You don’t just happen to go the the Erba Brusca. It is a restaurant with a vegetable garden at the end of Naviglio Pavese, down towards the suburbs that most don’t really know about, difficult to reach and far from everything… but that for me is “home”. And it will be for you too, once you try it! It is behind Assago, at the bottom of the city of Milan, on the right side of the Canal that leads to Pavia. The classic place that makes you think “it doesn’t feel like Milan!”.
Erba Brusca, brother of the more central Ratanà (same owners, same architects that studied the furnishings, same suppliers) rose in 2011 where once there was the epic Osteria del Tubetto. The owner decided to retire and leave the reigns to these talented young people. In the kitchen you have Alice Delcourt, a very sweet and beautiful Anglo–French–American “Ms. Chef”, who has already worked in Milanese restaurants like Alice and Il Liberty. In the hall her companion in life and adventures: Danilo, already a partner of the Ratanà, who takes care of the wine list, carefully studied and natural-oriented. And, recent news, is a music aficionado! The background music here is in my opinion one of the best in the city.
The restaurant welcomes you with a beautiful wooden bookcase, full of wine bottles. Gentle colors, pastels, lots of wood and green, in various tones. And finally red. The colors of nature if we think about it. Two patios, a smaller one to the left of the restaurant, and a larger one, very beautiful that overlooks the vegetable garden that is at the back. A garden where obviously you’ll find wood sorrel (erba brusca, actually) and many other aromatic herbs along with some vegetables. A “CentimetroZERO” garden, you could call it. Red lawn chairs, a few wood benches furnish this little bucolic corner.
In this magical world, we can’t wait to be transported… through her plates. Constantly evolving dimensions, where the combinations of flavors are often risky. I have adored all of her versions of Cous Cous (Ndr Alice has been the champion of the Cous Cous Fest of San Vito Lo Capo, in Sicily, many times). The spaghetti with clams, truffle and sorrel are a must, just like all of the variations of the “savory tarte tartin”. The creamed vegetables in the winter are delicious. The weekend brunches are superb, with an “a la carte” menu and eggs Benedict among the best of Milan!
Whether it is for an intimate dinner, or a reunion with friends, this is without a doubt one of my favorite places. Simple. Direct. Original. Fresh. A place on the border, with food that know no (geographical) boundaries. You eat and have fun, at Erba Brusca. You drink and feel, at Erba Brusca. You go out and fall in love, with Erba Brusca.