Today almost all of Italy returns to the yellow zone and, with it, many venues will raise their shutters. Thursday 4 February, after a long stop, the restaurant inaugurated in the Navigli area just under a year ago will reopen: Carico Milano. The idea to open it was by bartender Domenico Carella Together to the founder of Sake Company and Italian representative of the Sake Sommelier Association Lorenzo Ferraboschi. “It was July 2019 and I frequented the Navigli area a lot for consultancy. As soon as this place became available, we decided to take it and revolutionize it according to my international vision. After three months, on February 9, 2020, we had already opened." Load is the abbreviation of Casual Risto Cocktail, "a container of ideas that gives equal importance to food and drink, offered at accessible prices with great research work". Here, everything is served in an elegant room, with star restaurant service and exceptional cutlery. “We wanted to bring the urban world that can be felt in Berlin, Hong Kong and New York, creating a place that is very elegant but also very informal. This combination is precisely the key that has allowed us to obtain enormous feedback in the few months we have had to express ourselves."
Carico Milano is the reflection of the thoughts of its co-owner and host Domenico Carella. With a past as a chef, he has appeared in important venues in foreign lands: Umberto Bombana, Pirata Group, Accor UK and Galvin Brothers. These contexts allowed him to obtain prestigious awards, above all That's Shanghai in 2015, before his life moved to Milan in recent years, where he worked at Langosteria, Aimo e Nadia and Dry Milano. Then, the choice to start this personal project, in which contamination with the kitchen plays a key role chef Leonardo D'Ingeo. “The distinctive feature is precisely this. The creation of both menus takes place at the same time and everything is the result of a single thought, both because I believe that a bar that does not serve food of the same level does not have much appeal, and because we work with fresh ingredients purchased at the market and try to reduce at most all waste”. What remains of the cocktails is used in the dishes and vice versa. The squeezed lime shells, for example, are used to make chutneys. Carico also stands out in breaking classic hierarchical patterns. “We don't have a real bar manager, we prefer instead to create figures who can replace themselves with complete expertise between the room and the bar”.
The cocktail menu is divided into four sections. There are the Classic Cocktails (some of which can be ordered in reduced portions) made up of fifteen more or less well-known proposals, to which are added the Italici – icons of Italian mixing such as the Cardinale and the Milano Torino – and five Martini cocktails. “So we have the Signature Cocktails, nine choices symbolizing my idea of mixing, three different Highball, i Gin Tonic, customizable with your own tastes, and three non-alcoholic cocktails. We also have a wine list, with the 90% of natural wines and a good representation of macerates and bubbles, and a final section dedicated to spirits, with whisky, vodka, rum, cognac, calvados, cachaca, agaves, grappas and spirits, bitters ”. The cocktails offered by Carico are balanced; during the production phase no gustatory aspect is stressed and in the storytelling phase the same does not happen with the latest generation techniques used, although low temperature cooking, air fryers, rotovapors, microwaves are not so common in a cocktail bar kitchen and fermentations.
To those who come here for the first time it is recommended to try one of the two 3 or 6 course tasting menus, a characteristic element of starred restaurants proposed here to savor the dual experience set for customers. In both routes each dish has an accompaniment, be it a cocktail, a wine, a sake, a cider or a mizowari. The cocktail that is the most popular and that Domenico considers the most identifying one for the concept behind Carico Milano is the Capsicum Funky, prepared with tequila redistilled with white chocolate and green jalapeno, Calabrian mandarin liqueur, blend of acids. “If the customer finds, in addition to high-level cocktails, dishes that are equally high-level, they stay longer and this is why some customers arrive for the aperitif and leave at closing”. While the restaurant is temporarily inactive "because home delivery alone would not be able to economically support the accounts of a restaurant opened so recently" the same will be activated when it can reopen, together with the possibility of purchasing, from the restaurant's website, the tools to prepare cocktails at home.