With dining in Milan restricted to outdoors only, the Italian city's residents are returning to enjoy the pleasure of a lunch or dinner away from home. Among terraces, courtyards and gardens, many restaurants in Milan have pulled up the shutters and welcomed the return of guests.
New outdoor dining opportunities abound: there are restaurants that have expanded their outdoor space, taking advantage - as per last year - of more flexible municipal concessions. And there are those who have also revolutionised their gastronomic proposal and have, for the first time, installed outdoor tables.
Between secret courtyards, re-imagined urban spaces, and ad hoc setups, here are all the new outdoor dining venues that you need to know in Milan.
The Secret Courtyard at Altatto Bistrot
This is one of the most interesting vegetarian addresses in Milan. Located in the Greco area, Al Baretto is a sure bet: an outdoor area transformed into a temporary bar in front of the bistro for a summer on the sidewalk.
Al Baretto's project has restarted with a new wooden dining platform and a curtain that guarantees protection from the weather, all made with recycled material.
From Wednesday to Friday, they offer a light dinner, together with cocktails or sips of natural wine. New for the weekend, starting 8 May, a new outdoor space is scheduled to open for lunch, with a tasting menu, in a secret courtyard next to the restaurant.
The Vasiliki Kouzina Greek restaurant located in via Clusone 6 has re-opened with an enlarged terrace. Vasiliki Pierrakea returns to welcome guests into his kingdom, for lunch and dinner, serving flavours that represent his beloved Greece and the Balkans, with gourmet flair plus an excellent wine list.
The outdoor area has doubled in size, going from four to eight fixed tables, up to 25 covers.
Among the recently opened addresses in Milan, Hekfanchai stands out, in via Padova 3. The small popular trattoria that offers cuisine and street food from Hong Kong has reopened with some outdoor tables. It's the perfect place to eat, immersed in an informal atmosphere and dining on specialities like jaffle, bun, vermicelli and delicious taro cream toast.
Meanwhile, the owners announce another opening (the third) by Hekfanchai, expected in early May, in via Francesco Sforza 49: a more spacious venue with a cocktail bar that will offer signature drinks in a fusion style, between West and East.
Eataly Outdoors, the large terrace of Eataly Smeraldo, in Piazza XXV Aprile. This open-air space has been renewed this year, not so much the location, which remains very large (more than 350 square meters), between green areas and tables, but rather the menu and style which is active from morning to evening, seven days a week.
What's on the menu? Pizza is back, but the menu has been enriched with seasonal novelties such as peppered mussels, spaghetti with seafood, fried squid and vegetables, fish tartare and raw Piedmontese fassona. There is also farinata, new beer and the legendary crunchy potato from Avezzano.
Of note is the new 'artistic' and colourful look of the outdoor area, thanks to a partnership with the Illustrious Association, a reference point for Italian illustrators since 2014. Beginning 25 May, 2021, a mini-exhibition will commence, involving four illustrators. They are invited to create an original work every month, on multiple media, starting from the kiosk in the square, which will be transformed into a venue for exciting urban decoration and artistic expression.
In its new location in Isola, we present Tàscaro by Sandra Tasca, a 2.0 innkeeper who has brought lagoon culture to the fore in Milan. While waiting for permission to expand the outdoor area, here are some small barrel tables to enjoy cicheti, creamed cod and polenta, saor and spritz (to which an entire menu is dedicated). Do not miss the 'tascari', delicious leavened bread pockets stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Inaugurated in the autumn of last year, Gūd Bocconi is a new part of the successful GūD Milano format, founded by partners Ugo Fava, Stefano Cerveni and Marco Giorgi, and has now reached seven city addresses. Among these, there's the summer GūD Idroscalo and Beach, complete with sunbeds and canoe rentals on the east coast of the Idroscalo, where there is no shortage of GūD granita.
In the shadow of Bocconi university, on the other hand, an informal terrace has been set up next to the ping pong tables, where you can savor GūD poké bowls, focaccia like the new entry from Salento, with burrata stracciatella, yellow tomatoes, anchovies, rocket, and - recently added to the menu - the pizza by Francesco Dell'Olio, a 33-year-old in charge of leavened products. The supervision of the kitchen, as always, is entrusted to the Michelin-starred chef Cerveni.
GūD Milano Bocconi, Via Guglielmo Röntgen, 1, Website
Sine by Di Pinto Now Offers Outdoor Dining
Chef Roberto Di Pinto introduces outdoor tables to his Sine restaurant, a realm of 'gastrocracy', devoted to taste without compromise. The concept was born with the idea of addressing everyone with gourmet, enjoyable and sincere dishes, capable of drawing attention to food.
The chef and patron has completely transformed the sidewalk next to the restaurant, making it an intimate and welcoming en-plein-air space. So here are 24 outdoor seats, surrounded by plants, with lights that create an evening atmosphere, covered by awnings. Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Finally, we move out of the city, to Nova Milanese, where there is one of the most interesting addresses dedicated to creative Japanese cuisine: Mu Fish. The restaurant (sister of the Milanese Mu dim sum) has announced some news: not only the arrival in the kitchen of chef Jun Giovannini with Italian-Japanese influenced cooking, and the unprecedented Mu Delivery 'unified networks' service of the entire Mu group, but also a new outdoor space.
So here is a new oriental-style terrace with 30 seats, which this year has doubled in size thanks to a second terrace next door. Perfect for those looking for an oriental gastronomic itinerary with a high level of creativity.
Now a three-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma has changed, but not necessarily on the plate. According to Kenneth Foong, it's all about the way the team works, which is closer to a tech company than a traditional restaurant. Read our exclusive interview with Noma's head chef.
As Scotland's restaurants prepare to reopen with restrictions, the country's foremost chef, Tom Kitchin, says 'enough is enough' and demands that restaurants be allowed to open fully. Here's the full story.