream custard
Withdraw into a pastry bag with a nozzle of 18 and refrigerate


  • 1 Martina pear
  • mixed dried fruit
  • candied orange
  • Vanilla syrup

Cut the caramelized pear  into wedges
On the basis of the Breton form a creamy layer mascarpone
Lightly soak a cinnamon biscuit with vanilla syrup and place on creamy mascarpone
Do three strips of calvados cream on the biscuit
Decorate the surface with dried fruit, candied oranges and caramelized pears

Milan Christmas Dining 2016

It’s that time of year again…Christmas!  A “Sfilata di Luci” (fashion show of lights) is suspended over Corso Como, both the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Duomo are bedecked with their gorgeous Christmas trees, and panettone has hit all the pastry shop selves. It’s officially the Christmas season in Milan.

If you’re planning to be in Milan for Christmas, but don’t feel like cooking, we made a list of some restaurants for Milan Christmas 2016 dining from which you can take your pick. Some are open on Christmas Eve, some Christmas Day, some both. You can just click on the links to the restaurants’ sites to see the menus, and we’ll be updating this as more information becomes available. Buon Natale and buon appetito.

Berton – Eight-course tasting menu plus panettone for €130 per person (beverages excluded). Wine paring €55 per person; four Pommery Champagnes are being showcased CHRISTMAS DAY Chef Andrea Berton (Viale della Liberazione, 13; + 39 02 6707 5801)

Daniel: 8-course dinner tasting menu plus hot and cold stuzzichini startesrs; 100 euro per person. The restaurant also has a special Christmas take-out menu. CHRISTMAS EVE Chef Daniel Canzian (Via San Marco on the corner of Castelfidardo;  + 39 02 6379 3837)

Essenza: Six-course dinner tasting menu plus five-bite aperitivo CHRISTMAS EVE 120€ per person (Via Marghera, 34; +39 02 498 6865)

L’Osteria Grand Hotel: Seven-course lunch tasting menu, €55 per person (includes a glass of bubbly). CHRISTMAS DAY (Via Ascanio Sforza 75; + 39 02.89511586)

Osteria Brunello: Open for service as normal 24, 25 and 26 December serving their standard menu. Don’t miss their cotoletta alla Milanese, one of the best in town.  12.30-2.30 and 7.00-11.30 (Corso Garibaldi, 117; + 39 02 6592973)

Ristorante Al Garghet: Four-course prix fixe, €70 per person (beverages excluded). CHRISTMAS DAY(Via Selvanesco, 36,; + 39 02534698)

Seta: Six-course lunch; €190 per person, beverages excluded. CHRISTMAS DAY Chef Antonio Guida (Mandarin Oriental Hotel; +39 02 8731 8897)

Terrazza Gallia: Four-course CHRISTMAS EVE dinner  for 115€ person; Four-course CHRISTMAS DAY lunch for 145€ per person; beverages excluded. Executive Chefs Vincenzo and Antonio Lebano under the consultation of the Cerea family. (Top floor, Excelsior Hotel Gallia; Piazza Duca D’Aosta 9; +39 02 6785 1)

Last but not least, Chinatown! Via Paolo Sarpi is studded with Chinese restaurants that are all open on both CHRISTMAS EVE and CHRISTMAS DAY. Jin Yong (Via Paolo Sarpi, 2) is one of our favorites!

Birrificio Menabrea and Biella

One of the best parts of living in Milan is our nearness to Piedmont, not just one of Italy’s best regions for food and wine, but also for beer.  Unless you’re going to Torino (easily reachable by train…Frecciarossa’s get you there in an hour), car is probably the best and most direct option for exploring Piedmont and its majestic landscape. If you’re doing a Piedmont road trip, head 90 minutes northwest towards Biella,  a perfect day-trip from Milan.

Biella sits in Northern Piedmont, in the foothills of the Alps, not far from the fairy-tale like peaks of the Valle d’Aosta. The town boasts a significant gastronomic culture of its own, part of which is the place it holds in Italy’s beer history as home to the iconic Birrificio Menebrea, the country’s oldest brewery. Here are some of the town’s most appetizing highlights.

1) Birrificio Menabrea: At 170 years young, Birrificio Menabrea is Italy’s oldest brewery, quite fittingly located in Piedmont, where the past decade’s Italian craft beer movement kicked off. Over the years, the brewery of course has changed, expanded and evolved, all while maintaining its core values and soul. The marriage of hops, malt and yeast with Biella’s singular alpine water results in an impossible-to-replicate formula that makes the beer so special. Tour the historical brewery and you’ll find that while the owners might have adapted the facilities to accommodate modernity, the integrity of Menabrea’s history is alive and well. The on site museum is quite special, as it’s filled with objects, trinkets, furniture, and gadgets that all played a special part in the brewery’s history, such as an old bottle topping machine, ash trays, signs, photos, glass bottles, bottle caps and more from the days of yore.

Birreria Menebrea Museum

Birreria Menebrea MuseumMenebrea Biella Day trip from Milan










Risotto allo sbirro Menebreat Biella day trip from Milan2) Ristorante Menabrea: Menabrea’s inviting, rustic restaurant is complete with long wooden tables and exposed brick walls. Its coziness recalls that warmth found in small-town Irish pubs as it’s the kind of place you could easily pass an entire Saturday or Sunday, catching up with neighbors and loved ones as you eat, drink and merrymake.  After arrival, we fueled up on a delicious spread of local cheese and salume before embarking on a tour of the 7,000-square-meter facilities, after which we were once again ready to recharge. The non-surprisingly beer-centric repast included a luscious creamy risotto allo sbirro, a cheese that’s a collaboration between Menabrea and Botella, a local dairy. The hand-made sbirro cheese couples milk from a local cow breed with a Menabrea brew. The grand finale was birramisu, a beer-infused tiramisu. Of course lunch wouldn’t have been complete without some beers, so to complement our feast, we sampled the following brews: 35 Light (lager made with a historic rice-based recipe); 55 Pils (light bitter lager with aromatic hops and corn); 75 Bock (a deep, dark shaded double malt beer with traces of maple syrup); and LA 150 (a strong amber beer) and 5.2 Weiss, a beer to commemorate the brewery’s 170th anniversary that was actually not made on premises but rather in Germany under the tutelage of Menabrea’s master brewer.

Local meats and cheese Menebrea Biella day trip from Milan Birramisu Menebrea Biella day trip from MIlanMenebrea 5.2 Weiss Biella day trip from Milan










Canestrellli and Nurtritivi Italian cookies Biella day trip from Milan3) Caffé del Teatro Black & White: Serving baked goods since 1865, the dramatic Caffé del Teatro has an old-school intellectual café vibe, and is the perfect place to satisfy a sweet tooth. On a nice day, sit outdoors under the portico. You’ll find tons of typical cookies like baci di dama (damsel’s kisses, little hazelnut cookies), brutti ma buoni (ugly but good, egg white cookies with nuts) melighe (corn flour based cookies) and  scacchiere (butter and chocolate cookies that look like little chess boards) and more. These are all delicious, but the caffé’s  two specialties are the nutritivi biscotti, cookies made from butter, egg and sugar that were born in the aftermath of World War II (hence their simplicity), as well as the local canestrelli Biellesi, chocolate and hazelnut wafer cookies (not to be confused with the canestrelli of Liguria).


4) Mosca 1916: Whether it’s a gourmet, al fresco or a super market, we love seeing food stores when we’re on the road…though a gourmet shop is always a bonus and Mosca 1916 in Biella is a veritable gastronomic treasure. Part salumeria, part butcher shop, part gourmet shop and part wine shop, Mosca 1916 has been satisfying local appetites for more than a century. Whether it’s a big family feast or lunch for one, Mosca has something to satisfy every craving. Browse bottles of local Piemontese wine (what many consider to be Italy’s best); sausages like cotechino; meats such as Fassone beef and Piemontese ox (when in season); cheeses like Casatelmango and Piave; salume; prepared foods; fresh pasta; and much, much more!




Panino Giusto World Tour

We love it when the world gets to to sample a taste of our dear Milan, so needless to say we’re thrilled about the Panino Giusto World Tour.

Since 1979, the ever reliable Panino Giusto has served some of Milan’s best panini that, despite the company’s growth, have never sacrificed quality. You can check out some of their delectable Panini delights here, but be warned: the panino porn might just make you a bit hungry.

panino giusto world tour presentationOutside of Italy, Panino Giusto has locations in Hong Kong, London and Tokyo, and they have just arrived on the other side of the pond to open their first U.S. location in Cupertino, California. But that’s not all….

The Panino is arguably Italy’s ultimate slow fast food, and as what happens with commercialization, there are many so-called “Panini” that are quantity over quality focused, and aren’t really panini at all as they sacrifice the integrity of the true form of these sandwiches. Not just in Italy, but all over the world, and a little panini education never did anyone any harm. Our resident American didnt start using the single form of the word, panino, until she moved here as in the U.S., just one panino is often referred to as a panini. But anyway, that’s the least of the panino’s problems…have a glance at some of the tourist trap stands lining Piazza del Duomo and you’ll see what we mean. Anyway, we digress…

Enter the Panino Giusto World Tour! This special collaboration with Alessandro Frassica of Florence’s acclaimed ino paninoteca will be hitting up all of Panino Giusto’s overseas locations. Frassica himself will lead workshops celebrating the Italian art of the panino. And that’s not all…in honor of the Panino Giusto World Tour, Frassica created three special Panini to mark the occasion that will be available at the overseas locations only. (Sorry you’re going to miss out on these, Milan…we got to taste them, and they were yummy.)

Panino Giusto World Tour alessandro-frassica-e-i-3-panini-del-panino-tour-crudo-fresco-e-marino

Alessandro Frassica and his three panini for the Panino Giusto World Tour

The Panino Giusto World Tour schedule is as follows . If you happen to be in any of these cities when a workshop occurs, don’t miss it!

• London: 23 – 24 November
• Cupertino: 29 – 30 November
• Tokyo and Yokohama: 20 – 21 February
• Hong Kong: 23 – 24 February

Now, last but not least, the panini:

Fresco: Grilled eggplant and zucchini that has been marinated in herbs and extra virgin olive oil with roasted salty almonds, cherry tomato confit, chia and sesame seeds and drizzled in extra virgin olive oil

Marino: Lightly spiced hummus with mackerel that has been canned in extra virgin olive oil, Taggiasca olives cherry tomato confit and drizzled in extra virgin olive oil

Crudo: creamy sweet gorgonzola cheese with 26-month aged Langhirano prosciutto crudo and red bell pepper mustard