Caught and eaten. It happens in Pescheria con Cottura, in via Tito Speri 7, in the shadow of the Porta Nuova pro-New York skyscrapers, a few steps away from the exotic charm of the vibrant China Town and from the classic trendy walks in Corso Como. We are in the Milan drinking area, now a historic landmark, which, while retaining its own identity, does not struggle to innovate. In fact, its done at a frantic pace, at the speed of light, the one that illuminates the billboards and makes people dance relentlessly in the clubs of the area. Lighting the busy streets with flashes and shimmering glitters at the frenetic passage of cars. Milan, more and more, lives on contrasts and contaminations, looking for points of rupture for the pure pleasure of going to sew them up in a different way. It is a city that challenges limits and contradictions at a march pace. The further it moves away from its origins, from the land and the sea, from the values of simplicity, quality and freshness, the more it goes looking for them. Flying high, yes, sometimes looking down, so as not to forget.
Pescheria con Cottura arrives in Milan after conquering Lecce, bringing with it the freshness of the sea and the love for the classical rituals of Italian culture: the concept – conceived by Fabio Ingrosso together with his father Daniele – is in fact inspired by the “stoves of Cisternino.” Historical local butchers from Puglia who are shops by day and in the evening they turn into real kitchens, where bread, meat and other local specialties are cooked on the grill in fragrant wood-burning ovens. From meat to fish, from south to north, et voilà, here is Pescheria con Cottura to conquer Milan. The “braceria” rusticity is maintained in the winning formula of the fish counter. The evening menu is built on sight, with the help of the manager Mimmo Persano, always present in the room to guide guests according to their tastes and preferences. From the fishmonger to the kitchen, also in sight, to then appear in curated presentations on a table with a minimalist design, in an elegant and refined environment. Authentic and chic.
Pescheria con Cottura is a kitchen and also a cocktail bar, where the lounge area is not isolated, but rather integrated between the different restaurant environments: the bar is a welcoming lounge whose boundary with respect to the room is traced only by variations in lighting and design , as if to reaffirm a choice of continuity, which allows the practical rusticity of the fish market counter to merge with the city culture of the modern food & drink experience. At the bar, the young Paolo Mastropasqua amazes with sophisticated quality cocktails, while the wine selection is entrusted to the wine consultant Valentina Rizzi.
The drink list is essential and personal; interesting Food Pairing proposals lead to the discovery of marine tapas in combination with the 11 signature cocktails of the house. We tried three dishes during aperitif time: the sins of croaker marinated with the acidulated of umeboshi, green tomato and hazelnuts, which plays nicely on the contrast between cultures and textures, leaving in the mouth a sensation of persistent acidity, remarkable in combination with the Buhido Fizz, based on gin. The red tuna tartare with capers, extra virgin olive oil and dried tomatoes was recommended in the room based on the catch of the day: unquestionable freshness of the raw material and Mediterranean tones, for a creation that cleverly balances sweetness and flavor, with diced tuna almost creamy, which melts in the mouth. All enjoyed with a glass of black Pinot champagne to support the intensity of the flavors with character. Finally, fried octopus with burrata cream, accompanied by tomato powder and basil. The meat of the octopus remains soft on the inside and the outside is only slightly crunchy, for a frying doesn’t weigh down the burrata, exalting instead, by contrast, the rich softness; the acidity of the tomato and the scent of basil degrease and the Saint Nicholas Punch, cocktail in pairing, wraps the palate with delicate sweetness.
Finally, a taste of pistachio spumone brings us back to the South Sea on holiday. The extra touch comes from coffee, served Italian in a steaming mocha. A revealing detail of the soul of a local who, while embracing the Milanese in terms of look & feel – and succeeding with precision and quality – comes from a warm atmosphere and comfortable memories of home.