I confess, I have a soft spot for Mexican food. Fajitas, nachos, tacos, jalapenos, guacamole, and of course, margaritas. So when I learned of a new Mexican restaurant in Milan, I sped on down. Canteen is a unique place that wins at first glance, seduces at the first course and has you head over heels after the first drink.
Behind a steel clad facade, decorated with a “calaca” (the traditional Mexican depiction of a skull) is majestically beautiful courtyard with a lush vertical garden. It’s more than perfect in the sunny summer days, and equally idyllic when heated. The courtyard boasts tables decorated with ceramics that glow under candlelight.
Go down the wooden stairs to the bar and you will again be surprised: The room is decorated with wooden floors, exposed brick walls and marble tables. A beautiful hand blown Venini chandelier is contrasted with neon lights, giving a soft light and friendly atmosphere.
Nothing is left to chance here, everywhere you look there are interesting details. But Canteen is not all style, there is substance too. The Tequila Bar is housed in a backlit alabaster counter. Well known South American Juan Carlos Gomez has specifically researched and selected over 100 labels of fine tequila and excellent mezcal to fill it.
The kitchen is led by chef David Blanco, originally from Mexico City, and offers classical Mexican dishes as well as traditional and regional recipes. Every dish is authentic, exhibiting a perfect balance of flavor and freshness. I go crazy for the chicken and the beef fajitas and the and the ceviche (made from octopus, avocado, tomato, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro and lime). I finish dinner with the obligatory churros with chocolate. You can’t finish a night here and not party. There are two DJ consoles, one inside and one outside, that get guests dancing between the tables (and sometimes on top of them).
But as they say, “what happens at Canteen, stays at Canteen”.