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An artful new restaurant in Milan

by Paolo Ferrarini
on 10 October 2012

Milan's airy new bar and restaurant Pisacco was born out of a collaboration between consulting firm food.different and a group of food- and art-loving friends. As a result, the new eatery is characterized by its close connection to contemporary art, from the name (a deliberate misspelling of Picasso), to the important art works decorating every corner of the space, restrooms included.

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Pisacco's simple, sophisticated menu offers a modern take on traditional Italian fare and highlights quality ingredients sourced primarily from local producers. The dishes—conceived by chef Andrea Berton and prepared daily by Matteo Gelmini—put a gourmet twist on everyday favorites like spaghetti with tomato and basil with mozzarella cream, or basic grilled vegetables. But there are some surprises, including the excellent calamari with guacamole and onion, or the classic Milanese saffron risotto, accompanied by a ragout of veal instead of the traditional marrow.


Pisacco is composed of two levels: sidewalk and underground. The secret garden 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.

Designed by architect Tiziano Vudafieri, the meticulous restoration of the space focused 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. One surprise is the "table for smokers"—cleverly inserted in the window on via Solferino to create an indoor feel, even though the section is technically outside.

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Upstairs, artist Gabriella Ciancimino created a an original wall drawing using aggressive colors and tones, which provides a nice contrast to the restaurant's relaxed, no-frills atmosphere. In the mural, the young Palermo artist rendered an uncultivated urban garden as if it were made from red scratches. The same floor features works by Jonathan Monk, Mario Milizia, Diego Perrone, Aleksandra Mir and Christian Frosi. Downstairs, patrons will find videos from Chinese art collective Island 6, as well as installations and photographs by Annie Ratti and works from Brazilian artists Laura Lima and Alexandre da Cunha. As new works are provided by different collectors, the display will continue to change.

Find more information or reservation details at

Images by Santi Caleca for Pisacco

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