Tag: Milan

«Pizza alla Milanese, the right address since 1969 – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

«Pizza alla Milanese», the right address since 1969

Let’s talk about “Milan style pizza”therefore «Pizzeria la Baia: same dough since 1969. If we were talking about tortellini, lasagna, typical dishes, it would be an added value – the fact that we are instead talking about pizza, this promise sounds strange. Because the world of pizza has evolved a lot in recent years, one could say revolutionized, and because we are talking about Milan, not exactly the homeland of pizza and where a style of its own has therefore developed.

«In the 1980s there was a queue here, Sabrina Longhi, daughter of the founder Paolo, a true Neapolitan, tells me that in 1976 he took over a restaurant and transformed it into a pizzeria, which at the time were still few in Milan, like all restaurants in general. Via Cellini 3, a stone’s throw from Piazza V Giornate, central area of ​​Milan. La Baia has a red sign, one of those many places that if you don’t know it you pass by without noticing, which doesn’t catch your attention. Inside, already before 8pm, many tables are full and it’s an ordinary Wednesday in a rainy May. Sitting outside in the dehors, her customers greet Sabrina with kisses and hugs, passers-by update her on the health of some relative, call her from tables to talk to her. Sabrina is an innkeeper, who came here as a child. She remembers historical customers like Eros Ramazzottiof the father who chatted with Gualtiero Marchesi – who lived on the corner – of having had Claudio Sadler as a guest, of the golden years in which there was the Amnesie disco in front of here, a stone’s throw away the Rolling Stone and the Plastic. It is reminiscent of an Eighties Milan that no longer exists and where almost everything has changed, especially in terms of tastes.

The pizza of the Milanese

“I gave you your table,” she says to a boy who greets her upon entering. We sit in front of the wood-fired oven and Leo Matarrese, pizza chef here for 41 years. To understand Pizzeria La Baia you need to understand the pizza of Milan, or rather that of the Milanese who historically have never loved Neapolitan pizza, with a high crust, thin in the middle, but have always preferred a lower version, cooked well even in the center , the “Milanese classic”, to which even his father Paolo and the pizza chef Leo had adapted. In fact, in Milan there were a few classic Neapolitan pizzerias, the Tuscan-style pizzerias such as Spontini, those that made very low pizza, like Pizza Ok. And then there was the “normal” pizza, the “classic Milanese”, which we went out to eat every now and then and which survives in less glamorous restaurants not influenced by the fashions of the moment. As a Milanese, daughter of Milanese people, many people still love to eat pizza like this, perhaps ordering it at Capricciosa. And in fact a gentleman eats it alone in a corner, and when he gets up he books a table for five, a month and a half later, because if you go elsewhere now to have the gastronomic experience, here the customers come to have company, or to celebrate with family.

Classic dough, new shapes

The dough at Pizzeria La Baia remains the traditional one, made with water, salt, brewer’s yeast and flour, left to rise for 12 hours (there are a minimum of 8 for the Verace Neapolitan Pizza Association). Since 1976 they have used it to make classic pizzas, the “Neapolitan style” ones with a slightly thicker crust (but not with the contemporary canotto of the Caserta school) and then for shapes that were born over the years and which they have kept on the menu. «We didn’t innovate in the dough but in the shapes Sabrina tells me, speaking of the two-flavored pizza, of the Fagotto, a calzone opened in half inside which fresh cheeses are gratinated in the wood-fired oven, then opened and stuffed with fresh vegetables and covered with freshly sliced ​​cured meats, of the Paradeclosed in the shape of a baguette, filled with cheese and topped with bacon, or del Club Sandwich made with pizza dough and baked again. You can also order the wheel, a pizza for two, double the size, but divided into 4 segments – for an ante litteram tasting menu, and finish with a Brazilian pizza, very thin, crunchy, which is pleasantly called Pizza Sorbetto because it can also be eaten at the end of the meal or late in the evening. A single dough prepared “as it used to be done”, before the super hydrated and very long leavening pizzas, which is declined in a thousand ways, rolled out with arms and then quickly rotated above the head. The only exception is the padellino pizza, leavened eight hours longer and prepared in the Apulian style, with potatoes.

Back to the eighties

Inside there are almost only regular customers, no one asks for the menu, and everyone orders their favorite – the usual one. «Some still order the Rugantino with potatoes and sage or the Quattro Stagioni, explains Sabrina and from there the idea of ​​organizing the first evening of the Eighties in which to bring back to life the spirit and flavors of those years like the Orchidea pizza with brie, mozzarella, cooked ham and parsley, or the Country with corn and bacon. Because the classic Milanese pizza it was like this, it had rocket and smoked salmon, bresaola and pink sauce and was eaten with a medium or a coke – nothing but craft beers and cocktail pairings. And it still has its fans, a silent majority fond of the era before gourmet pizzas.

Salone del Mobile: 15 restaurants in Milan to see and try – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Salone del Mobile: 15 restaurants in Milan to see and try

The historic relationship of Milan with design it goes far beyond Furniture expo, which has become one of the reference events on the international scene. The 2024 edition – from 16 to 21 April – is awaited more than ever also because nothing makes the city so crowded and international with obvious advantages for the area. In the pavilions of Rho Fiera you will find many companies linked to the kitchen and cooking sector Fuorisalone the ateliers and shops will display new elements on the theme. The two souls come together to form the Milan Design Weekwhich has a very busy calendar of events including those related to food, both from a culinary point of view and related furnishings.

In any case, it is the best opportunity to combine business with pleasure, sitting in some place with character, where in addition to a pleasant culinary experience, the eye is satisfied by the environment. Especially since it is Milan that offers – in Italy – the greatest number of venues designed by designers and architects, often famous. Our (very personal) selection goes beyond the official Fuorisalone districts: Brera, 5 Vie (for non-Milanese it is the maze of streets in the historic center between Via Torino, Corso Magenta, Largo Cairoli, but in any case without precise boundaries), Durini, Porta Venezia and Tortona. This time we wander under the Madonnina, without setting limits, especially in an event that involves the entire city.

15 restaurants to go to during the Salone del Mobile

5 places to grill in Milan and surrounding areas: top equipped areas – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Parks, oases, farmhouses, green and sunny expanses: they are there 5 places to grill in Milan and surrounding areas where you can rent spaces equipped for barbecues together. The choice is varied: from just renting the pitches to the possibility of having all the equipment in use, up to the purchase of excellent meats. An outdoor barbecue is the perfect idea to face a weekend in the city, surrounded by greenery, like a small holiday!

Do you want some ideas for putting something original on the grills? There are not only sausages and salamis even if they are undoubtedly great classics that are difficult to give up. However, if you also want to try something different, read our article Grilling not just meat: fish, vegetables and fruit in 50 ideas.

5 places to grill in Milan and surrounding areas

The Agrigriglia with shop in Cascina Reina

Photo: Cascina Reina website.

In the province of Bergamo, but ¾ of an hour from Milan, Cascina Reina offers its customers real gazebos equipped for organizing great barbecues. In addition to the names of the seven dwarfs (for the few who can remember them all!) the gazebos bear names that recall the fairy tale of Snow White and have a cost that varies from €8 to €12 per person.

A free tasting is always available where you can taste cured meats, sip good wine and drink a coffee.

The price also includes the rental (with deposit) of some tools such as tongs, baking tray, meat box and unlimited wood. The use of the gazebos is subject to the purchase of meat on site; Cascina Reina is in fact an agricultural shop selling white meat, pork, beef and cheese.

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