A few weeks back, my twin visited me in my current home base of Milan, Italy. We, of course, took some lovely day trips to the sea, went shopping in the center, walked around the Navigli and did lots of other touristy and local things, but that wasn't all. One thing I wanted to do, was to show her the Milan I had fallen in love with- the true Milan- that which exists behind closed doors, tall gates and narrow side streets.
It is quite (too) often I have heard, that people who visit Milan do not like it; it's too "cold," too "industrial, too "busy," "not as pretty as the south or beach cities," etc, etc. To be honest, these statements break my heart a little bit, because to me, it is like judging a book by its cover. Of course, if you come up from the south of Italy, or the Amalfi coast and just see the city for a day, or two; the Duomo, maybe do some shopping, see some churches... I totally get it. I probably would not much like the city either. But that's just it. Doing those things, isn't even reading cover of the "book of Milan" and judging it; it's barely reading the spine of it. To me, the truest beauty of Milan exists behind closed doors, and only shows herself to those who are patient, adventurous, and persistent, enough to find her.
One of the places that I think best, (metaphorically and physically), demonstrates this- is Al Fresco.
Located in what used to be an old factory, in the design district of Tortona, (home to the majority of fashion and design week events and other exciting escapades), Al Fresco offers a breath of fresh air from city life.
The restaurant was technically closed during the time we got there, but the staff was nice enough to let us sit outside and order something.
When you walk in you are greeted by a beautiful, "rustic barn meets classic/contemporary design"-ed restaurant. There is something quite homey and yet quite chic about it. Take a few steps past the entrance and you are greeted by this oasis.
After an adventuring and walking filled morning, Al Fresco's was the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a few americanos (I know, we are so American haha) and something sweet.
This dish. Oh my. Where do I even begin.
The dish was called "Il Giardino di Al Fresco" or "The Garden of Al Fresco," and was absolutely incredible.
Wow. This dessert was probably one of the most sophisticated and delicious dishes I have ever tasted. The depth and dynamic of the layered flavors, textures and tastes - the description pretty much said it all. I am drooling just writing about it!
It's a fantastic little retreat and the perfect place to spend a relaxed afternoon or evening. I highly recommend checking it out one day if you are looking for a delicious moment away from it all.
Al Fresco's is open: Tuesday - Sunday, 12:30-2:15 and 7:30 - 10:30.
Via Savona 50, Milano, Italia, 20144