I'm just here for the Aperitivo...
Yes, the Italians understand me. Although probably not my German, but my passion for good food.
In a previous blog article I have already reported on the classics of Italian cuisine, the specialties, as well as my visits to various wineries in Tuscany. You can read it here.
Now I want to dive deeper into the Italian culinary world and especially experience the cult of aperitivo in Milan. That's why I'm here.
Classics of Italian cuisine:
Italian food is a legend and of course you can find many typical dishes like pizza, pasta etc. in Italy's second largest city. Nevertheless, I was surprised how many special dishes the city of fashion has to offer in a culinary wy. Spoiler in advance: even "Schnitzel" is eaten here ;)
Here is a small selection of delicacies:
Appetizer: Antipasti (cold or warm starters e.g.: marinated vegetables, carpaccio, caprese, olives, bruschetta, ...), Carpaccio di Bresaola (from beef ham) Main dish: Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron risotto), Ossobuco (braised veal shank), Orecchie di elefante (Milanese cutlet of veal) Dessert: Amaretti, Torrone (white nougat) Getränke: Limoncello (lemon liqueur), Aperol, Espresso, Negroni
An aperitivo is also part of a trip to Milan. How congenial! In Italy, the aperitivo counts as a (snack) meal in its own right and is taken from around 6:00 - 9:00 pm. This tradition is particularly legendary in Milan.
What I want to experience. Aperitivo (happy hour) is taken for granted locally. So natural, in fact, that the waiters always seemed a bit surprised when we asked for aperitivo. Like, "Well, of course we're going to give you snacks besides your Aperol Spritz..."
Am I in heaven? I don't know, but this custom should be introduced far beyond Italian borders, in my opinion. First you order your drink (Spritz and Negroni are uber-classic) and then help yourself to antipasti platters or the buffet. This is the custom in almost every Milanese bar. My experience: I didn't get full from it and the quality of the food was lacking. Mhmm, on top of that another traditional saffron risotto. So delicious! Why was I here again?
Michaelas-Must-Try: Although risotto tends to be one of the more elaborate dishes from Italy, I decided to make my vegan risotto in the oven. All without constant stirring and without much effort. :)
The aperitivo counts as a separate (snack) meal in Italy.
Michaelas Video-Message: In my TikTok video you can see a little summary about my stay in Milan.
F&B offer: Milan offers an enormous range of restaurants. It is recommended to make reservations in advance.
Meal times as well as price-performance ratio: See this blog post.
Striking on the spot:
Attention to all horse lovers: horse meat is served here.
Do not set too high expectations on the aperitivo cult and rather order proper antipasti or a typical main meal. In no aperitivo bar was I really positively surprised, so there are no bar recommendations in this regard. ;)
The restaurant provides an ideal backdrop for breakfast, lunch and dinner and shows itself to be a particularly "Instagrammable spot". Although this place seemed very out of the way at first, the ambiance was great, the food was even authentically Italian, and the waiters were amazing.
During Milan Restaurant Week I discovered this restaurant by chance and can highly recommend it. From the playlist played in the restaurant to the individual dishes, everything is of outstanding quality and I probably had the best pulpo aka octopus of my life.
The hotel made our stay special. Having worked in the hotel industry myself, I know what makes good service and was really pleasantly surprised at the VIU. The staff was extremely attentive and the amenities (pool, sauna and spa) were top notch. The food, however, was a bit overpriced.
My conclusion: I came for the aperitivo. I liked the Milanese risotto and while reminiscing I will think of the pulpo and the manager of the restaurant.