Between Via Larga and the Giardini della Guastalla is a special corner of Milan, where history meets and intersects with the past and present of an exceptional location. If you see a small, fairytale-like terrace that makes you forget for a few moments that you are in the city, open the wooden door that overlooks the street and smell the wafting scent of delicious food. You’ll know it when you find it. You are in the presence of the queen on the scene: Cantina Piemontese.
With over a century of history behind it, the restaurant does not need any kind of introduction, and in the dense landscape of Milanese culinary offerings, it is certainly a must. To those who don’t know it, however, we reveal to you a secret: this is the place where the joy of genuine family meals is evoked. Sitting around the table, surrounded by period pieces that recreate a 1930s atmosphere, you feel at home, while time is marked by a chat with your neighbor, a taste of a dish, and a sip of good wine.
Now that spring has arrived and summer is getting ready to warm heaven and earth once and for all, Cantina Piemontese shows off its best dress. The outdoor space is filled with green, calling like the song of a siren, and the new menu is ready to be discovered. Let the lunches and dinners of the summer season begin.
On the menu, the simplicity of the local and Piedmontese gastronomic tradition goes hand in hand with modernity, and the result is that the dishes are a forge of flavors and creative combinations, without too many frills, capable of satisfying the needs of fish, meat and vegetable lovers. And long gone are the arrays of dishes that occupy entire pages; here, we go straight to the point.
Among the appetizers, a cross-cultural moment of sacred sharing, the choice falls on either the Piedmontese peppers on a bed of aubergines and stracciatella with tomatoes and basil sauted in the oven, or on the steamed red prawns of Mazara del Vallo accompanied by fresh ratatouille, a culinary burst of seafood flavors.
Pasta is a temptation that always must give in to. Among the first courses, the stuffed braised meat ravioli with three kinds of fresh tomatoes (copper, date, and cherry) captivate the eyes and the palate. Alternatively, for a jump back in time to Ancient Rome and Lunigiana, do not miss the testaroli, prepared with durum wheat flour, spelt, water, and salt. This dish is cooked ”textbook” style in a cast iron pot and a wood-fired oven, like in the old days, and served with fresh pesto, porcini mushrooms and diced tomatoes. Spaghetti with spring onion and cherry tomatoes is also a triumph of freshness that goes perfectly with the heat of the season.
The main courses, always few but good, range from exotic salads and cod with fruity flavors, to the great classics of the Savoy region such as veal with tuna sauce, genovese mushrooms, and potatoes, which with a glass of red Benanti “Nerello Mascalese” is a delight. And to accompany it all there is an excellent selection of wine labels from Piedmont, which goes without saying, featuring most Italian regions, with some forays from beyond the Alps (mostly renowned wineries, small wine producers and organic/natural wines).
Finally, you can’t get up from the table without having tasted at least one of the in-house desserts. Among the offerings are bonnet and tarte tatin, but the panna cotta is masterfully prepared by diligently following a recipe from the early 1800s. Let us know what you think!
The perfect menu is there, the location too; what are you waiting for?
Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by Cantina Piemontese S.r.l. and promoted by Flawless Milano. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Flawless Milano possible.