“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Said Virginia Woolf. It is a sacred truth. And if eating well takes place in a magical location, bucolic and very “cosy”, the idyll is soon accomplished. We are talking about the Antica Osteria La Rampina.
The place immediately strikes when seen from the outside. It’s a big yellow farmhouse, on Via Emilia, in the San Giuliano Milanese district, south of Milan. You will recognise it particularly during springtime because of its beautiful 300 years old wisteria at the entrance. Immense and amazing. But it is only by entering that you’ll fall in love with this place. And you’ll understand why the Gagliardi brothers, who have been here since 1973, have never wanted to leave.
There is the smallest room, intimate and cosy with the gigantic and sooty but romantic 16th century fireplace and the largest and bright room overlooking the internal courtyard, whose walls are painted in wisteria colour and where flowers are the key element of furniture. And then, on the outside, there is the new space with bricks and beams that the owners have decided to dedicate to ceremonies such as weddings or parties that involve music and a stage.
The world runs, and history keeps on changing. That’s why in this room is now possible to organise thematic aperitifs, very far from the low cost happy hour concept, much closer to the good old times tea break concept, with mondeghili (typical Milanese meatballs), cold cuts, risotto or quiches. La Rampina is one of the most historic places in Milan: it was known since the ‘500 as a way station, the last resting place before arriving in the city. At the beginning of the last century they used to sell bus tickets and tobacco, serving meatballs, simple meals and cask wine. Through the years the two brothers Lino and Angelo (the latter died prematurely three years ago) have turned it into a gourmet place. Even gaining the coveted Michelin Star.
Lino always in the kitchen. Angelo to do the honors in the room. A perfect match. Today Lino is joined in the kitchen by his young son Luca Gagliardi (who trained in a Strasbourg-starred restaurant), who, with the support of the family, has recently embarked on a breakthrough in the cooking philosophy, creating a gourmet style open to innovation and creative experimentation, which never betrays the bond with the Lombard tradition. Don’t worry, the Milanese Ossobuco, served with saffron risotto, will never miss in the menu, to not disappoint those who, like Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi, have always considered La Rampina the operational headquarter of the “Brotherhood of Milanese Ossobuco”
We find Angelo’s strong and clear legacy in the vast wine cellar of the restaurant: about 10,000 bottles, some of them rare. The most passionate wine lovers may have some fun and they can ask to go down to the cellar to choose the bottle that they thought impossible to find! Try it, and you won’t regret it!
Photo credit: Paolo Picciotto.