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!

Valentine’s Day in Milan 2016

We totally get it if Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that falls into the “forced fun” category for you, prompting you to opt for a night in as opposed to succumbing to an evening of gimmicky holiday “specials.” However, Valentine’s Day in Milan out on the town can be quite lovely…if you know the best restaurants to visit.

Valentine’s Day 2016 falls on a Sunday so by default some restaurants in Milan are closed, which may leave you feeling like your dinner options are slim pickings. While there are several great restaurants in Milan open on Sunday, some are opening especially for the holiday, so why not step up your Valentine’s Day game? Be a couple of fancypants for the night and choose a restaurant where you’ll have a memorable evening with your better half…and eat incredibly well while you’re at it.

Here are five super romantic (and super delicious!) restaurants in Milan where you can do just that this Valentine’s Day.

Essenza Restaurant Milan Valentine's Day 2016

Essenza: Ten-course tasting menu for 90€ per person (beverages not included). Chef Eugenio Boer. (Via Marghera, 34; +39 02 498 6865, website; special opening)

Terrazza Gallia Restaurant Milan Valentine's Day 2016jpg

Terrazza Gallia: Five-course tasting menu for 140€ per person (beverages not included). 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; website)

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia Restaurant Milan Valentine's Day 2016

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia: Nine-course dinner for €140 per person (beverages not included). (Via Privata Raimondo Montecuccoli, 6; + 39 02 416886; website; special opening)

Berton Ristorante Milan Valentine's Day 2016

Berton: Seven-course tasting menu for €140 per person (wine not included). Chef Andrea Berton. (Viale della Liberazione, 13; + 39 02 6707 5801, website)

Da.Noi In Restaurant Milan Valentine's Day 2016

Da Noi In: Eight-course tasting menu for 90€ per person (wine included). Chef Fulvio Siccardi. Menu offered on the 13th and 14th. (Magna Pars Hotel Via Forcella, 6; +39 02 8378111, website)

Friday Food Porn: What We Ate

This week, we’ve decided to swipe right in our own phones to find and share some of the best dishes in and around Milan that we’ve had the pleasure of tasting (and photographing!) this year.  So here you go!

Spaghetti colatura di Alice Burro and Alice restaurant milan Franciacorta

Simply superb spaghetti with colatura di alice at Burro and Alice in Franciacorta, just outside Milan.

Beet gnocchi Anche Restaurant Isola Milan

Beet gnocchi with gorgonzola at Anche restaurant in Isola in Milan.

Essenza Best Restaurant Milan Sauce Milan

Chef Eugenio Boer’s spaghetti with mantis shrimp at Essenza restaurant in Milan.

Focaccia di Recco Manuelina Focacceria Duomo Milan

Focaccia di Recco, a Genovese specialty, at Manuelina Focacceria near the Duomo in Milan.

LadyBu Best Restaurants Milan Sauce Milan

Pasta with broccoli rabe, Monterosso anchovies, and tomatoes from chef Nico Rizzi at LadyBù restaurant in Milan.

Dispensa Pani e Vini Restaurant Franciacorta

Perfectly al dente pasta at Dispensa Pani e Vini restaurant in Franciacorta.


Italian Style Breakfast at our dear Pavé, one of the best pasticceria in Milan.

James Beard American Restaurant  Millan Seven Stars Hotel Galleria

Scampi Ravioli by chef Cathy Whims at the James Beard American Restaurant at the Seven Stars Galleria in Milan.

Temakinho sushi restaurant milan

Brazil meets Japan at Temakinho Brera sushi restaurant in Milan.


Pasta and Potatoes Sauce Milan

Last, but certainly no least, to-die-for pasta and potatoes by our friend (and panettone expert!) Lydia Capasso!

Recipe: Artichokes, Cynar and Licorice

We kicked off our Food Porn column a few weeks ago showcasing delectable delights from chef Eugenio Boer of Essenza Restaurant in Milan, one of our favorite new additions to the city’s restaurant’s scene. Here’s a recipe for one of his spring dishes on the Essenza restaurant menu. Enjoy!

Artichokes, Cynar and Licorice – Chef Eugenio Boer of Essenza Ristorante, Milan

Fresh Pasta


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 grams of flour 00
  • 25 grams of durum wheat semolina flour

Procedure: Put flour in the mixer with a hook and incorporate the eggs. Run until the dough is smooth and homogeneous. Store in the refrigerator and let stand at least 2 hours. Then, pull the dough thin (but not too thin) to create the buttons that will be stuffed using the below filling.

Stuffed artichokes


  • 15 Sardinian artichokes
  • 50 ml Sardinian extra virgin olive
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • q.b salt and black pepper from a mill

Procedure: Clean 10 artichokes taking care to remove all the hard parts and woody and internal “beard”. Cut into julienne strips and store them in water and lemon juice until you are ready to cook them, otherwise they will oxidize. Sauté the garlic olive oil, put the artichokes that have been drained well with water over a low heat to start cooking. Let the artichokes braise well so as not to burn them, and add a ladle of broth every so often. When the artichokes are well stewed, add salt and pepper to taste and mix in the Termomix. Remove the skin from the remaining 5 artichokes and cut them the same way but fry then in sunflower oil and dry on absorbent paper. Cut them coarsely and incorporate into the artichoke puree. Place everything inside a pastry bag to fill the buttons of fresh pasta.

Cynar Reduction


  • 200 ml of Cynar
  • 50 ml of artichoke leaf extract

Procedure: Put the Cynar in a small saucepan on Cynar and reduce to low heat, then half when all of the alcohol part is lost. Incorporate the artichoke leaves into the extract until a thick sauce forms that is a bit ‘sticky.

Artichoke Coal Dust


  • 20 artichoke stalks

Procedure: Clean the stems of artichoke from the outside and burn them onto a fire. Mix everthing together and sieve.

Licorice root powder


  • 1 licorice root

Procedure: Put licorice root in the dehydrator when fully dry blend and sieve

Composition of the dish: Arrange the powder on the plate using a sieve in a fairly uniform manner. Evenly dust the licorice root but in a much smaller quantity. After cooking the buttons of fresh pasta in salted water, pass them in the Cynar sauce and place them on the plate.


Friday Food Porn: Essenza

We can’t remember the last time we were as excited about a new restaurant opening in Milan, as we were about chef Eugenio Boer’s Essenza restaurant. Essenza restaurant in Milan opened in January and we had the pleasure of eating there twice during the cool weather months. Now, we know it’s nearly summer,  but we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Friday Food Porn than with shots of some of the vibrantly flavored dishes we noshed on at Essenza.  Don’t miss the summer menu! (Essenza restaurant in Milan: Via Marghera, 34; +39 02 4986865)

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 7

Winter Garden in the Snow

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 2

Chestnut wood broth with spinach, piopinni mushrooms, and raw chestnuts

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 6

Capon from Morozzo

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 5

Risotto all cenere with mountain brook trout and its eggs

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 3

Pigeon with carrots, shallots, mustard and spelt from Garfagnana.

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 4

Memory of a Summer Grill: Pork Belly, Yuca, Squid Ink and Spinach

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 1

Il Cervo and Its History: Venison with raspberry mustard coulis, foie gras mousse and licorice powder

Eugenio Boer Essenza Restaurant Milan Food Porn 8

SUD: Lemon and orange sorbet-granita with pistachios, almonds, capers, coffee and Modica chocolate