IT, Gennaro Esposito arrives in Milan

The chef launches a nice big project already successful in Ibiza, and perfect for Brera. While these days he’s at work at Festa a Vico 2019

by Paolo Marchi

Unfortunately for one reason, and luckily for another, I discovered Brera when it was not the sad caricature of itself it now is and this is why I’m always looking for a reason not to just cross it by bike without even stopping. I’m not so naïf as to believe some day the coalman will be back, selling wood for private fireplaces, or the carpenter or ironmonger as well as artists, writers, and true journalists, but I do hope some less dubious people will be found there, what with restaurants and fortune tellers.

After lots of praying and hoping, my dream has been granted, and greatly so: four years after Ibiza, and a few months before London, the  IT  project has opened in Milan, in Via Fiori Chiari 32, tel. +39.02.99979993, closed on Sunday and very popular at lunchtime and most of all in the evening, from Monday to Saturday. One could of course say the same applies to every other place in Brera, it is very true, except IT is not a trap for tourists and disoriented students.

Risotto with citrus fruits, saffron and fennel, a great first course from Gennaro Esposito in Brera

Risotto with citrus fruits, saffron and fennel, a great first course from Gennaro Esposito in Brera

IT has a founder, Neapolitan Alessio Matrone who, together with his cousin Danilo Caruso is also behind Optima, a leading business in the energy and telecommunication industry. And it has a chef of reference, also from Campania: Gennaro Esposito who these days is at work with Festa a Vico 2019, scheduled on June 2nd-4th. The restaurant in Milan can also count on another partner, Ferruccio De Lorenzo. It’s located at the back of the Kiton building, compared to Via Pontaccio, with the historic dressmakers established in Campania.

Parmigiana di melanzane at IT in Milan

Parmigiana di melanzane at IT in Milan

Compared to his equally famous colleagues, who arrived in Milan following Expo, Esposito has curated a real restaurant. Then of course Torre del Saracino in Vico Equense, is where he does his research, «that’s where my roots are», where, among other things, the view alone is worth the trip. But now there’s Milan, «a point of arrival for me. Rome is now dead while Milan is the future, perhaps for my children’s studies too» Gennaro admitted. The building is spread across three areas, and on two floors. When you go inside, on the left there’s a bar-bistro seating some 40 people and, after sunset, there’s a good DJ. Ten metres ahead, there’s the real dining room, seating 60 people, with an open view kitchen to the left and large windows to the right. Below, the bathroom and a lounge seating 40 people.

IT by Gennaro Esposito is a proper restaurant for Milan, and it is science fiction for Via Fiori Chiari. Esposito said: «It aims to be a lively and high-quality place, with good food and good service. We opened on the 8th of April and if people already praise us it’s because we got experienced people». And apart from Savio Bina in the dining room, whose previous experiences include Cracco Peck in the Zero years, there are people who trained in Vico, Ibiza and at Bulgari Milano before Romito: resident chef Aldo Ritrovato, his vice Adriano Rausa and pastry-chef Francesco De Padova.

From the pass come rich, well prepared dishes, that are not too demanding for those who just want to eat and have other thoughts in mind, like business, or love or pure relax. When they serve spaghetti al pomodoro, some ask Gennaro if they’re really hard to make because everyone thinks they know how to make them. He laughs: «The hardest recipe of all is the one you don’t know how to make».

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

The beautiful bathroom at IT in Brera. The sink

The beautiful bathroom at IT in Brera. The sink is shared


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