Though seemingly a metropolis, Milan is actually a small city that offers rustic country dining experiences. Though it might involve travelling a few kilometres, it’s well worth your while to see what lies on the outskirts of the city. Italy’s capital of fashion and design also boasts a peasant tradition linked to the presence of countless waterways and flat, fertile land. The Milanese countryside is within easy reach: here, old restructured farmhouses offer great food and entertainment. You don’t have to take a train to find yourself in bucolic surroundings. Just grab a cab or, should the mood so move you, even a bicycle which, however, I don’t recommend because arriving hot and sweaty at a stellar restaurant might cause the waiter welcoming you at the entrance to turn down his nose.
Erba Brusca is an orchard-cum-restaurant where the multi-ethnic chef works his magic with offerings including peasant soups and Mediterranean couscous dishes (Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286. www.erbabrusca.it). Chez Innocenti Evasioni you can savour a topnotch prevalently fish-based menu in a beautiful garden (via della Bindellina, 1. www.innocentievasioni.com). Formerly the guest house of a convent, at Quattrocento rural meets design. Expect Mediterranean cuisine featuring creative, contemporary flavours (via Campazzino, 4. www.4cento.com). Featuring a fusion of oriental and Vietnamese cuisine, Shambala offers an exotic atmosphere and a Zen-style garden (via Ripamonti, 337. www.shambalamilano.it). For a taste of old-world Milan, head to Antica Osteria al Ronchettino and take a seat in its peaceful garden. Signature dishes include traditional northern Italian fare, from risotto to gnocco fritto (via Basso, 9. www.ronchettino.it). Located in a building at San Siro’s Hippodrome Fiorenza boasts a slightly retro ambience and is a great choice for a romantic, candlelit dinner. Standouts include top-class fish dishes (piazzale dello Sport, 20. www.ristorantefiorenza.com).
I am a gardener and blogger. Milan is my city and I enjoy exploring its nooks and crannies to bring you the best that it has to offer. I usually travel around by bike to bring you the best that the city has to offer including the fabulous hideaways listed in every local’s secret address book.
Read Federica’s tips on www.wheremilan.com/discovermilano