Photographs by Brandon de Kock and Nikki Werner
There’s no need to engage with the throng of tourists wielding selfie sticks outside the Duomo. Milan’s Garibaldi district is a peaceful suburb with great access to public transport from the Porta Garibaldi train station. On exiting the station, look up and to the left to see Stefano Boeri’s vertical forest apartment blocks. Then veer right to walk along the Corso Como and at the end of it find the neoclassical arch of the old city gate, the Porto Garibaldi.
LaFavia Four Rooms: Any food-loving traveller in Milan should choose LaFavia (first image pair above) as a base and start each day with breakfast in the hidden roof garden. The spread isn’t lavish but it’s organic; crisp bacon rashers, soft-boiled eggs, freshly pressed orange juice and a breakfast cake that changes daily. It may be a fresh carrot cake delivered that morning by a home-industry baker, or an apple cake by owner Fabio’s mom. LaFavia is also within walking distance of two solid examples of classic Milanese cooking: Antica Trattoria della Pesa and Da Martino. And the bathrooms are stocked with Kiehl’s products.
Antica Trattoria Della Pesa: This historic trattoria opened in 1880 on the spot where goods entering the city were weighed for taxation. Risotto alla Milanese (picture on homepage and in the second image pair above) is the endgame here. Partnering the osso buco is a perfectly textured example of the saffron-infused, butter-enriched rice this city is famous for. Or order it as a first course, cooked in a pan to form a crisp disc known as risotto al salto.
Eataly: Eataly is like the food hall annexing an entire department store, with each floor dedicated to a different aspect of the Italian kitchen – charcuterie, seafood, pasta, gelato to name a few categories. There are outposts in New York City and Turin, and from noon the Eataly in Garibaldi is buzzing with glamorous Milanese. Go to ogle an overwhelming array of Italian wines or the exquisitely packaged biscotti and amaretti biscuits. Pick up packingfriendly presents, like small wooden bats for rolling gnocchi and buy a jar of saffron threads to attempt recreating Antica’s risotto Milanese at home.
Bar Luce: Bar Luce might be the reason for culinistas to seek out Fondazione Prada’s Milan compound but since getting there takes some effort, it’s worth dedicating a day to the excursion. This former distillery complex has been transformed into an exhibition space for contemporary art by architecture firm OMA (Rem Koolhaas). There’s an air of the surreal about a gleaming tower, referred to as The Haunted House, rising up from the industrial location and anyone would be forgiven for thinking the staff moonlight as supermodels. To be sure of seeing everything, take a guided tour. Wes Anderson designed the café at Fondazione Prada to be the kind of place where he could spend an afternoon writing. Do just that at one of the armchairs with their swivelling Formica armrests that double as macchiato tray tables and a mini desk for jotting thoughts in a Moleskine. The walls are reminiscent of The Grand Budapest Hotel set design and both interiors and food fall within a carefully curated 1950s colour palette. Enjoy a blackberry tartlet (third image pair above) or a crudino panini (fourth image pair above) with prosciutto crudo and mozzarella for refuelling between exhibits.
This is an excerpt from a piece published in TASTE Magazine issue 128 June 2017