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InGalera, slang for 'In Prison' in Italian, is a new fine dining concept with a difference which claims to be Italy's first restaurant behind bars.
Set inside the Bollate medium security prison on the outskirts of Milan, an Italian city more famous for fashion and finance than penitentiary, the brave social experiment seems to be paying off. InGalera's reviews are glowing and the waiting list long.
The staff, including waiters, dishwashers and cooks are all selected from the 1,100 inmates. Whilst the maître d’ and the head chef, Ivan Manzo, are trained professionals.
Inside, the clean line modern restaurant interiors, designed by architect Augusta Comi, transport diners away from the reality of the location, although there are cues taken from the functional environment of a prison. In an ironic twist the walls are decorated with posters from famous prison movies.
A reasonably priced interesting a la carte menu, including dishes like veal's cheek, have even been praised by Italy's revered food critic in 'Corriere della Sera' . Word has spread to the other side of the Atlantic where the New York Times has also picked up on the restaurant as a dining destination in its own right despite its unusual security credentials.
Via Cristina Belgioioso,
120 20157 Milano
Food and social responsibilty are becoming increasingly interlinked as demonstrated in Massimo Bottura's recent soup kitchen project, also found in Milan.