Milano Diaries 01: PISACCO where food + art collides

A late Sunday night cravings during the Salone del Mobile in 2014 led me to this airy arty restaurant and bar called Pisacco. It has become one of my favourite eateries in Milan ever since, and I always come here every time I am in town.

Photograph Credit: Pisacco

The name, Pisacco, is a deliberate misspelling of Picasso, a hint to its intention to create a simple sophisticated space offering modern twist on traditional Italian home cooking favourites combined with contemporary art, architecture and interior design. The result is a no frill, minimal and chic eatery showcasing a fantastic collection of contemporary art while serving delicious tapas sized dishes such as the classic Milanese saffron risotto with ragout of veal, calamari with guacamole and onion, or simple favourites such as spaghetti with tomato, basil and mozzarella cream.

My favourite at Pisacco: Canelloni Di Patate Con Ricotta Di Buffala, Moscardini e Nero Di Seppia

Pisacco is composed of two levels: sidewalk and underground.

Sidewalk is usually my favourite area for the evenings because of the original wall mural by a young Italian artist Gabriella Ciancimino who has successfully created a nice contrast of bold colours and tones against the restaurant’s neutral relaxed atmosphere by depicting an uncultivated urban garden. The “smoker table” inserted into the window on Via Solferio is especially a clever design detail by the architect Tiziano Vudafieri. The meticulous restoration of the space focuses on enhancing original details as well as incorporating quality materials and bold colors. Chairs, stools and other furniture pieces by sustainable design company, Discipline, are built entirely from recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Photograph Credit: Pisacco
Photograph Credit: Pisacco
Photograph Credit: Pisacco
Photograph Credit: Pisacco

The secret garden found on the Underground level is a particularly pleasant discovery and, as it turns out, an interesting part of Milanese history. As part of the Conca delle Gabelle—a series of long winding tunnels—the garden serves as a reminder of the time when Milan was crossed by canals. Strange as it may sound, I always find the Underground area more airy than the upstairs Sidewalk area, so I always like to sit down here during the day. Perhaps this is due to the white painted brick vaults and large windows with ample daylight overlooking the secret garden combined with pastel green upholstery of the chairs that give this Underground zone a surprising bright airy cafe feel instead of a dark basement atmosphere that otherwise would have been expected.

Photograph Credit: Pisacco
Photograph Credit: Pisacco

Pisacco is one of those cool, unpretentious places that one can go anytime whether it be for a relaxing coffee while working on laptop during the day, a nice relaxing lunch or casual evening drinks and dinner with friends. With simple honest cooking and a rotating exhibition of young contemporary artists on both floors, one can never be bored when going to Pisacco. There is always something there to surprise you…

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Photograph Credit: Pisacco

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