Aromando, love is served

Cristina and Savio Bina created in Milan a unique place where you can go back in time

01-03-2013

If someday someone told me he doesn’t like Aromando Bistrot, in the Sempione/Paolo Sarpi area in Milan, I really would not understand why. Of course, if you go out for a pizza, you won’t find it here, nor is this a seafood restaurant, or an establishment for the thick-headed, like that lady who, last Sunday, 17th February, got up and left, together with her two sons who weren’t certainly still in primary school, because the brunch didn’t cater for penne al pomodoro and prosciutto, that is to say boring food, while in winter the menu, which at lunchtime on Sundays is set, includes a fantastic range of cured meat, homemade giardiniera, some touching tortellini in stock and boiled meat plus many extras up to the dessert. “You’re old-fashioned”, the almost offended milady commented.

Potato gnocchi with clams, pickle-weed and cherry tomatoes

Potato gnocchi with clams, pickle-weed and cherry tomatoes

When I say I find it inconceivable not to feel at home, really fine, over there, at the corner between via Canonica and via Moscati, I refer to the setting, to its warm character, the wise direction of the running couple, the original 1950s decor, the casualness of the rooms, the sitting-room corner where you can spend the evening cutting slices of salami and drinking great wine without necessarily sitting at a table. Food comes second, and, though it is good, charming and full of originality in its reassuring approach, it is the second ace in the hole for the reigning couple formed by Savio Bina and Cristina Aromando, a surname so beautiful, for a woman working in the restaurant business, that it would have been stupid calling the bistro something else.

Savio, from Rivarolo near Mantua, was for 5 years sommelier at Cracco and then at Cracco-Peck and in 2006 at Perbellini, returning then to Milan where love and business matters got more and more intertwined. Together with Cristina, after taking the necessary steps in the restaurant scene now four years ago, they found the answer in the spaces once occupied, from 1905 to 2007, by Pasticceria Molina, among the first in Milan to offer a hot meal at lunchtime, in the Seventies. It was great for a century, forgettable in the end: the family no longer cared for personal commitment and the following managers collected one disaster after the other, until the closing.
Cristina and Savio entered the scene one year ago, in February 2012. For years they accumulated 20th century design pieces in a garage in the countryside, in view of having a restaurant of their own.

After six months, Aromando Bistrot opened on September 13th. There’s a first room, with two-thirds of tables and one third of sofas. A staircase going down takes you to the restroom, going up, it takes you to a second room and the kitchen. It’s like going back in time. There’s a wardrobe that’s a copy of the one I had at home, as a kid; some chairs are like the ones my uncle had in his workshop; there’s a lamp I’ve seen on many occasions. Everything comes from a warm, recent past. And even if the dishes are created in the mind of Cristina, the roots of those who are effectively at the stove play an important role: Anjula Manatunga comes from Sri Lanka, Mariliasia Torrez Cespedes from Bolivia and Mirko Noblea from Calabria. The offer, therefore, is the sum of a thousand echoes. A dish worth mentioning among the others? The Stewed tail of 40 month old Chianina with pine nuts and cocoa. Another one? Potato gnocchi with clams, pickle-weed and cherry tomatoes. A sweet end? The whole-wheat tart with lemon and pistachios.

Aromando Bistrot
via Pietro Moscati, 13 – on the corner with Via Canonica
Milan
tel. +39.02.36744172
aromando@tiscali.it
Closing day: entire day on Monday and Tuesday at lunchtime.
Average prices: starters 12; first courses 13,50; second courses 20; desserts 8 euros. Sunday at lunchtime brunch 38 euros.
Cover charge: 2 euros


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Restaurants from all the world told in Il Giornale by Paolo Marchi from February 1994 to the winter of 2011. And since the spring, for the readers identitagolose.it