If you’ve ever been to Italy, then you’ll know this feeling: You are back home from your trip and you cannot stop reminiscing about the awesome food you’ve had. The pasta, the bread, the cheese, the wine, eccetera eccetera.
Italian cuisine is great for vegetarians. There are lots of ways one can cook tasty pasta and risotto dishes without adding meat or fish to them. Think also of the many veggie pizza varieties and the desserts. OK, being an Italian myself, I might be slightly biased… but you do agree with me, don’t you?
There are also several restaurants in Italian cities serving exclusively vegetarian food. I was telling you about Al Grande Cerchio in a previous post. Today I had lunch with fellow flâneuse Cristina at another veggie restaurant in Milan: Joia.
Joia is a Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant just a short walk away from Milan’s main train station. The restaurant is divided into two areas: a fine-dining area and another somewhat more informal area.
At lunchtime, the restaurant offers three meal alternatives: (1) a one-course meal (piatto unico), where small servings of five different dishes (from starter to dessert) are all served on a square-shaped plate (20 €, incl. water and coffee); (2) a fixed price three-course meal (menu fisso), which includes a starter, a main course, and a dessert (35 €); (3) à la carte.
Before starting the actual meal, the waiter brought over a small appetizer that looked like a tiny plant in a pot. It was composed of a piece of carrot served on a bed of vegan mayonnaise and pumpkin cream. It looked so cute and tasted very good.
As a starter, I ordered creamy pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke soup, which came with a barley dumpling filled with celery and candied Sicilian verdello lemon. I love pumpkin soup and this was a very good one, too.
The main course was easy to choose: I am a huge gnocchi fan and absolutely had to check out their naturally colored potato gnocchi filled with cheese. The gnocchi were served with a cream made of broccoli and Schabziger, a Swiss cheese. Loved every bite.
Although I felt full after the starter and the main course, I really wanted to try one of their desserts. All dishes at Joia are egg-free, and this meant I could choose freely among all their desserts without fearing any bad reaction of my egg-sensitive skin!
I decided to go for their apple tarte tatin with lemon verbena ice cream and Concord grape sauce. A very tasty dessert, with an interesting mix of flavors.
I am glad I finally made it to Joia. The restaurant has been on my foodie wish list for quite some time. And after reading fabulous reviews about it, I am happy to say that the place perfectly met my expectations. I’ll definitely be back soon.
- Soup, 22 €
- Main course, 25 €
- Dessert, 15 €
Address: Via Panfilo Castaldi 18, 20124 Milan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 12:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. / Sat, 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.