The restaurant scene in Milan is nothing short of exquisite. From classy cafes, family-run trattorias, trendy restaurants boasting designer brand names to world-class Michelin star restaurants. Still quite new on the scene is LUME but the hot restaurant already has a Michelin-star – gaining recognition only a few months after opening.
We jumped in a taxi at Four Seasons Hotel Milano and from there it was about a twenty minute drive to the Naviglio Grande, an up-and-coming neighbourhood that has a been largely regenerated and is now filled with bars, restaurants and shops. LUME itself is located in the W37 building, a former a porcelain factory from Richard Ginori which now serves as a multi-functional space housing offices and apartments as well as the restaurant.
The interiors are beautifully white, almost like a blank canvas for the chef’s culinary creations. An open kitchen takes centre stage in this beautiful contemporary dining room draped with white curtains with stylish modern flourishes. A food bloggers dream, it’s flooded with light (of course the name LUME means light) and there’s plenty of space between the tables. Less fortunately the restaurant was rather quiet and with only one other table taken in the dining room the atmosphere was a little muted.
Toasting three years together, Mr S and I kicked off our anniversary meal with a glass of bubbles and the house Bruno Paillard champagne whilst deciding to opt for the a la carte over the tasting menu.
Hand-made wafers and an amuse-bouche trio started us off, whetting our appetite for the menu created by Executive Chef Luigi Taglienti. A native Italian, Ligurian specifically (obvs, his name is Luigi after all), Luigi is inspired by the food of Milan but modernises the cuisine with his own culinary techniques. He previously worked at Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala where he received his second Michellin star, the first being earned at Ristorante Delle
Antiche Contrade in Cuneo, Piedmont.
Freeze dried salad as an amuse bouche already tells us this will be an innovative meal from a man who has learnt from some of the greats, Milan’s Carlo Cracco included, and our expectations were high.
Our host paired each course with a different wine and we loved the first, a fruity wine from the North of Italy.
I can never resist good bread, especially in Italy, and a gorgeous selection was presented including a perfectly salted and oiled focaccia.
My starter ‘fragrances, colours and tastes of a spring garden’ turned out to be pretty as a picture with delicately cut vegetables suspended in apricot syrup with vinegar. In terms of flavour it was a little austere but I did like the idea of the dish.
Our other starter of Italian style sautéed quail was our favourite dish of the evening. A beautifully succulent little breast and perfectly seasoned spinach combined beautifully with
pioppini mushrooms in terms of textures and flavours.
Our next wine took us to Provence in the South of France and a white wine with delicious notes of gingerbread, vanilla and honey.
In a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant it would be rude not to order a pasta course and this guinea fowl ravioli was constructed from the finest hand-made pasta and served with a light sauce of tomato and crayfish. I would have liked an extra hit of flavour (maybe chilli or garlic?) but it was a beautifully made and presented dish.
The risotto with fresh turmeric root juice, wild black pepper and laurel powder was probably our least favourite dish, perhaps an acquired taste we felt that the lemon flavour was overpowering. Though the rice itself was beautifully cooked and creamy with the perfect bite.
I’m a big fan of Italian bubbly and a glass accompanied our seafood mains.
My roasted lobster was cooked to perfection using the finest and freshest Italian ingredients. The ginger potato gnocchi was soft as little pillows and I loved the al denté white asparagus which isn’t something I’ve had the pleasure of trying often. A hint of orange citrus counteracted any bitterness and the flavours were all in perfect balance.
Morone fish – a type of bass apparently – was our other dish and continued our quest to basically have artichokes in every meal. This time from Luigi’s native Liguria the artichoke was like a little flower on the plate, with an
artichoke sauce made of seafood and tamarind pulp holding all the elements together perfectly.
Six and a half years together and three years married to this one!!
After our main courses it was time to meet the man himself, Chef Luigi Taglienti. He explained to us how he is keen to marry classic flavours and fresh ingredients with modern techniques and that continuous research and innovation are incredibly important to him. At LUME he hopes to create at atmosphere that is utterly refined and elegant but at the same time homely – and in that marriage he hopes to create the perfect restaurant.
Chef read my mind with the dessert as I chose a crispy ‘chaud-froid’ that combined my absolute favourite flavours of vanilla, chocolate and coffee. I’m a big ice cream lover and I loved the interplay of hot and cold with the thick chocolate sauce poured over the top plus the contrasting textures.
The ‘omelette surprise’, was a roasted meringue, sweet marshmallow-like cloud combined with a burst of acid from the red fruits and and balsamic vinegar.
We concluded our meal with a lovely little trio of petit fours. Mr S and I thought LUME had lots of potential with it’s gorgeous dining room, fantastic staff and delicious food – I only hope the word gets out more and bookings start to increase as we would have preferred a more lively atmosphere.
With our anniversary night still young we were keen to try out Milan’s bar scene.
Having recently been to Milan, my friend and fellow travel blogger, Jess recommended a gorgeous rooftop bar called Ceresio 7 which was fun and lively on Thursday night.
There’s even a pool, should you fancy a late night dip! Or simply chill in one of the cabanas! It’s super fashionable and perfect for people-watching or just checking out the view of the city.
Sadly only one night in Milan just isn’t enough and our fantastic evening just left us wanting more!!
PIN FOR LATER:
Via Giamcomo Watt 37
I was invited to review.