Design Unusual

U Barba (MI)

by Caterina Amerini
U Barba (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

In Milan, born in the spaces of the former Decembrio bowling club, U Barba is a Genoese osteria that evokes all the charm of the Ligurian Riviera.

U Barba was born in 2010 from the idea of two Ligurian friends, Marco Bruni and Paul Lips, to create a place inspired by the atmosphere of the most authentic Genoese taverns.

The name of the place in Ligurian dialect means “the uncle”, a name dear to Marco, both because he is himself an uncle, and because as a child he loved watching the comedies of the famous Genoese actor Gilberto Govi who played the role of a funny uncle. As a tribute to this memory, the black and white images of his gags are, in fact, broadcast in a loop on the beautiful 1960s red TV that decorates one of the tavern’s second-hand cabinets.

U Barba (MI) — Lombardia Secrets
U Barba (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

Bowling alleys are a must in Liguria, when I saw this place for the first time I fell in love with its blue logo, it already contained all the charm of our Riviera.

(Marco Bruni, founder)

This is just one of the vintage objects that decorate U Barba, thanks to Marco’s love – Art Director for years, passionate about architecture and painter for pleasure – for modern antiques and industrial design. The décor of the restaurant, which he personally took care of, is inspired by the post-war seaside mood of the Italian Riviera, underlined by original furnishing accessories such as the wooden shutters, the gigantic rustic table or the old Vespa, Marco’s companion in adventures during his adolescence.

And in an osteria, the photos of famous artists on the walls could not be missing: Marco has reinterpreted this custom in a contemporary way by creating a large moodboard painting that, with the dècollage technique, depicts the most famous Made in Liguria celebrities such as Fabrizio De André, Ivano Fossati, Paolo Villaggio, Moana Pozzi.

U Barba (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

In the kitchen the cook Claudio Lazzoni, obviously Ligurian, prepares the tastiest traditional dishes of his region: from the delicious focaccia to farinata, from homemade pasta such as trofie with pesto with green beans and potatoes or pansoti filled pasta with walnut sauce, up to second courses such as Ligurian-style rabbit and fillet. A real treat is the stuffed anchovies which, given their success, as well as the trofie, have become a classic on the menu.

All the first courses are homemade in the gastronomy laboratory of U Barba where you can also buy their fresh and filled pasta and ready-made sauces.

In the garden, the symbol of the restaurant, the double Italian bowling alley has been preserved intact and functioning, made an artistic installation thanks to the charm of the sculptures of the Milanese artist Fabrizio Pozzoli, where, between a farinata and a drink, you can still play bowls with your friends.

The Secret

Marco, also passionate about advertising graphics, was inspired by the original blue sign of the bowling club to dictate all the stylistic rules of the osteria, from the font of the logo to the color palette.

Useful Info

U Barba
Via Pier Candido Decembrio 33
20137 Milano
Tel. +39 02 45487032

Focaccia: from 8 euro
First courses: 9 — 12 euro
Second courses: 14 — 15 euro

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