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When you wish upon a Michelin star in Milan, Italy

When you wish upon a Michelin star in Milan, Italy

by Anne Shirley a month ago
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Table of contents

  • 1. Enrico Bartolini Mudec
  • 2. Seta By Antonio Guida
  • 3. Joia
  • 4. Tano Passamii l’Olio
  • 5. Iyo
  • Pretty as a picture
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Milan is the capital of Lombardy and the second most populous city in Northern Italy. It is considered a leading global metropolis with strengths in the fields of art, commerce, design, fashion, tourism, sports, and architecture. Milan is one of the top tourist destinations known for the majestic Duomo Cathedral – the world’s largest Gothic church, the prominent opera La Scala, and the Medieval Sforza Castle – a 15th-century fortress that houses 10 museums. The magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest luxury shopping arcade in the world, and the exceptional San Siro stadium is the largest Italian stadium and the home of the football team, AC Milan.

Besides its historic architecture and beautiful attractions, Milan is titled one of the four global fashion capitals, together with Paris, London, and New York. It is home to famous brands such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Parada, Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana.
Milan’s culinary scene is influenced by its region, offering dishes that are the dominion of Northern Italian cuisine. Instead of pizza, pasta, and red marinara sauce, you will find veal, lake trout, risotto, polenta, and Lake Garda-sourced wines. Being a modern culinary hotbed, Milan has brought up the new generation of the best talents, opening up international restaurants that celebrate social inclusion and vegetable-forward menus. Here is a compiled list of Michelin-starred restaurants to visit in Milan.

1. Enrico Bartolini Mudec
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Enrico Bartolini
#1 of 11960 restaurants in Milan, Italy
Via Tortona, 56, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
ClosedOpens at 12:30PM

Born in 1979 and originally from Castelmartini in Tuscany, Enrico Bartolini is the most prominent chef in the country and has been awarded more Michelin stars for his restaurants than any other chef in Italy. He made his mark abroad while working in the kitchens of Paolo Petrini in Paris and Mark Page in London. At the age of 29, he was awarded his first Michelin star while working at Le Robinie restaurant in Italy.

Enrico Bartolini at the MUDEC is his flagship restaurant situated on the third floor of the Museum of Culture in Milan. In 2019, this restaurant became the first in the city to achieve three Michelin stars. Described as a classic contemporary cuisine by Chef Bartolini himself, it offers two tasting menus to its guests – “Best of” includes the chef’s classic world-renowned dishes, and the “MUDEC experience” features seasonal dishes which are a more recent creation of Enrico Bartolini. They also offer a wine list of over 7000 Italian and international vintages to pair with your meals. Some of the highlights of the nine-course tasting menu are fresh spaghetti, toasted lemon, squid, whiskey, caviar, grilled artichoke, black garlic, and beef marrow.

Tasting menu – € 350
Wine pairing – € 250

2. Seta By Antonio Guida
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Seta
#140 of 11960 restaurants in Milan, Italy
Via Andegari, 9, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
ClosedOpens at 12:30PM

Seta, nestled within Mandarin Oriental hotel’s second courtyard, offers the most coveted table in Milan under the helm of acclaimed executive chef, Antonio Guida. The chef, who hails from Salento originally, now considers himself Milanese by adoption. Having worked previously with his team at “Il Pellicano” for 14 years, he helped the restaurant win two Michelin stars during his time there.

Seta’s timeless design offers the perfect backdrop for Chef Guida’s dishes with its striking glass windows that merge the inner and outer spaces. In summer, a lucky few guests can enjoy a warm outdoor atmosphere in the open courtyard area. Inside, a visible kitchen showcases the team of chefs at work creating a culinary theater. Antonio Guida’s menu draws on his Southern Italian heritage as well as the culinary history of Tuscany and France. He also presents an inventive and contemporary approach to Italian cuisine. Fusing traditional techniques with an innovative gastronomic edge has helped earn the restaurant numerous awards since its inception in 2015 along with two Michelin Stars. Guida’s cuisine includes mostly fish and meats such as pheasant Royale flavored with myrtle and nettles, along with veal sweetbread served in rhubarb sauce. The presentation is exemplary, particularly in desserts with flower petals, gold leaves, and delicate twists of chocolate. They also offer extensive wine pairing options, thanks to a cellar that is home to more than 1000 labels.

Tasting menu – € 190
Wine pairing – € 130

3. Joia
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Joia - Alta Cucina Vegetariana
#73 of 1225 vegetarian restaurants in Milan, Italy
Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18, Milan, Lombardy, Italy, 20124
ClosedOpens at 12PM

In 1996, Joia was the first vegetarian restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star. Today, it is still the only Michelin-starred vegetarian place situated in one of Milan’s historic districts. Owned by Chef Pietro Leemann, who introduced natural organic cuisine to the world of Italian fine dining, his menu is 80% vegan and gluten-free. The chef’s imaginative dishes aim to disseminate the principles of a healthy, plant-based cuisine which is eco-friendly and does not harm living creatures. Every dish is a result of extensive exploration and experiment that showcase the ingredients in color, flavor, texture, and presentation.

The restaurant is minimalist and elegant in style with a welcoming, cozy atmosphere. It offers an a la carte menu and 3 distinct tasting menus – La Scoperta (the discovery), l’Enfasi (the emphasis), and lo Zenith (the Zenith) that will take you on a marvellous multi-sensory adventure that allows diners to explore food in a different dimension. Thirty years after its opening, Joia is considered a trailblazer in green, ethical, and sustainable dining, a movement in which Pietro Leemann is the undisputed pioneer. In 2020, he was awarded the Michelin guide green star for his restaurants’ eco-friendly practices.

Tasting menus– €120– €130
Wine pairing – €60 – €90

4. Tano Passamii l’Olio
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Tano passami l'olio
#316 of 11960 restaurants in Milan, Italy
Via Francesco Petrarca, 4, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
ClosedOpens at 8PM

Tano Passamii l’Olio is a historic Michelin-star restaurant situated in an elegant residential district of Milan. Tano Passamii l’Olio translates to “Tano, pass me the olive oil”, transcending chef Tano Simonato’s love for olive oil. The restaurant uses over 50 varieties of olive oil in its cooking while creating modern dishes full of different flavors and textures.

The restaurant has two rooms, one on the noble floor and a furnished cellar on the lower floor that maintains the colors of gold and burgundy, revised into a modern tone. The walls have some artworks by David Foschi, a Milanese artist belonging to the New Renaissance era.

The kitchen is the star of the fine dining establishment that remains faithful to the chef’s obvious passion for olive oil and enhances the ingredients on the plate through delicate cooking and the absence of butter. Some of the best dishes for ordering are Piccione laccato al nero di melanzana (pigeon with aubergine), goat cheese in orange scented sugar glaze with truffles and balsamic vinegar, caramelized quail egg on tuna mousse with bottarga and tagliolini with chicken, egg, and bottarga. The owner-chef is always on hand to suggest the best pairing for your dish from the extensive wine list, which boasts 350 interesting labels.

A la carte – €150 (including a glass of wine)

5. Iyo
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IYO
#6 of 11960 restaurants in Milan, Italy
Via Piero della Francesca, 74, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
ClosedOpens at 12:30PM

Opened in 2007 by Claudio Liu, Iyo offers innovative sushi and Japanese-inspired cuisine. The menu combines traditions of the rising sun and European creativity, showcasing a variety of dishes meant to be shared from its main kitchen and sushi counter. It is the first contemporary Japanese restaurant awarded a Michelin star in Italy.

There are two tasting menus or omakase, the I Classico di IYO menu consists of stand-out recipes devised by the restaurant tracing back to its foundation in 2007, and the Faccio IYO menu centers around creations of unique dishes based on seasonal ingredients. They also offer an extensive a la carte menu with typical items you would find in a Japanese restaurant such as sushi, sashimi, and tempura. Do order the uramaki roll, Ebo Flo, shrimp tempura roll, zucchini flower, and salmon tartare. The flagship dish of this fine dining place is the Gunkan sushi made with amberjack, scampi, avocado, tobiko, and spicy sauce. Some of the cooked dishes worth ordering are grilled mullet filets with hot oil, sesame oil, lemon jelly, and jalapeno sauce.

The drinks menu reflects favorites from around the world – over 45 sakes, quality whiskeys, liqueurs, spirits, and, of course, a choice of traditional tea. Iyo’s excellence and uniqueness are reflected in its attention to detail, great service, and warm interiors.

Tasting menu – €125

Pretty as a picture

Milan’s an amalgamation of the past and present with its majestic Gothic cathedral, the Duomo di Milano, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, gracing the same skies as the business district’s modern skyscrapers and stunning infrastructure. The old and new mingle in this city to form a beautiful aesthetic of contrasts in the backdrop of the scenic Alps. This Italian city will seduce you with its historic landmarks, shopping complexes, and scrumptious food and leave you wanting more.

Have you already visited a Michelin-starred restaurant? Share your amazing experience with other foodies in the comment section below.

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