Entering the hall of the ME Milan il Duca hotel, the sight and the sense of smell are the quickest senses to start fibrillating. The first, by seeing the refinement of the décor and the enchanting golden light that invites you to come in; the second for those delicate captivating scents that fill the entrance. They are masters of hôtellerie, in this respect, there’s no denying it. A professional hostess with a nice smile checks the availability of the seats at the counter or at the tables, they only take reservations at dinner, aperitivo excluded. Luck is on our side this time, so we take the lift: 10th floor, Radio Rooftop Bar.
On their website you can read that “Radio is a day-to-night, high energy, cocktail lounge rooftop bar”. I would simply call it one of the coolest places in Milan (allow me the expression!). A modern cocktail bar, with minimal shades of colour you never get tired of – anthracite, cream, dark browns – enriched by a breathtaking view of the new Porta Nuova – Varesine district.
The first thing that makes me say “Well done!” is the music. Music, in a bar, is fundamental. And you must be able to actually hear it. A soft deep house like they have here is perfect and please note, you can talk in here, but the music embraces you, warms you up and creates the right atmosphere. The customers are mainly foreign, but you can notice a good mix of business and luxury living, what matters overall is that there’s an international vibe. And we like that. Another aspect, not to take for granted, is the professionalism of the staff: no snobbish looks nor arrogance while relating to the customer, details that unfortunately are often missing in luxury environments.
It’s around 9:00PM of a late June day and fate decided to grant us a table with a view (!). Vast cocktail list and not too sophisticated, suitable for a diverse clientele. From their strong suits like Aviation and Vesper Martini to a couple of twists on the classics like various gin tonics, and a small selection of their own Radio drinks. White and red wine, rosé, and champagne are not missing, of course.
After a series of delicious complimentary amuse-bouches, you cannot resist trying a few dishes. And the choice is really hard because the menu, created by the Chef Adriano Venturini, is actually very rich: from finger food – available almost all day long – to small degustation dishes that span many continents. Mini burger of Wagyu, amberjack ceviche, grilled octopus, maccheroni Arrabbiata, spicy chicken tajine, tataki tuna, Caesar salad. Many small portions to share that include many diverse flavours. Some recipes are perfectly executed, some a little predictable, a good range of prices to choose from.
When you get back in the elevator you come back to reality, knowing that up there, for a couple of hours, you popped in Hong Kong.