Monday, 17 February 2014

Love a local

No surprises for guessing that Valentine's day is very popular in Italy. We don't celebrate it, but being the old romantic that he is Stefano thought that a quiet lunch might be a nice way to pass another misty, Milanese Sunday. I happily agreed as I love lunch out anywhere, but especially in our local area, Zona Tortona.
After a short stroll around our neighbourhood we spotted a newly opened restaurant, Al Fresco, on via Savona.
The entrance, filled with rustic boxes of cabbages, intrigued us. 
It seemed busy so we took a gamble and joined the crowd following the Italian tradition of pranzo della Dominica con la famiglia.
Surrounded by families dining with their gorgeous bambini!
On Sundays, Al Fresco offers just one set menu of five courses with wine by the glass, a generous glass Stefano noted happily. Outside the rain drizzled as we enjoyed some interesting dishes, not the usual osso buco with risotto Milanese.

This was my favourite.  A soup of chickpeas and beans so thick that we ate it with a fork! Really delicious. All the courses were delicately flavoured but very tasty, and thankfully the portions weren't too large. 
And to finish, I enjoyed the home-made vanilla gelato, of course, 
while Stefano tried the rice pudding, which he proclaimed was nowhere near as good as the one his mother makes.  Hmmm a very Italian comment from Stefano!
Although 40 Euros is fairly expensive for lunch in Milan, we thought it was good value. The setting in a renovated factory warehouse looking onto a beautifully landscaped garden was an unexpected treat. So we've discovered another local to love and look forward to returning in the spring, to laze in the deck chairs while nibbling some more of Al Fresco's seasonal offerings.

Walking home from lunch we popped into our local PAM supermarket where they were shooting a springtime TV commercial. While we stopped to watch the 'young talent time' dance routine happening in the fruit and veg section, other shoppers seemed a little more blase' about the young people jumping and jiving in the background.  Perhaps the "real locals" aren't quite ready to celebrate the arrival of spring, just yet.

Spero per molto il sole questa settimana!


  1. Jenny- I loved reading this and learning about a new spot to try. It looks beautiful! Yesterday I met some friends for a movie at Cinema Mexico, not far from here and accidentally walked by. I remembered this is the place you wrote about and I can't wait to come sit in that garden sometime. =) Heather

    1. Thanks for commenting Heather. If you're planning another trip to cinema Mexico, do let me know. We live a block or two up via Stendhal so not far away. Coffee? Aperitivo? There are some great local spots.