What you’ll get at Milano Torino, apart from an excellent meal, is an education in Piedmontese cuisine. Chef and owner Dario Milano is a fierce proponent of his region’s contributions to Italian cooking, and happy to chat you through the origins of every dish – gorgonzola, camaroli rice (used in risotto) and hazelnuts are some of the ingredients from Piedmont.
Slate-grey walls, dark wooden tables and exposed lighting create a moody atmosphere, and a bench overlooking the kitchen is ideal for solo diners.
Start with a wedge of golden focaccia (one of the secrets to its fluffiness is cooked potato in the dough, says Milano) served with olive oil. The vitello tonnato comes as a neat circle of creamy tuna sauce with thinly sliced veal fanned out on top and a centre of seasonal greens.
In the winter months try the bagna cauda – a warm dip made from garlic, anchovies and olive oil served with vegetables and bread for scooping. It came about when the farmers of the region mixed two ingredients abundant in the area – garlic and anchovies (the latter received from France through the Alps) and oil, which they traded for butter and grains from nearby Liguria. It was made during the off-season, in one big pot that everyone shared.
The wines are all Italian and Milano encourages sampling, selling them all by the glass. There’s also a neat list of Italian cocktails and vermouth.