Somewhere in Alzate Brianza, a short 30 minute drive away from the center of Milan, lies a cute little cottage house that has its roots traced back to the year 1854. From the stories told by her parents, the culinary talent meet fashion creative Raffaella decided to use the landmark year as the brand for her social eating experiment.
The setting of the house on a little slope with its brick architecture is like a made-for-movie scene in where the protagonist escapes to country side Italy to drink wine, get drunk and find love (not necessarily in that order). For us, we ooh-ed and ahh-ed at just about everything - the garden in which fruits and vegetables grow in abundance, the kitchen in which the unfinished flooring and walls evoke minimalist envy, and the structure of the home itself in which corridors and stairs lead to precious little corners. For them, "Oh, it's just our humble home!"
But it is anything but humble these days as Raffaella puts her culinary magic to good use while using the home as a space to host guests who are interested in a different kind of dining experience.
Forget about restaurants, here she offers thematic menus inspired by her travels (which are many!) where she brings home exotic foreign ingredients and combines them with traditional Italian elements. With the food as a conversation starter, guests sit at the long dining table and new friendships are forged as they embark on this journey of tastes together.
We had the good fortune of having experienced dining both in the kitchen and out in the gorgeous garden during the temperate spring weather but really the panoramic setting is just a plus to Raffaella's cooking. Once you have tasted her desserts, there is no going back for your waistline. :)
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