Ciotto bere e mangiare
What is Ciotto bere e mangiare? Hard to say, you better go to try it. The name "ciotto" itself indicates something indefinite, a word whose meaning changes according to the context but which also refers to a courtesy formula. In short, this place, which in many ways can be considered an izakaya, is a whole program.
Ciotto is located in Porta Venezia area and opened quietly a year ago. There are no signs on the door and the environment inside is rather minimal: few place settings, no frills, lots of warmth from the owner Gen Ohhashi. Originally from Niigata he moved to Milan twenty years ago. A great lover of natural wines, he is an excellent host, not surprisingly the clientele is in fact made up of regulars, people from the neighborhood but also restaurateurs of the activities in the area. And speaking of local activities, Gen san works to offer organic and biodynamic wines from producers whom he personally knows and with whom he has a relationship of trust, such as the Società Agricola Corbari, Cascina Fraschina, Cascina Gaggioli, Azienda Agricola Sgaribordi or the Pescatori Boccadasse Cooperative. But there is no shortage of beers and not even cider sake.
Here you feel good, talk, laugh and joke while tasting almost unknown wines (many Italians, but also Spanish), stop for an aperitif but, once you have glimpsed the menu, you stay for dinner.
In the kitchen there is a self-taught Italian chef who has traveled the world, Tito Di Silvestro. His passion for Italian poor raw materials goes well with Japanese preparations and ingredients. His cuisine is in fact a new concept of fusion because it is not at all trivial. Forget any reference to the Japanese-Italian fusion canon, here you play a completely different music: the raw material is exclusively seasonal, the dishes are the result of long preparations.
The menu is divided into two categories: "a little" where you will find bruschetta (I recommend the one with mackerel and ume), the tsukudani (Japanese slow cooking with soy sauce and mirin - octopus is nothing short of delicious), the korokke and "more" which includes the most substantial dishes such as don di di ciotto pork (cooked 18h and prepared on white rice), marinated language with grilled miso or the "spaghetti ciotto fame AOP + katsuobushi".
Then there are the makanai, the off-menu proposals marked on a blackboard: I tried the zucchini flowers stuffed with tofu, the sautéed kidney with sake with mashed potatoes, the fried chicken necks (the only course that disappointed me, but only because there is not much meat to eat) and cold spaghetti with chicken and beetroot sauce (a pity to let them get away!).
In short, alone or in company, Ciotto is always a good idea. Still little known, this place deserves to be tried and frequented. Before leaving, have the coffee jelly spooned, I recommend it, because it is really very good. The bill? Basically it varies according to the type of bottle you choose or the number of glasses you will drink.
📍 Via Nino Bixio 21, Milan
📞 +39 375 636 5757