Picture this, the busiest restaurant scene in Milan: The Navigli, the little canals where goods used to be transported on boats right in the heart of the city up to slightly less than a century ago, now a vibrant promenade with a vaste choice of al fresco eateries, jazz clubs and wine bars of various sorts.
At number 55 of Ripa di Porta Ticinese you will find one of coolest addresses for innovative italian cuisine: The Rebelot (Milanese for confusion / chaos) and one of my favourite bistrots in town.
The Rebelot is a place of great charme and relaxed atmosphere, where you can sip a good glass of excellent wine from the cellar of Patron and Sommelier Maida Mercuri, one of the grand Ladies of the milanese culinary scene as well as clever trend spotter and skilled talent scout also owner of the 1 Michelin starred Pont de Fer next door.
This place is a pure delight for wine lovers, open the door and you will find yourself listening to Maida describe origins and scents of every single bottle on her wine list with such a passion and enthusiasm you will want to try them all.
On the other side, should you feel peckish or hungry the food choice is simply amazing.
New to the Milanese scene, originally from Cadeo in Emilia Romagna, Matteo Monti’s young but daring technique will go well beyond your expectations.
His CV is rather impressive, having worked for some of the biggest names in Italy (La Certosa di Maggiano, Antica Osteria del Teatro, Il Canto, L’Antico Convento, Il Combal) and Oslo for La Bagatelle.
The choice is yours, you can opt for a certain number of tapas-like portions or let the Chef decide in a tasting menu of 4 or 5 courses.
I was blown away by this Octopus Tempura, with Gin & Tonic Granita (a rough sorbet), crunchy Seaweeds and a hot Octopus broth reduction.
Equally as impressive was my third dish, Veal Sweetbreads, Dulce de Leche, Mezcal Jelly, salted Lemon served on an unforgettable Chimichurri sauce.
For dessert, I for once let the young waiter choose for me, and here it was, this beautiful combination of creamy Cheesecake Mirepoix served with Grissini Crumble, sugar caramelized Onions and sweet Celery Sauce, again a touch of unpredictable, again a touch of genius.
Should I add more? I don’t think so!