My love for Milan is hardly a secret, and whenever the city or its Lombardia surroundings get some love, I am compelled to show some love, so here goes.
Le Biciclette, an 18-year-old café and art bistro just off Corsa Genova and a short walk from the Navigli, is serving a very Milanese coupling which I had the chance to taste. I took a seat on one of the couches in the loungey cozy area away from the bar and dining rooms, and sampled some comforting red-sauce meatballs (I’m so used to mondeghili, which I love), but the evening’s highlight was a Milanese marriage of the Tutt el’Di cocktail and El gran bürgher de Milàn.
Tutt el’Di means “all day” in Milanese dialect and comprises gin, ginger liqueur, honey and fresh lemon juice, garnished with blueberries and lemon peel. The refreshing libation, which had me longing for summer, looked like water and went down like water. (I could sip a tutt el’di, tutt el’di.)
Le Biciclette’s el gran bürgher de Milàn is a homage of sorts to the bounty of Milan and its territory. So, here it is: a patty of Luganega (pork sausage typical of Monza, an area outside Milan), Gorgonzola (the blue cheese we all know and love produced at its namesake town in the province of Milan, northeast of the city); Savoy cabbage leaves; finely chopped white onions (I love onions!) and horseradish cream, all stacked inside a bun in the form of a michetta, Milan’s take on a Kaiser roll, accompanied by house-made potato chips. The michetta was invented during Austrian rule the traditional kaiser roll recipe couldn’t withstand Milan’s humidity. Today, the michetta is considered as Milanese as the Duomo.
Now, by no means do I consider myself a burger expert, but here are some of my criteria for deciding whether or not I like one.
- Whether or not the meat is seasoned/flavorful
- Whether or not the meat is properly cooked
- Whether or not I can fit the burger into my mouth (Who wants to take on a burger with a fork and knife?)
- Whether or not the bun is sturdy (If the bun is too toasted or too soft, the bun is difficult/messy to eat, and then I have to resort to my knife and fork.)
El gran bürgher de Milàn met all of my criteria and I so appreciated the michetta. Firstly, because it was so Milan, but also because was perfectly toasted; not too hard that it was difficult bite into (crumbs didn’t fly everywhere) and not too soft that fell apart or became soggy.. It made for very easy eating and I could have eaten a second one. Go and give it a try!
Le Biciclette (Via Giovanni Battista Torti, 2; 02 5810 4325; website)
Hours: seven days, 6pm – 2am