I was convinced I knew the area around Brera, the Milanese art district, quite well… whereby “knowing an area” for me means having been to the restaurants there or at least knowing about their existence. Well, turns out I was wrong.
While strolling down Via dell’Orso, situated between La Scala and Brera, I noticed a cute-looking blackboard with chalk. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was the menu of a restaurant. Two things caught my attention: “Risotto alla zucca” and “Free wifi”. Not only was I hungry, but I also had to send out a couple of emails from my laptop. So it was just the perfect spot for lunch!
My first impression of Refettorio was that of a very simple, down-to-earth restaurant – possibly because of its light-colored decor with wooden furniture. Very peaceful, I thought to myself. As I later discovered, this peacefulness was being measured by a decibal counter placed in a corner to make sure that the atmosphere stayed calm and enjoyable. Never seen that before in a restaurant!
Another unusual thing of the place were the small guest books on all tables. There was also a leaflet explaining the philosophy behind the restaurant: healthy, local food at low prices (read about it here).
I ordered the veggie lunch menu, the one with the pumpkin risotto. A few minutes before the main course arrived, the waiter also brought some hummus and a small carrot salad, together with whole grain bread. Wine and water, too, were included in the menu. I went for a glass of red wine.
The food – appetizers & main courses – tasted good. Perhaps not exceptional, but it did taste very fresh. I could almost “taste” the philosophy of the place, since the dishes were really simple.
Dessert and coffee were included in the menu. They had chocolate cake, fruits, and egg-free caramel ice cream. I ordered the ice cream, as well as an espresso with milk. I absolutely loved the ice cream, but was disappointed by the coffee.
While the food and the atmosphere of Refettorio might be a bit too simple to recommend this place as a must-see in Milan, I do think I will be going there again. The restaurant is a good spot for a solo lunch or a quick lunch with friends. Given its very central location, it is probably a good place for an afternoon coffee break, too, but I still haven’t checked that out myself… So maybe next time! 😉
- Veggie lunch menu (two small appetizers, main course, dessert, wine, coffee, water), 12,00 €
Address: Via dell’Orso 2, 20122 Milan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 12 p.m.-10 p.m. / Sat, 7 p.m.-11 p.m.