Crossing the threshold of Filippo La Mantia’s Oste e Cuoco in Piazza Risorgimento,you are enveloped by an atmosphere of warmth: diffuse light and refined, arty photographs adorn the walls, and there’s music… music everywhere.
More than just a restaurant Oste e Cuoco is not the only jewel of the eponymous chef, but it is his home in Milan. He has decided to bring a piece of Sicily, its flavors, aromas and colors with him here. Just as in a home, there are no set times. It is open from morning to evening, offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, cocktails and dinner as well as a cocktail bar to relax in after a busy day of work, complete with a separate dedicated smoking room.
Covering an area of 1800 square meters, and set over two levels, there are no defined spaces in this restaurant. It is composed of rooms that follow each other and corridors that intertwine that leaves maximum flexibility for a range of uses. The interior design was entrusted to Piero Lissoni, an experienced interior designer and friend of Filippo La Mantia. Together they have produced a wonderful space where you can feel the heat of Sicily, interpreted in Milanese style.
Dove grey tones dominate the palate with metallic finishes. A large transparent staircase with orange LED lights is a statement piece, and bamboo panels hide the large windows for a hint of privacy and seclusion. Furniture was specifically designed by Cassina, and is entirely Made in Italy. Special attention was paid to the lighting, a key part of the project. It is intimate and never overbearing, with stem and spot lights used throughout. Chandeliers in Murano glass have shine on large circular panes of glass screen printed with ancient maps of Sicily. There is a wall that houses porcelain creations by Richard Ginori, and there is a counter covered with tiles. Allo of this is completed with large leather sofas, motorcycles, guitars and keyboards. There are signs of the La Mantia’s strong personality everywhere.
The only space off limits is the bakery, which is set behind a mirrored wall that conceals this little laboratory. The menu, as well as the wine list, is reflective of Sicily. Arancino di riso, caponata, panelle, sardines, capers and olives. All strong flavors, all masterfully prepared by Chef La Mantia.
Chic, elegant, but not the usual haughty Michelin-star affair, Filippo La Mantia – Oste e Cuoco, is somewhere to spoil yourself once in a while.