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Dimorestudio

Dimorestudio’s 7 Milan Selects: Trattoria del Ciumbia, The Caruso Nuovo, and More

Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of global architecture and design firm Dimorestudio speak to Trattoria del Ciumbia’s singular design and most delectable dish, as well as divulge their favorite spots for refreshment throughout the city, from dining at The Caruso Nuovo at the Grand Hotel et de Milan to the perfect cup of coffee at Pasticceria Sissi.

Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci ceremoniously founded Dimorestudio in 2003, and since then the global architecture and design studio has grown to encompass retail, residential, and hospitality endeavors—not to mention producing their own textiles, furnishings and lighting designs under the esteemed Dimoremilano umbrella. Their latest venture in Milan, Trattoria del Ciumbia, is a stylishly contemporary and deeply classical restaurant. On the occasion of this year’s Salone del Mobile, Dimorestudio divulges the inception of the venue’s sleek design—fusing nostalgia with functionality—as well as choice restaurants, coffee havens, and the best spot for a much-needed nightcap. 

Dimorestudio Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci; portrait by Silvia Rivoltella, courtesy of Dimorestudio.

WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about the design inspiration behind Trattoria del Ciumbia?

DIMORESTUDIO: The commission of Trattoria del Ciumbia allowed us to work on the aesthetic codes of the old Milanese trattorias, increasingly rare environments that we reinterpreted in this project with our own vision so as not to let disappear the identity of such distinctive Brera establishments, which have always been very dear to us since Dimorestudio was born in this historical area of Milan. 

In particular, the inspiration for the Trattoria project is deeply linked to the cultural and artistic ferment that was taking hold in Milan in the 1960s. In this sense, Brera was the favorite area for artists Piero Manzoni, Nanda Vigo, and Agostino Bonalumi, where they gathered at the Jamaica bar. The Splügen Bräu lamps designed by the Castiglioni brothers in 1961 for the namesake brewery in Milan were included in the project precisely as a tribute to this flourishing period that was also investing (in addition to art) the world of design.

“The inspiration for the Trattoria project is deeply linked to the cultural and artistic ferment that was taking hold in Milan in the 1960s,” — Dimorestudio

WW: What item is your favorite to order from the menu?

D: Asparagus flan with blue cheese. 

WW: Outside of Trattoria del Ciumbia, what are 3-4 favorite restaurants in Milan?

D: The Caruso Nuovo at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, Piero e Pia, and Mandarin 2.

WW: Do you have any favorite coffee spots?

D: Pan Milano, Pasticceria Sissi, and Romanengo.

WW: Any ideal spots to grab a drink/nightcap to unwind after a busy day during Salone?

D: Onest and La Belle Aurore.

7 Milan Selects, According to Dimorestudio

1. The Avant-Garde Trattoria del Ciumbia

Trattoria del Ciumbia. Milan Restaurants Courtesy of Trattoria del Ciumbia.

At Trattoria del Ciumbia, the floor is a mosaic of liver red and mustard yellow; the watercolor paintings on the walls are from the 1930s; a cozy, traditional Milanese trattoria is not what it seems. This restaurant is at once stylishly contemporary and deeply classical, inspired by the Milanese artistic avant-garde of the 1960s. Retro-style newspaper racks and coat hooks offer a touch of nostalgia while adding functionality. Guests are invited to indulge in Milanese and Lombard culinary traditions with dishes like creamy risotto finished with savory broth, battered frog legs topped with chives and lemon, and the superlatively hearty osso buco. Executive Chef Paolo Rollini involves a stunning array of small producers in his farm-to-table process, relying on the micro-rice fields of the Pavia region and local butchers. This is a restaurant that sincerely appreciates the beauty of Italian culture and craftsmanship.

2. The Caruso Nuovo at the Grand Hotel et de Milan

The Caruso Nuovo at the Grand Hotel et de Milan © Andrea Ferrari, published by The Caruso Nuovo at the Grand Hotel et de Milan.

A new name, a new image, a new interior project by Dimorestudio, and a new team headed by chef Gennaro Esposito and the executive chef Francesco Potenza. The Caruso Nuovo Bistrot is contained within the Grand Hotel et de Milan, with its pleasant veranda looking onto Piazzetta Croce Rossa, making it a landmark meeting place for the exclusive shopping district centered around Via Montenapoleone. The menu features dishes from both the Neapolitan and Milanese tradition, with courses guests can share in a pleasantly entertaining atmosphere. The Caruso Nuovo Bistrot is open for both lunch and dinner: the lunch menu is designed for a leaner, quicker experience, while the dinner menu is conceived to enjoy a more leisurely meal in good company. — Source 

3. Jubilant Dining at Piero e Pia

ristorante-piero-e-pia milan Published by Ristorante Piero e Pia, Milan.

In 1969, Piero Sagresti, after five years of working as a bartender on cruise ships, decided to land in Milan to open his own restaurant. With Pia, he detected a dairy / bar / hot and cold snack place to start their dream. At that time, customers went to the restaurant to stay with friends or to celebrate a birthday or a birth and often, when we lingered a bit more, there was also the urge to pull out the guitar and to sing together…The license allowed the “latteria” (dairy) to stay open from morning to evening and this allowed Piero and Pia to accommodate an audience of nurtured patrons: in the morning cappuccino and brioches for early birds, at lunch students and employees for sandwiches and small meals, and in the evening drinks that sometimes even were served to the table, until the time for dinner where regulars also were allowed to order directly from the kitchen…Often the evenings ended with a singing in company! — Source

4. Tradition at Mandarin 2 Ristorante Cinese 

Mandarin 2 Ristorante Cinese Published by Mandarin 2 Ristorante Cinese, Milan.

Mandarin 2 is a gourmet surprise in the heart of Città Studi. The traditions of oriental cuisine find a home in the Chinese restaurant in Milan‘s Piola area, prized for its impeccable family management and characterized by an atmosphere that is as informal as it is sober and elegant. The restaurant, founded in 1974 by King Sing Cheng and currently run by his grandson Chunyi, has been serving traditional Chinese cuisine for generations, with special care taken in the selection of raw materials and wines to accompany each dish. The staff, driven by passion and enthusiasm, offers prompt and accurate service, always with courtesy in mind. The unobtrusive family atmosphere, extensive menu and careful selection of ingredients are the qualities that make the restaurant the first choice in Chinese cuisine in Milan. — Source

5. Refuge at Pan Milano

Pan Milano Published by Pan Milano.

A space that we imagined as a meeting point for multiple cultures. The goal is to make Pan a point of reference for the neighborhood and a gastronomic destination for those arriving in the city. Here we welcome all four-legged people and friends who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Everything we offer is entirely produced here. — Source

6. Coffee and Something Sweet from Pasticceria Sissi

Published by Pasticceria Sissi. Published by Pasticceria Sissi.

Artisanal production of sweet and savory in complete respect of “eating well”. From now on also baguettes and several pane all with sourdough. — Source

7. Cinematic Tranquilility at La Belle Aurore

La Belle Aurore milan Photo by Alice Gemignani, published by La Belle Aurore, Milan.

This place should intrigue you for two reasons: it’s probably the single bar in Milan most used as a film set, and it’s one of the few with no music, no radio, just the sound of the clients chatting; it’s probably this detail that contributes to the intrinsic retro atmosphere of this place. The look reminds of a Parisian bistro, or a meeting point for “Old Milan” intellectuals – if we want to stay at home. Even today, if you’re feeling a bit intellectual or want to talk about important stuff, there’s no place like La Belle Aurore. Sitting at one of these marble tables, surrounded by prints and furniture from the Thirties, it’s impossible not to have some big revelation while reading a newspaper and sipping a Milan-Turin (a cocktail that owes its name to a mix of Campari and Vermouth) or a shaken Pumpkin. Let’s also add that some of the best bartenders in the city work here, and that the aperitivo is quite cheaper than elsewhere in Milan, so there’s really no reason to not step by this lovely bar. Source

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