Milan | Pisacco Bistrot

An impressive recent addition to the mainstream drinking and dining scene in style capital Milan is Pisaccogastro-bistrot in Via Solferino, on the edge of one of the coolest areas of the new Milanese movida in the northern reaches of Brera. Put together by an eclectic group of professionals including an architect, an art collector and celebrated chef Andrea Berton (formerly of Trussardi alla Scala), the new restaurant and bar on two floors is a feast of contemporary design and art under brick-vaulted ceilings, offering first-rate but affordable modern Italian cuisine. At street level is the dazzling bar and café, while the more sober restaurant area occupies the basement, no less light and airy as it backs onto a hidden garden once part of Milan’s historic canal system. Architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino are responsible for the renovation and the décorwhich includes a variety of stunning lighting solutions, and biodegradable furniture by sustainable design company Discipline.

Photographs, paintings, video art and installations are displayed throughout in a changing exhibition on the white walls of the basement and against the backdrop of a bold wall drawing by Sicilian artist Gabriella Ciancimino upstairs. The menu is short and sweet, just 3 or 4 choices per course of dishes which are tasteful gourmet takes on simple mainstays of Italian cuisine. They’re conceived by Berton but it’s Matteo Gelmini who prepares everything from fresh locally-sourced ingredients. The wine list is a bit of a curiosity, with few of the usual suspects and a lot of carefully selected new entries at surprisingly modest prices. Pisacco feels welcoming and unpretentious; still it’s become the place to be seen at since opening in September last year.