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Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia: The Symbol of Fine Dining Excellence - Here's Why.

Martino Lapini
copertina aimo e nadia 2023 12 13 02 42 36

For over 60 years, Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia has been an excellence of the Italian gastronomic scene. Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani have taken the baton, not the scepter, and their cuisine highlights the best you can find in the country.

Cover photo: @A Mauri, Italian Gourmet

The restaurant 

The restaurant Aimo and Nadia represent an historic couple. Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani, a pair of exceptionally talented chefs. We had also written about Sabrina Macrì and Beatrice Perin of BistRo di Aimo e Nadia, another unique couple. It's possible that we hadn't thought about it before, possible that we hadn't noticed such an obvious fact. The couple, the diversity, the differences. Not being alone, not progressing alone. Nicola Dell'Agnolo and Alberto Piras in the dining room, another couple. At Luogo, the couple is perhaps the most traditional element, the solid foundation on which to build.

Ritratto Alessandro Negrini Fabio Pisani Stefania Moroni IlLuogodiAimoeNadia phPaoloTerzi
@Paolo Terzi

Working as a pair is not easy. Every single day you have to listen to the other; every single day, there's someone who might contradict you. Yet, every single day, someone listens to your ideas and makes them turn. Puts their sensitivity at the service of yours. Then it happens that the north and the south become friends, that the unity of Italy is not just institutional. It passes from a mussel scaling a mountain or from an alpine cheese going fishing. A matter of balance? Yes, of course. If there is no lasting effort of will, it doesn't hold up in the long run.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani 2
Sala Il Luogo 2

This happens at Il Luogo; they work as a pair. Continuing the work of those who started this incredible restaurant and made it walk through the history of Italian cuisine. For over 60 years, it has continued on this path, undeterred, stubborn. Yet, it's right: here Italy never tires, here it's better than an excellence of Italian gastronomy.

Aimo e Nadia ritratto famiglia 3

Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani have taken the baton, not the scepter. Their cuisine has always been a synthesis of the best you can find in Italy. Few delve into traditions like they do, few still believe in Italy like them. Their new project, TERRIToRI, is another underscore of the role of chefs, according to them: being builders of taste and simultaneously sentinels of the artisanal work of farmers and breeders.


Take Fausto Guadagni from Colonnata. The master of lard, the poet of cured meats. He already served Aimo before the 2000s. He's not a Jedi, not the last on earth. Just someone who made the radical choice to still believe in these spiced white slabs, preserved inside containers made with marble from the local quarries. Ale and Fabio make it their own, seasoned with massive lemons, dill, wild fennel, a mix of Sichuan pepper, grappa, and limoncello.

Moroni Negrini Pisani Il Luogo di aimo e nadia 1

Or Stefano Ciabarri, who at the beginning of Val Chiavenna runs a Gastronomic Workshop where the best bresaola in Italy is produced, without preservatives, without nitrates. Alessandro and Fabio, to continue blending Italy in one bite, make their bresaola from codone flavored with caraway. A bresaola with fat, a totally different perspective, a beef salami oily and melting. They serve it on Calabrian bread soaked in water, along with a green sauce. An appetizer that is a crash of traditions. The third man is Carlo Mazzoleni, who in Gerola Alta refines the historic rebel, Bitto. And the Mascherpa, the mountain ricotta that matures in caves.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani 1

Turning what these men create into restaurant dishes is a social act before being gastronomic. A way to preserve and tell the story with reflective and entertaining notes. Alessandro and Fabio are like human resources managers for the Italian territory, before being chefs. They listen to their stories, discover their struggles, indulge their choices, often radical, often commenting with the most traditional "who else would do it." Thinking of a dish for a new menu is not just a creative process in an unlimited raw material database, but rather a mission of valorization and dissemination. Even this process is not simple, a dish doesn't "jump in your mouth," it doesn't come instantly. It's worth trying until it arrives.

Aimo e Nadia ritratto famiglia 1
@A Mauri, Italian Gourmet

The dishes

Why start with oyster or caviar when you can choose a mussel? A seafood product, a gift from the sea that almost costs nothing, touched by Fabio and Alessandro it becomes a traditional Italian bite: intense and full of satisfaction. The mussel stuffed with buffalo ricotta, Amalfi lemon, and Sarawak black pepper is opened raw and filled with buffalo ricotta and tomato. Then it's briefly steamed. A mussel water jelly is laid on top. Toasted chickpea flour is scattered over and around like sand. In the mouth, it becomes a cream because it's hydrosoluble. Iodine calls out to you, the meatiness of the mussel, the acidity of the citrus and cheese. The prologue already reveals the cards of a great Italy on the plate.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani Cozza Farcita Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia credits A Mauri Italian Gournet
@A Mauri, Italian Gourmet

Along with the mussel is the only dish that didn't convince us. Crisp of buckwheat flour from Bleggio, Colonnata lard, and smoked San Giuseppe trout. More an assembly than a team, despite each element being overqualified. Above all, Fausto Guadagni's lard served as a tiny thick slab. An explosion of citrusy honey, the fat whispering sweet words. In the Harvest Salad, the Territories concept meets the season, and Elena also peeks in, the forager who brings the mix collected on Monte Barro to Montecuccoli Street.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani INSALATA DELLA VENDEMMIA 09

If it was supposed to be a transitional dish, we didn't quite understand it. For us, all the men and women who harvested this year deserve it as a prize. The ensemble recalls wine and sweet notes thanks to strawberry grape, substance and chewiness are given by quince, ricotta, and Tonda Gentile hazelnut, the vegetable bitterness and lipidic bitterness from herbs and Jerusalem artichoke. The seal of greatness comes from Alberto Piras, who pours the Bianco Pomice from Tenuta di Castellaro, a blend of Malvasia delle Lipari and Carricante that does one great thing: puts salt in the salad, marking the clear difference between the pure dish and the dish paired with the wine chosen by the sommelier. Alessandro and Fabio's intention was to create a taste, evoke a taste, not compete to put a greater number of leaves on other leaves - the perfect number has already been found by Enrico Crippa. With the strawberry grape dressing and the absence of solid salt, they succeeded. If Bitto is one of the rarest cheeses in the world, its ricotta is even rarer. Its very low bacterial load allows it to "bloom" for a long time and load itself with an intensity capable of making a great risotto something unforgettable.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani RISOTTO CON MASCHERPA STAGIONATA 05

The Risotto with Mascherpa from the Bitto Valley, Jerusalem artichoke, and Tonda Gentile hazelnut is a precise recipe for cooking, creaminess, salivation, and sweet-savory balance. Nicola Dall'Agnolo grates the mascherpa skillfully at the table and lays it on the risotto like a white bloom. One spoonful after another, while we listen to Alessandro telling us about the San Marco pass, a pass wanted by the Republic of Venice that connects Valtellina to Val Brembana and then up towards the Grisons. In this way, merchants could avoid passing through Lombard territories under Spanish control and thus avoid heavy duties on goods. This road north was also used by the cheesemakers of the Orobie to make the Bitto and the Mascherpa known. Then she arrives.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani Fettuccelle fresche con faraona nostrana e funghi porcini essiccati ok

The absolute homage to Tuscany, tradition launched into the present, Aimo who rushes in and reminds you how stubborn you are. The Fettuccella with Colombaccio Ragù is an icon just to look at it. The wood pigeon is stewed and then deboned and shredded. A wine flavored with apples is reduced and then added; the wood pigeon liver pâté is the supplement for emulsification, the extra that creates the extraordinary. The handmade pasta is allowed to dry before cooking to create the same sensation of "al dente" that is achieved with durum wheat. The bite is paradigmatic of wild recalls, peasant contexts, and authenticity. The acidity given by the flavored and cooked wine is the trick that gives verticality to the dish. The liver pâté is the amplifier, the taste that creeps everywhere, the non-silent concentration. The wine chosen by Alberto Piras continues to play on acidic notes, more forest-like, and on pepper. Other levels of intensity, transcending the taste experience. The Granit 30 Cornas from Domaine Vincent Paris is a Syrah that grows on steep slopes in the Rhone Valley, it has momentum, speed, a hollow structure, spices strike and the fruits cut through. 

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani LA CARTELLATA BARESE 2 1

The Bari Cartellata with cooked fig must, Toritto almond milk, orange marmalade, and cardamom ice cream is the final heel kick of the boot that never ceases to amaze. A typical Apulian dessert is embraced and turned in the name of freshness. Il Luogo by Aimo e Nadia is the emblem of the grand restaurant. Where the cuisine is stellar, and the service too. Where you feel comfortable even though you are the center of attention.

alessandro negrini e fabio pisani Passatina di cachi marroni di Cuneo panna montata e riduzione alla genziana IlLuogodiAimoeNadia ph Paolo Terzi 3
@Paolo Terzi


Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia

Via Privata Raimondo Montecuccoli, 6, 20147 Milan MI

Phone: 02 416886


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