La Veranda Milan
Every year, in September and February, the city of Milan becomes the home of ever increasing and evolving pageantry of Fashion Week. Arguably, Milan’s fashion week, actually a misnomer because the events encompass a period closer to two weeks, is the most exciting of the global circuit of these fashion events. Thousands of glitterati, fashion models, editors, journalists, celebrities and various hangers-on converge onto this charming city to review the latest designs from some of the best and most famous fashion houses of Italy. The fashion week period is both, exciting and at times frustrating. You can feel the energy coursing through the air as if it were an electric current, sometimes you may even cross over into the sensory overload mode from all of the excitement. However, the restaurant reservations, hotel accommodations and transportation become tough, even impossible at times.
This February we had a chance to experience Milan’s fashion week once again through gracious invitations from Dolce & Gabbana and Armani. We needed a place to stay on short notice and were fortunate to get into our favorite hotel – the Four Seasons. Their hotels are always exemplary and consistent in their approach to accommodate their guests, not just with a room but also by making the stay effortless, super pleasant and memorable. From Paris to Florence, Seychelles to Milan, you feel pampered from the moment the doorman greets you until you check out. The experience is invariably top notch, luxurious and rewarding.
You can imagine how busy the Four Seasons in Milan gets during the fashion week. Every “A” list editor, model or buyer wants to stay there, and trust me, those are demanding guests! Yet the hotel and its team, headed by General Manager Mauro Governato, always remain poised, engaging and focused on delivering the unsurpassed guest experience with a personalized touch for each.
Upon learning that I was a food and fashion blogger, Mauro arranged for a photo shoot in their Michelin quality restaurant, and this is right in the middle of fashion week when the restaurant is filled to capacity every lunch and dinner with noteworthy clientele. The Executive Chef Vito Mollica and Marco Veneruso, the Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, could not be more accommodating in taking their time to talk about his training, experience and philosophy of cuisine.
When traveling or during the busy weekdays in NYC, I can last on black coffee and a croissant until about noon, but then I am the hungriest right before lunch. Thus said, lunch is my favorite meal of the day. For our lunch at La Veranda, my husband and I sat outside, despite the fact that it was still February, in a beautiful sunlit garden. Unavoidably I found myself being caught up in fashion frenzy during MFW. I can never starve myself but I was cautious of what I was eating (especially since, I just had Nika and still had few pounds to loose) to make sure that all my outfits zip and fit :). The excitement of it all, made me crave lighter food options like this beautiful plate of scallop carpaccio with creamy burrata cheese, beetroot puree and shaved mullet roe.
And who doesn’t want to eat that! To me, this plate represents high fashion of haute cuisine! A visually striking, innovative presentation with complex flavors inside – a delicious plate of raw tuna fish in mango ceviche.
Thin mango slices are encompassing a delicious red-fleshed sushi-grade tuna that is silky and bursts with freshness only high-quality tuna can bring.
It’s simply served with micro-greens and bits of orange segments, dressed lightly in olive oil and vinegar.
A main course of grilled fish and a variety of seafood is served with a delicate, mousse-like avocado guacamole that complements the fish in the most delightful way.
The seafood and fish are prepared just right – succulent and crunchy at the same time, what a pleasant sensation!
A traditional Neapolitan pastry, or some will argue French, baba au rhum flavored with lemons and served with delicate vanilla infused Chantilly cream was our sweet confection at the end of the meal. Simple, elegant, classic!
Photographed by Francesco Ciriello.