Best Restaurants in Brera – Milan

Brera, MilanIf Milan is the city from the many faces, Brera is the artistic one. In fact, this quite central neighborhood is dotted by small artisan’s workshops, art shops, antique shops and is surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere. Brera is also  home to the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Art Academy) and the Pinacoteca (Milan’s Art Gallery), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, the Museo Astronomico and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens). Day and night, Brera is one of the most lively neighborhood of the city, with many interesting places to dine or have lunch. The district is particularly bustling during the Fuori Salone, one of the most important events in town: do not miss it! Our Milan Food Tours are great opportunities to have a taste of Brera’s energy and have an idea of the best restaurants you can visit in Brera!

If you do pass by on your own, here are some suggestions on where to stop!

L’orto di Brera

Best Restaurants in Brera

Via S. Carpoforo, 6, 20121 Milano
The great place for healthy people! At first glance, it looks a grocery shop, but if you are curious enough to enter you’ll find a cozy and modern restaurant inside! The cuisine is all veggie based! But vegetarian food doesn’t mean boring! There will be plenty of surprising taste for everyone! Try the lasagne and the burrata! You can also take-away, which is rare in Italy if not in fast foods. At lunchtime there are interesting fixed price options.

Parma & Co

Best restaurants in brera

Via D. Tessa, 2 angolo Corso Garibaldi, 20121 Milano
This is the right place to taste authentic and original dishes from one of the best culinary traditions in Italy, Parmigiana’s one! Everything is so simple and yet so tasty…definitely a must! Founded by the Carmignani Father and Son, “it was born to offer in a special context, or perhaps just in an appropriate one, the best products of the Parma tradition” as they say. Parma&Co is also a typical Parma delicatessen shop, where it is possible to buy the products and taste them at home, or you can take a rest and eat them in the pleasant dining room surrounded by hung hams!

Vianson – La Focaccia al Formaggio

Best Restaurants in Brera

Via Mercato, 3, 20121 Milano
The best place in town to have quick lunch to or an early dinner (the place closes at 8 pm, apart from Tuesday and Saturday, when it closes at 10:30 pm). It is something like a pizzeria, where you can have many choices of “focaccia” (pizza-dough without cheese and stuffed with salami, cheese or vegetables). Giorgio Vianson, the owner, is from Liguria, which is the homeland of focaccia. After working many years in the States, he decided to come back to open his own brand, at it was indeed a successful idea: many come from all over the city because it is basically the best focaccia ever!

Ristorante Emilia e Carlo

Best restaurants in brera

Via Guiseppe Sacchi 8, Milan, Italy, +39 02 862100
Ristorante Emilia e Carlo is what you want to choose if you are looking for a place with an elegant and formal atmosphere, yet typical Italian. Everything you’ll try here is high quality and the menu rotates on a seasonal basis. Specialties from all around Italy can be tasted here: Tuscan salami with figs, Chianina beef and Cotoletta alla Milanese. Not to mention the great fish dish choices available. Ristorante Emilia e Carlo also features an excellent and rich selection of Italian wines and few but outstanding International ones. Useless to say that prices are definitely the ones of a high-range restaurant.

Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone!

Pasta al pomodoro: easy pasta recipes for everyone (but don’t spoil it please)!

pasta al pomodoro

Here is an Italian cooking lesson for real beginners and for all the ones who started off with the wrong foot…I don’t intend to sound harsh but some pasta cookers around the world are really messing it up, so it is always good to refresh the basis.

We’ll propose here one of the easiest pasta recipes ever: pasta al pomodoro! It is also one of the most common dishes you will find in touristic restaurants and sometimes not of the best quality. So don’t be fooled: have a real taste of pasta al pomodoro in Florence, Italy, next time you are around!

 

Before getting started let’s repeat some important rules of pasta cooking:

  1. Pasta has to be added to water only after it has started boiling

  2. Never overcook the pasta!!!! Or if you do, don’t call it pasta.

  3. Italians join pasta and sauce in a pan and “jump it” (saltare) for some minutes before serving (will come back to this later)

 

Ingredients for 4 people

  • Some leaves of fresh basil

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 480 g dried wholewheat spaghetti ( good quality, if possible)

  • 15 g Parmesan cheese

  • Salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar

Ingredients pasta al pomodoro

Start with peeling and slicing the garlic. Chop the tomatoes if you are using fresh ones. I suggest to choose this option only if you can get good quality organic tomatoes, otherwise just go for the tinned ones. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic, then cook until soft and lightly golden. Add few leaves of basil and the tomatoes and start to stir. Add a bit of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar, then continue stirring for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat and let it boil. Alternatively, boil some water with the boiler and then fill the pot (which is an option Italians do not even think of, but makes lots of sense). Add some salt to the boiling water and then add spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions or even a minute less: “al dente”. Literally this expression translates as to the tooth and means cooking the pasta just a little bit less than what you are supposed to so that it remains firm. Anyhow, it is always a good idea to try some. No other methods are allowed. Once the pasta is done, drain in a colander over the sink and tip the spaghetti back into the pot. Stir the spaghetti into the sauce, adding a splash of the pasta water to loosen, if needed. Serve with some fresh basil leaves sprinkled over the top and put a bowl of some grated Parmesan cheese on the table , in case some of your guests want to add some.

Easy pasta recipe

As I said, very easy pasta recipe… but very easy to spoil. Try following these instructions one by one and let me know how it tastes! We’ll be glad to invite you for a pasta taste in Florence at the wonderful traditional and yet contemporary Mercato Centrale!

#LasagnaForEveryone: an easy lasagna recipe

There is something about lasagnas that I really can’t tell. As if it could embody all the flavors and all that makes up Italian identity. Lasagnas  is home…

Now, lasagnas  is almost everywhere in the world, but please, please, please do stay away from bad imitations! That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated! You can prepare lasagnas yourself following this very easy lasagna recipe, without spoiling it with shortcuts.

Lasagna: the best of Italian Food

It won’t be like the one you can have in Italy, but it will get really close to it. Have you tasted the best lasagna in Milan? You will have the chance of trying the real authentic taste of this dish at Pastificio Moscova!

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound pork sausage

1  can tomato Sauce

1  can tomato Paste

1  canned chopped tomatoes

1 glass of red wine

1 celery stalck

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 middle-size onion

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt and black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

800 ml of béchamel sauce 

The best way of making lasagna is to cook the ragù sauce a day before. It is just a matter of fact: it tastes so much better the day after. To prepare the ragù heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large pan or a pot (where all of your sauce will fit in the end) and add diced garlic, onion, carrot, parsley and celery. This is the base for most of Italian sauces and the ingredients added are called odori all together. Let them fry for some minutes and then add the ground beef and the sausage over medium heat until browned. That’s where the wine comes in. Over high heat, add a generous glass of red wine until completely absorbed. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now if you have time, the longer your ragù cooks, the better it will taste. So if you have some time, let it cook even for few hours over low heat. You can add water any time you see that it is necessary for the sauce to remain of the right texture: not too dry and not too liquid.

easy lasagna recipe

Once the ragù is ready, let it cool for some minutes (or wait the day after if you can). Preheat the oven at around 180 °/ 356 F. Your lasagnas is almost ready! Start with a layer of lasagna noodles in an ungreased 9 X 13 inch baking dish, then spread the first layer of meat sauce,  few generous spoons of béchamel and parmesan. Repeat layers and top with last 3 noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining béchamel sauce and cover everything with a nice layer of grated  parmesan. Bake for around 50 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. And here you are!

easy lasagna recipe

 Enjoy and do not add anything on it!!!! It will taste just wonderful the way it is! ;).  An easy lasagna recipe that will help us spreading the right lasagnas taste all around the world!!!! And if you pass by Milan, to join us and taste the best lasagna in Milan!

 

Meet yout guide: this month is for Debora!

Welcome back to our “Meet Your Guide” post!

DEboraThis month we are going to meet Debora a very sweet guide from Milan, who’ll tell you all about food and history and fashion, afterall you’re in Milan!

 

Name:  Hi, I’m Debora

Nationality and Hometown? I’m Italian originally from Monza a town north of Milan.

Name of tour you lead and where: I’m very fond of our gourmet tours and I lead the Food Tasting Tour and the Beers&bites walking tour.

Monza's Formula Uno Circuit

Monza’s Formula Uno Circuit

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I was born and raised in Monza, which is mostly famous for the “Formula Uno” races. Monza is a tranquil town with a great historical center and a big, lovely park, the green beating heart of the city. I love enjoying the energy of a big city like Milan while working but go back home at night to a quite, comfy town where I can rest.

Debora (in red) during a food tour

Debora (in red) during a food tour

Your favorite part of the tour: The best part of the Food tour is the Brera district: one of the most beautiful in town. I love to walk about the area filled with locande, art galleries, caffetterias, osteria and to show the connection between art, culture, history and the Milanese cuisine to all visitors.

Drogheria Milanese

Drogheria Milanese

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: Milan is a metropolis where one can find all sorts of place and personally I like very much shops like “Temakinho” where fine sushi is served with Brasilian cocktails! Despite the many original offers one can find, Milan has a deeply rooted gastronomic culture, that you can discovery at design and fashion restaurants like “Dametra” or “La Drogheria San Marco”, here traditional cooking is served, rivisisted or fashionably served to fully immerse oneself in the Milanese style.

What’s next on your travel bucket list? I wish to visit the entire world! But The United States are very high on my list!

Bergamo's Duomo

Bergamo’s Duomo

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? When visiting north Italy, my suggestion is to plan a long stay in Milan and use it as “base” to travel around the smaller cities, like Monza (my hometown), Bergamo and Mantova all while experiencing the locals life in Milan.

If Debora convinced you, don’t hesitate and book you foodie tour in Milan!

Autumn in Tuscany: the traditional Mushroom Soup recipe

Autumn in Tuscany is marvelously colorful  and smells like mushrooms and chestnuts. Imagine how cozy could be to savor a hot, fragrant soup looking at the foliage outside the window…it really warms body and soul.

Autumn in Tuscany

Autumn in Tuscany

Mushrooms are typical in traditional cuisine and bring us back to a time when the ingredients were the seasonal ones and when people used to cook what the nature had to offer. Also that’s why the original recipe uses mixed mushrooms, since this is what you find when you go pick them! A mixture!

Still nowadays in countryside, grandparents go to find mushrooms in woods with their grandsons and they teach them how to recognize the good ones (if you’re not an expert, do what we do, go to a good shop and buy safe mushrooms ;-)).

Mixed mushrooms

Mixed mushrooms

Here there’s an easy and tasty recipe for you, to enjoy this special comfort food with your family and friends. The ingredients and the preparation are simple, like in most of the traditional Italian recipes.

What you’ll need (4 servings)

  • 800g mixed mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 ripe red tomatoes
  • chopped parsley
  • 1l vegetable broth: face the truth,the secret is in the broth, if you’ll prepare it fresh, your soup will  taste far better. It takes a little longer but at the end you’ll  say: I made it!
  • home-baked sourdough bread (I’m pretty sure that your favorite bakery sells it ;-))
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

How to prepare it

First of all, mushrooms should never been washed, but gently wiped using a damp towel.  They’re spongy and washing them under running water means spoiling them since they’ll absorb the water and will lose their aroma. After that slice them thin. Boil for few seconds the tomatoes, peel them and remove the seeds.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic, then add mushrooms and pepper. After sautéing a couple of minutes , add chopped tomatoes and all the broth. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 min.

How to serve it

Toast the bread slices and settle them at the bottom of the soup-tureen, pour the hot soup on them and serve it!tuscan-mushrooms-soup

Give your soup a twist ;-)

To make it extremely lavish, pour your mushroom soup into single soup-tureens and cover the surface with some grated Parmigiano, put in the oven and wait until it makes a crispy, golden crust then serve it…hot and delicious!

Like many traditional recipes, the traditional Tuscan mushroom soup is 100%  vegetarian, have you noticed it? And if you serve with gluten free bread is also enjoyable by who needs a gluten-free diet, a truly delicacy for everyone!

And least but not the last, let’s talk about the wine! As every good meal deserves, also the mushrooms soup needs to be paired with a good red wine and our option goes for a bottle of red Chianti, the king of Tuscan wines. It will soothe the palate and the soul.

If it happens to you to come to Tuscany, grant yourself a treat and join our Food Tour in Florence, a real dive into the food tradition and a chance to visit traditional places spotted by locals!