Known as Italy’s fashion capital, Milan also has a long history of fine food and wine. We asked wine producers from nearby Piedmont where they dine out in the city...
Top restaurants in Milan — recommended by the producers at Decanter’s Italy Fine Wine Encounter 2018
Recommended by Simone Antionietta representing Carlin de Paolo:
At just 29 years old chef Enrico Bartolini has already earned a total of five Michelin stars, earning him the nickname ‘il collezionista’, or the collector. Two of those stars were for his Milan restaurant on the third floor of MUDEC Museum of Culture, housed in a renovated factory building.
Bartolini specialises in Italian haute cuisine, flexing his skill set across two tasting menus — one classic (145 euros), one contemporary (180 euros) — with the option to add wine pairings, selected by sommelier Sebastian Ferrara. There are also a la carte options, with dishes ranging from 35 to 60 euros.
The 113-page wine list benefits from the use of the restaurant’s Coravin, allowing you a taste of top drawer wines that may otherwise be unaffordable, including bottles of Solaia, Château d’Yquem and La Chapelle Hermitage. Book now
D’O are the initials of the restaurant founder, Davide Oldani, one of Italy’s top chefs who has worked with the likes of Albert Roux, Pierre Hermé and Alain Ducasse.
Oldani’s contemporary and complex ‘pop’ cuisine earned him a Michelin star in the 2018 guide, with inspectors’ also praising the ‘designer-style dining room with huge windows overlooking the attractive piazza’ as well as the reasonable pricing.
D’O is little further out of central Milan in the commune of Cornaredo, seven miles northwest of the city, but it’s worth the extra cab fare. The restaurant quickly becomes fully booked for months on end — on 1 June reservations opened for dates starting in September. Book now
Savini restaurant is hidden inside Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest — and arguably most beautiful — shopping centre, dating back to the 19th century.
Savini is designed to be a place of serenity amidst the tourist chaos of the galleria; the main dining room is full of soft furnishings, lamp light and a grand piano.
For true romantics there’s ‘table 7’, a single table, tucked away in its own corner of the restaurant, next to a window overlooking the marble central hall. Reservations required.
Savini comes recommended by the Michelin Guide 2018, where it’s noted for its excellent wine list, boasting 600 wines.
There are two seasonally-changing tasting menus: ‘La Tradizione’ (95 euros) and ‘La Proposta dello Chef’ (160 euros), you can add on wine pairing for 45 and 65 euros respectively.
If you’re in a rush to resume shopping then there is a set ‘Business Lunch’ menu, as well as a la carte options. Book now
Recommended by Francesca Marcarino representing Pelissero:
Since 1921 the Masuelli family has been satisfying appetites with its traditional Milanese dishes, such as saffron risotto and foiolo — Italian-style tripe.
The restaurant has retained a distinctive Art Deco style, with colourful Venini chandeliers and 1920s chairs. There is both a seasonal and ‘Buongustaio’ (gourmet) menu, plus a good value lunch menu that includes three courses and coffee for 22 euros.
As for wine, the main list includes a comprehensive selection from across Italy, from Piedmont to Sicily. While the ‘Riserva Cleofe’ menu, a special wine list ‘for connoisseurs’, covers the Italian greats like Gaja and Tignanello, flanked by French classics. Book now
A stone’s throw from the famous Duomo di Milano, Signorvino is a wine shop, wine bar and restaurant all rolled into one — with the added bonus that you can sample the wines first and take a bottle of home with you.
In a modern dining area with exposed brick walls you can get a flight of three wines for 12 euros, spanning northern Italian regions like Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige.
There are boards of cured meats and cheeses from all over Italy, including some that has been aged in Amarone wine, plus fresh pasta dishes, salads and meat main courses. If you follow the suggested pairing written beneath each dish on the menu you’re rewarded with one euro off your final bill. Book now
Recommended Franco Massolino, Co-owner & oenologist at Massolino:
This trattoria is housed in a building that dates back to 1880, when goods from outside the city would be weighed here before making their way to the majestic Porta Garibaldi, just five minutes down the road. Hence the name ‘Pesa’, meaning ‘weigh-house’.
The menu is centred on Lombard cuisine, offering authentic dishes like cassoeula meat stew, golden-brown risotto al salto and zabaglione — a dessert made with eggs and Marsala wine. The wine list covers many of the best northern Italian appellations. Book now
Recommended by Cesare Barbero, director of Pertinace:
On the street heading due south from Porta Ticinese, Contraste is identifiable only by its heavy iron door and small brass plaque. Ring the bell and you’ll pass through a hidden garden, beyond which is the daringly designed dining room.
Aside from the ornate ceilings and crimson silicon chandeliers, the colour white plays a leading role; from the table settings to the fireplace and walls — all are meant to ‘contraste’ with the vibrant and experimental dishes coming out of the kitchen.
The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the latest guide and inspectors said they were ‘impressed and delighted’, as well as noting the ‘excellent wine list’. Contraste has a very serious looking cellar, where the wines are stored in breeze block pigeon holes. Book now
Located in southwest Milan, at the far end of the garden named after the Italian adventurer Ambrogio Fogar, Al Porto is a long-established seafood restaurant. It was started over 50 years ago by husband-and-wife team, Pier Domenico Buonamici and Anna Pucci.
Buonamici and his daughter Barbara run the kitchen, which serves seafood-oriented risotto and pasta dishes, as well a fresh Mediterranean fish selection that changes in response to the catch of the day. The interior echoes its maritime menu with floor-to-ceiling wood panelling, port holes and fish tanks. Book now
‘Traditional food the modern way’ is the strap line at Ratanà, one of the city’s hottest contemporary restaurants. It’s run by Milanese chef Cesare Battisti and his partner, sommelier Federica Fabi, whose influence is evident in the 54-page wine list.
Although Ratanà is set in a 19th-century villa, the industrial minimalism of the interior nods to the old train depot nearby and incorporates recycled railway iron.
Chef Battisti champions local farmers and fisherman and creates his seasonal menus around their produce. A la carte choices include regional staples like risotto with ossobuco (braised veal shanks), alongside more modish dishes like beef carpaccio and trout tartare.
There is also a six-course tasting menu for 50 euros, which includes the gratifying addition of ‘predessert’ as well as dessert. Indulge in wine pairings for an extra 20 euros. Book now
This chic trattoria is in neighbourhood of Calvairate, to the southwest of the city centre. Its owners, the Traversone family, have been serving locals for more than 40 years.
It’s a good place to familiarise yourself with in Milanese specialties, such as much-loved trippa (tripe) and cassoeula (meat stew). Or put yourself in the hands of Chef Giovanni Traversone who has created a changing four-course tasting menu, priced at 33 euros.
Trattoria del Nuovo Macello was also recommended in the latest Michelin Guide for its fresh and creative cooking. Book now