“un posto a Milano” the latest offering for “fine but simple” dining at kilometer zero (or thereabouts!)

After a busy May day bank holiday in Genova I came back to Milan for dinner with friends at the newly opened “un posto a Milano”, the latest offering from Progetto Cuccagna and chef Nicola Cavallaro.

The location is an old cascina, or farm, just 10 minutes walk from Porta Romana in the centre of Milan which dates back to 1695 and the buildings, although newly restored,  hark back to the days when the cascina was still active and full of life as indeed it is when we arrive on thursday evening. This time the life is purely human with the garden and outside dining areas buzzing with people enjoying the little green oasis in the heart of Milan.

This collaboration with Chef Nicola Cavallaro is intended to breathe new life into the space by offering the public a simple and where possible kilometre zero meal using local produce. You can find details on every dish served on their website along with the kilometers travelled by each individual ingredient. Take my starter for instance;

Orzo alle verdure con olive taggiasche e pesto / Barley salad with home grown vegetables, taggiasca olives and pesto

The barley travelled 140km or if you prefer 1 day and 4 hours on foot to reach my plate. The vegetables were grown more locally at 54km from Milan whilst the olives travelled north 247km and the pesto was made on site at 0km.

The concept continues with the team at Progetto Cuccagna eager to promote the cascina as a public space where the community can learn to once more come together. Aside from the bar and restaurant there are over 4000 square meters in which the team plans to run courses, hold exhibitions, cultivate the on site allotment and more.

As we arrive for dinner it is easy to see how the local community could fall in love with the place. The old brick buildings and inner courtyard offer much respite from the city life outside its walls and the green of the allotment and gardens doubles as a scenic backdrop for those relaxing outside. The entire site is Wi-Fi enabled allowing anyone and everyone from students to office workers to pass by and enjoy the surroundings. Outside the apartment blocks of Milan loom overhead but for the short time you spend in the Cascina you easily forget you are in one of Italy’s biggest and most urbanally developed cities.

The decor inside has been kept simple in keeping with the “easy dining” promise and resembles a school canteen more than a fine restaurant with wooden tables and chairs, exposed brickwork, a swing door into the kitchen and canteen style bar area. The staff are a mixture of fully qualified alongside students in training, another of the projects run by Progetto Cuccagna, and the menu and wine lists are as simplistic as the surroundings with the promise of regularly changing seasonal dishes. Menu’s are supplied in English for the international crowd although some translations are a little challenging; Sardines with opposite leaved saltwort? Answers please!

To follow my barley salad I opted for a lasagne of field herbs with a parmesan sauce which seemed light and in keeping with the sunny weather. The result was a little disappointing and likewise a little over cooked in comparison to the freshness of my starter but all in all I can’t complain. My 2 course dinner including a bottle of wine and an aperitivo of spumante cost me just €26 which by Milan standards is pretty darn cheap. Would I go back? For the location yes. For the food? Jury’s still out on that one.


un posto a Milano
Via Cuccagna 2 – angolo Via Muratori
20135 Milano
TELEFONO: 02.5457785
info@unpostoamilano.it

aperto tutti i giorni 10 – 01 / open daily from 10 – 01
chiuso il lunedì / closed Monday

http://www.cuccagna.org/portal/IT/handle/?page=homepage

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