Milan | Drogheria Plinio

A clear-cut philosophy is what they call it: food as experience, culture and the pleasure of good company. No arguing with that, or even with the less philosophical aspects of Drogheria Plinio. Open from 8 till late, the grocery-with-cuisine serves continental-style breakfasts and quick, light lunches. Their platters of cheeses and cured meats at aperitivotime are legendary, followed by (or as a worthy alternative to) some serious culinary propositions for dinner from a tasting menu or vegetarian, meat and fish à la carte.

Everything’s rigorously Italian, fresh, in season and carefully picked for quality and cultural value, wines included. And all reasonably priced. It’s all very informal and friendly in warm, vintage interiors designed by the two young architects of Studio Colombo Bartali, whose aim is to make people happy. No arguing with that either. Note the lovely lighting made from re-used bottles and jars by Verallia.

The drogheria itself, which they perversely call Il Market, is a showcase for the fine Italian groceries they use, from selected suppliers with whom they establish a sort of interactive partnership. So the culture of food here isn’t limited to the sale of delicacies for consumption on or off the premises. It also extends to intimate gatherings during which producers bare their souls. Other events organized recently at the Drogheria include a jazz night, an anglophone happy hour, food theme evenings and more aperitivi with live art/design performances. Children and dogs are as welcome as adult humans and all are served according to their particular needs.