Design Unusual

Cavoli a Merenda (MI)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Cavoli a Merenda (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

In the elegant heart of Corso Magenta, Cavoli a Merenda is hidden inside an ancient building with a marvelous winter garden terrace, where you can experience the emotion of the romantic banquets of the late 18th century patrician apartments.

The story of Cavoli a Merenda seems like the happy ending of a fairy tale, only this time the princess has chosen to live happily ever after in the “kitchen” of her castle. The protagonist of the story is Vanessa: she falls in love, starts a family and leaves her job in high finance to devote herself to her passion, cooking.

As a true “heroine”, she decides to literally build her own restaurant in the family palace.
She renovates an entire apartment, restoring all the original eighteenth-century details, from the coffered ceiling to the floor, and adding personal touches, such as the gilded rococo mirrors and the very original wooden tables with mirrored tops created to reflect the glow of the romantic candles always lit up, even at lunch.

Cavoli a Merenda (MI) — Lombardia Secrets
Cavoli a Merenda (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

My cooking is an act of love, for my family as well as for my guests, where everything is designed to align mind, heart and palate.

(Vanessa, chef and owner)

So in 2013 the couple opens the restaurant that decide, ironically, to call it Cavoli a Merenda, a tribute to Vanessa’s favorite vegetable, the Roman cabbage.

The kitchen is a real masterpiece, designed to be “enjoyed” by guests who cross it to go to the outdoor terrace or by those who attend the cooking classes held by Vanessa, the most loved by the Milanese. Completely made to measure, it recalls, in fact, the ones of manor houses of the early 1800s with large wardrobes in ivory-colored wood paneling, huge marble shelves and the green lights typical of the pool tables.

In her kingdom, Vanessa, perfect cook and hostess, creates delicious dishes based on fresh food, short or steam cooking and light seasonings. Vanessa collaborates, in fact, with the Dietitian Doctor Katrin Kutz to ensure the perfect nutritional balance in every dish according to a correct diet. A feature much loved by loyal customers and which is why Cavoli a Merenda is one of the most popular locations for events and fashion presentations (on the other hand, there are no double shifts to ensure total chatting relaxation!).

Cavoli a Merenda (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

If the raw material is selected throughout Italy, that found locally is a true hymn to the most authentic Milanese style, such as Vittorio Oldani’s meats, fruit and vegetables from the Brera Garden, bread from the Bollani Bakery, tea and infusions from Hodeidah.

On the menu, we find refined recipes such as squid in butter on white wine bread cream with cruschi peppers, chestnut gnocchi with baked Brussels sprouts and bacon on pumpkin cream, white fish carpaccio on turnip greens with cream with chilli and cashews, or cooked and raw prawns with cooked and raw artichokes.

Cavoli a Merenda (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

The wine list, selected by the sommelier Marco Longagnani who prefers small artisan cellars, contains real gems, such as, among the bubbles, Champagne Jean Vesselle G.C. Le Petit Clos Brut 1999 and, among the reds, the 2003 Gravner Rosso Rujno.

In summer, you can book in the romantic glass-iron veranda inspired by the orangeries of the late 19th century which in winter transforms into a heated winter garden, a truly unique place in Milan for an en plein air treat in complete comfort.

The Secret

A legend tells that there is a tunnel in the basement of the building leading to the nearby Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This is not surprising given that the whole area at the end of the 15th century was owned by Duke Ludovico il Moro, who commissioned the fresco to the famous artist.

Useful Info

Cavoli a Merenda
Corso Magenta 66
20123 Milano
Tel. +39 338 4679513

Starters and first courses: 20 — 30 euro
Second courses: 20 — 30 euro
Desserts: 10 euro

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