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Eataly, Alitalia Design High-End Airplane Food

Eataly, Alitalia Design High-End Airplane Food

Economy-class passengers get food from Eataly

As if we didn’t wish we were on a flight to Italy enough already, Alitalia and Eataly have partnered to create a limited-time “Eataly Menu” for the airline’s flights from Rome to New York.

The menu includes baked penne rigate from the Afeltra Gragano pasta factory; meatballs from Piemontese beef served with saffron rice and peas; carrot roulade and zucchini; breadsticks from Piemonte; Grana Padano DOP cheese; and peaches with Amaretto.

Gourmet airplane food and Champagne are sort of hallmarks of international travel for the lucky people up in first class, but this Eataly menu is actually happening back in the economy and premium economy sections, so it’s not just for the fancy people.

Other Eataly-sourced snacks will be served during the flight, including focaccia Genovese, strolghino, a special kind of salami di Zibello DOP made by l’Antica Ardegna Massimo Pezzani; and a selection of pastries signed by nationally acclaimed pastry chef Luca Montersino, according to Alitalia.

The first installment of the Eataly/Alitalia partnership is running until Oct. 8, but Eataly’s Facebook page teases that there might be more in the wings: “For now it’s just a test, but … then … maybe … who knows!”


The most terminals Rome Airport has ever had in operation at one time was four, but Terminal 2 was demolished so that Terminal 1 could be expanded to handle additional traffic. As a result the airport has three terminals that are used for varying purposes.

Terminal 1 includes the gates operated primarily by Alitalia.. read more

Terminal 3 includes the gates operated by most other airlines.. read more

Terminal 5 includes the gates that had been operated by airlines from Israel and the United States but the building is not accessible as it is currently being refurbished.. read more


Best Restaurants in Boston

T o everything there is a season—especially in dining. Ingredients shift to reflect what’s fresh. Menus change with the weather. (Goodbye, summer salads. Hello, soups and stews!) And when it comes to our annual list of the 50 top restaurants in Boston, we see a similar evolution: Some star chefs who once helped define the city’s dining scene are no longer, or only sparingly, represented. (Wherefore art thou, Michael Schlow?) Meanwhile, a new generation of culinary innovators—those who cut their teeth working under the old guard—are finally coming into their own.

But don’t get sentimental this is a great time for local diners, as Boston’s top restaurants embrace the future with the same passion once reserved for celebrating the city’s history. Our number one pick, for instance, places a fine-dining restaurant, where one might expect white tablecloths, alongside a casual brewery the list rounds out with a contemporary take on traditional communal feasts. And in between? Every spot reflects a unique point of view—a perspective on food that is all its own. Diners want that. We demand it. In 2019, cooking technically good food is no longer enough.

Times are changing and so is Boston. Here are the restaurants setting the pace.

[2020 update: The COVID-19 pandemic has made for strange and uncertain times in Boston’s restaurant industry. Rather than update our annual list of the city’s 50 best restaurants, we’ve created a more timely look at the 25 hottest spots—places that have expertly met the challenges of the year head-on—and continue to deliver plenty of city’s-best dining guides to different cuisines and experiences. Check them out, and support your local restaurants.]

At Tasting Counter, guests get a front-row seat to chef Peter Ungár’s culinary magic. / Photo by Peter van der Warker

Tasting Counter

In 2019, fine dining flourishes, rule-free, wherever it finds itself. Exhibit A: chef Peter Ungár’s ticketed tasting-menu experience inside the same Somerville warehouse as a hipster-packed brewery. And it is an experience—theater, really—to sit at the 20-seat counter, lined with suit jackets and T-shirts alike, and watch the tiny army on the other side tweeze together stunning plates such as octopus with charred strawberry and local beach-rose vinegar. Away from sky-high Boston rents, Ungár has room to experiment—and reveal what unencumbered talent tastes like. Somerville, tastingcounter.com.

At Asta, chef Alex Crabb also indulges our current obsession with tasting menus—while tossing out some irreverent left turns to keep us on our toes. Here, the procession of plates follows an unexpected, lilting melody: saffron-flecked mussels in salt-cod foam here, a crisp BLT there. The casual vibe, meanwhile, belies the high-end technique Crabb honed at the late L’Espalier—and now shares with guests in his own dining room. Back Bay, astaboston.com.

Uni evades easy descriptions. Yes, it’s a “sashimi bar,” but that hardly does justice to chef Tony Messina’s jewel-like raw presentations, such as knifejaw with blueberry kombucha. “Japanese-inspired small plates”? Sure—though Wagyu dumplings with cheddar-dashi broth, a heckuva play on a steak-and-cheese, probably weren’t what you were expecting. But that’s the beauty of this modern izakaya: It must be experienced to be understood, and even then, more surprises await each return. Back Bay, uni-boston.com.

Pansotti with goat cheese is among the handmade pastas at SRV, a Venetian-style hot spot in the South End. / Photo by Morgan Ione Yeager

How to stand out in Boston’s sea of red-sauce Italian joints? Step one: Eschew the Sunday gravy in favor of something completely contemporary. That’s the MO, at least, of this South End stunner, which takes inspiration from Venetian wine bars to churn out super-seasonal plates that make use of the fullest Boot-inspired bounty: smoked mussels and garlic scapes swimming in a pool of corn risotto, say, or fresh tagliatelle that shines tomato-free courtesy of spice-cured speck and arugula. South End, srvboston.com.

Harmony is key to the one-bite bliss of O Ya’s unparalleled nigiri—and to the enduring joy of its hospitality. While the prices suggest “special occasion,” attentive, jeans-clad servers put everyone at ease, whether pouring impromptu sake flights to help us commit to a bottle or marking up the paper menu with their expert recommendations (don’t miss the plump slab of foie gras enhanced by an umami-sweet slick of chocolate kabayaki sauce). Leather District, o-ya.restaurant.

Sarma

In an age when diners plot their orders like battle strikes, breathlessly dissecting online menus before they even arrive at a restaurant, we miss the element of surprise, of evenings that meander in unexpected directions. Hats off to Sarma for its devotion to nightly specials, ordered on a whim from friendly, platter-toting servers who weave among the tables. (Never say no to the sesame fried chicken.) They supplement the regular list of Turkish- and Middle Eastern–inflected meze that continue, quite inventively, to spice up Boston’s dining scene. Somerville, sarmarestaurant.com.

Strewn with leafy planters, flowers, and branch-like sculptures, Field & Vine is a garden of delights tucked down a Union Square alleyway. / Photo courtesy of Field & Vine

Field & Vine

Out: the era of rock-star chefs glowering in headshots over crossed, knife-wielding arms. In: the humble brilliance embodied by this farm-to-table spot, marked by a peace-sign wreath on its door. But while husband-and-wife team Andrew Brady and Sara Markey emanate sweet soulfulness, their menu—divided into “vegetables” (see: grilled squash blossoms stuffed with lemon and ricotta) and “not vegetables” (roast duck with nectarines and black raspberries)—packs a surprising punch. Somerville, fieldandvinesomerville.com.

The Table at Season to Taste

This homey restaurant has become our date-night go-to, and not just because Top Chef alum Carl Dooley inspires wanderlust with his mastery of the world’s spice rack, interpreting Peruvian ceviche with the same prowess as a Kashmiri lamb curry. It’s also thanks to the Table’s intimate approach to service: Everything is perfectly paced and fully relaxed as the evening unfolds in four courses. Feel the spark? We do. Cambridge, cambridgetable.com.

Craigie on Main

Ten years after moving Craigie to Main Street, Tony Maws continues to spearhead a slow-food vision that only gets better with time, steadfast in its French-American ideals yet nimble in approach. His switch to a prix-fixe format is a fine accent to the adjacent COMB, a new bar room hawking the chef’s iconic burger—still available in limited quantities and still every bit worth the hype. Cambridge, craigieonmain.com.

Bar Lyon in the South End is a new standout for soul-satisfying French bouchon fare. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Bar Lyon

What’s old is new again, and no place proves it more than this traditional bouchon, the latest from chef Jamie Mammano. No pomp or flash here—just rustic, time-honored French fare, including luscious quenelle de brochet, pike dumplings drunk on lobster velouté. It’s all served with a side of timeless Gallic hospitality, evidenced in the twinkling candlelight, warm service, and convivial bar scene where the “Bon Temps” (that’s a whiskey cocktail) roll. South End, barlyon.com.

Café Sushi

The adage “better with age” doesn’t usually apply to seafood, but it’s certainly true for this 35-year-old sushi bar. In recent years, chef Seizi Imura has updated the interior of his family’s value-driven restaurant, as well as its sake and wine lists. Now a Cambridge strip mall is a favorite place for savvy diners to pair a bottle of naturally produced French grenache blanc with Japanese snapper, delivered fresh that morning. Cambridge, cafesushicambridge.com.

Bar Mezzana

Is there anything chef Colin Lynch can’t do? In the past year alone, he’s launched a tiki bar, a secret sushi counter, and an American brasserie—and yet remarkably, his firstborn is as exceptional as ever. In fact, the coastal Italian eatery’s azure-fringed dining room practically hums with Amalfi cool, as do the peachy house spritzes on the beverage menu. Handmade pasta, meanwhile, is a stellar complement to Lynch’s true calling: daily-changing crudo of all stripes. South End, barmezzana.com.

Singapore chili lobster sets tastebuds aflame at Uni, home to recent James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Messina. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Alden & Harlow

At his first Cambridge restaurant, chef Michael Scelfo continues to awe with a more-is-more approach to flavor that feels distinct in the oft-understated American farm-to-table genre. Every dish, in fact, benefits from his bold burnishes: Countnecks beguile in an herbaceous stew of garlicky butter, while late-summer beets and ground cherries usher in fall with a coat of warm berbere spices. Wash it all down with equally daring cocktails, including the “24 Carrot,” bourbon paired with roasted carrot, maple rum, and cumin. Cambridge, aldenharlow.com.

Talulla

At a time when so many of their peers have launched casual concepts, one thirtysomething married couple is carrying the torch for white-linen dining—while making it notably less stiff. Foremost, Talulla is a spectacular showcase for Conor Dennehy’s global menus (see: octopus salad with nori crème fraîche) and Danielle Ayer’s noteworthy wines. But with just 12 seats in a cozy setting, the restaurant is as perfect for a laid-back Tuesday meal as a birthday celebration. Cambridge, talullacambridge.com.

Coppa

A local pioneer in the nose-to-tail movement when it opened 10 years ago, this neighborhood hang still wears Boston’s charcuterie crown. But since one cannot live on cured meat alone, it’s a good thing the enoteca’s other offerings—from flame-scorched pizzas piled with eggplant and grated bottarga to veggie-forward piatti like wood-oven-roasted shishito peppers—are also king. South End, coppaboston.com.

Select Oyster Bar shucks bivalves within a Back Bay brownstone. / Photo by Brian Samuels Photography

Select Oyster Bar

Almost half a decade after it shucked its first oyster, Select’s esteem continues to grow from within a nondescript Back Bay brownstone—a testament to chef Michael Serpa’s willingness to put great food before ego-fueled frills. It also speaks to the toque’s talent for reeling in seafood-seeking locals and tourists alike with a menu of thoughtful, seasonally driven dishes (champagne-poached shrimp, Mediterranean-style whole-roasted sea bream) that let the true star of the plate—the fish—shine. Back Bay, selectboston.com.

Chickadee

Like most new Seaport restaurants, Chickadee looks slick and modern—befitting its nest inside the Boston Design Center. But what really makes it sing is what’s beneath the surface: vibrant Mediterranean-inspired flavors that work in tandem with local ingredients (think: wild-caught striped bass atop lobster and harissa-scented couscous). Smart cocktails—say, a Japanese whiskey tonic with toasted coconut and green apple—reinforce the idea that Chickadee is much more than pretty plumage.
Seaport, chickadeerestaurant.com.

Pammy’s

Near the heart of Central Square, a fireplace-warmed room beats with intangible warmth. This is Pammy’s, where married co-owners Pam and Chris Willis wed the timelessness of an Italian trattoria with a New American ethos that permits giddy riffing: Witness squid ragu over ink-blackened spaghetti with pops of almonds and sweet fried peppers. Add a post-meal affogato at the bar and it’s official—we’re in love. Cambridge, pammyscambridge.com.

Squid-ink-blackened spaghetti is an eye-catcher at Pammy’s, a quaint Cambridge trattoria. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Terra

Even when there’s snow on the ground, we’re warmed—inside and out—by the springtime aura that exudes from Eataly Boston’s top-floor restaurant. How could we not be, after taking in the flora draping every corner of the dining room, and the wood-fired grill holding court at the center of it? From there, chef Dan Bazzinotti sends out flame-kissed meat skewers and lamb T-bones augmented with cherry agrodolce—all ready for pairing with ice-cold beers aged on-site in an oak wine barrel. Back Bay, eataly.com/boston.

Oleana

Ana Sortun’s breakout restaurant is, in a word, transportive, from its secret-garden-like patio to the complex dishes that capture the chef-owner’s enthusiasm for Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. But after 18 years in the kitchen, Sortun and her pastry chef, Maura Kilpatrick, aren’t content to rest on their laurels, always finding new ways to use a stockpile of exciting spices and churning out on-trend treats like sweet-corn ice cream pops. Cambridge, oleanarestaurant.com.

Grill 23 & Bar

In a dining era full of twee small-plates purveyors, this unabashedly Old Boston steakhouse offers an almost antiquated promise: regal feasts centered around red meat (the 100-day-dry-aged rib-eye remains a crowning achievement), hulking sides like lobster mac ’n’ cheese, and stiff cocktails showcasing cigar-smoke-infused bourbon. After dinner, enjoy an actual stogie, prepared tableside for puffing outside. Here, the grandest forms of the Good Life live on. Back Bay, grill23.com.

Eclectic, globe-spanning plates at Brassica Kitchen + Café. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Brassica Kitchen + Café

You’ll have incredible fun here. Everyone else certainly does, including chefs Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta, who bob behind the kitchen line morning to night with boundless energy, infusing their fine-dining backgrounds with punk-next-door whimsy. The resulting menu bounces everywhere, from fried chicken smothered in maple umeboshi to striper buried under sweet succotash and edible flowers. Play with us, it implores. We’re game. Jamaica Plain, brassicakitchen.com.

Tiger Mama

Over the past eight years, chef-restaurateur Tiffani Faison has transformed the Fenway’s dining landscape with her now four (count ’em!) neighborhood ventures. But it’s at Tiger Mama, an animated Southeast Asian–inspired haven, that her bold voice speaks the loudest. Burn through a flavor riot of vibrantly spiced noodle dishes and the smoked-and-fried duck with chili mayo before cooling down with pastry wiz Dee Steffen Chinn’s knockout coconut sticky rice with mango pudding. Fenway, tigermamaboston.com.

Yvonne’s

Too often, “sexy hot spot” and “great restaurant” find little overlap. But this unapologetically scene-y, rococo resto-lounge—which replaced the most hallowed of Boston dining rooms, Locke-Ober—continues to win us over with a freewheeling menu service as bright and beguiling as the chandeliers and plenty of ironic opulence (behold a painting of Bill Murray in military regalia). Downtown, yvonnesboston.com.

The maple-pumpkin tart is a sweet surprise at Yvonne’s. / Photo by Drew Katz

Mooncusser Fish House

An old-school Boston seafooder with white tablecloths, formal service, and conventional coursing on a top-50 list in—gasp!—2019? You betcha. While the vibe at Mooncusser is a throwback, the kitchen’s preparations are anything but. Here, grilled squid is presented in an über-fresh Vietnamese-style salad bluefish gets a lift from mint and yogurt and even from-the-land proteins showcase a dash of whimsy. Duck breast with a chestnut waffle, anyone? Back Bay, mooncusserfishhouse.com.

Tres Gatos

“Dining out” feels more like coming home at Tres Gatos, a hip, living-room-like tapas joint where servers will happily toss on whatever vinyl we buy from the restaurant’s adjacent music shop/bookstore. Sure, the Spanish-inspired small plates on the menu—say, seared scallops with salt-cod espuma—well surpass anything we could pull off in our own kitchen, but home is where the heart is, and ours is right here. Jamaica Plain, tresgatosjp.com.

Giulia

Carb lovers, unite! At Giulia, it’s (still) all about the pasta—painstakingly produced in a cozy, brick-lined space that encourages lingering with a glass of something deep and red. Dough aside, Michael Pagliarini also knows his way around small-bite sfizi and hearty meat-and-fish mains (swordfish with caper-studded caponata is a favorite). Savor them all at the chef’s “pasta table,” a wide workspace of white oak repurposed for large groups that’s as memorable as it sounds. Cambridge, giuliarestaurant.com.

A Kamayan feast at Tanám. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Somehow, every night at this tapas joint still carries the buzz of a brand-new opening, as fawning local admirers of chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette sit elbow to elbow with out-of-towners lured by Toro’s now-global presence (outposts exist in New York City, Bangkok, and Dubai). Together, they devour the famed grilled street corn, supple salt-cod croquettes, and more-eclectic tapas—may we suggest the miso-butter-brushed uni bocadillo?—that keep this institution fresh. South End, toro-restaurant.com.

In just three years on the South End–Roxbury border, chef-owner Douglass Williams has created something that already feels indispensable: fresh and urbane yet emanating the warmth of a neighborhood favorite. But you don’t have to live near Mida to feel like it’s yours: Be lured in by the glow beckoning through the wide street-corner windows and promises of the best focaccia around, and you’ll soon join the regulars returning for perfect negronis and house-made pasta (oh, that Bolognese!) over and over again. South End, midaboston.com.

When it comes to TV shows, films, and restaurants, a spinoff rarely surpasses the original. Bisq, the sister restaurant to Somerville’s Bergamot, is the rare exception. Here, the kitchen takes its older sibling’s devotion to traditionally coursed American cuisine in an inventive small-plates direction that’s big on flavor: Witness the fiery fried chicken with Thai bird’s-eye-chili salt, extinguished by a superlative wine list that offers many selections as half-pours, letting us take ’em for a much-appreciated spin. Cambridge, bisqcambridge.com.

Suzuki sea bass sashimi with avocado and spicy cucumber vinaigrette from O Ya. / Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Gustazo

We were regularly braving westbound traffic to reach Gustazo’s Waltham restaurant when word came that a second, larger location was headed to Cambridge. Mercy! Now we have easy access to chef Patricia Estorino’s contemporary Cuban fare and fun, family-table vibe. Best of all, these new digs let us wash down her tapas-style plates—such as grilled lamb chops brightened with mint salsa and nutty romesco—with rum-forward libations dreamed up by local bar genius Sam Treadway. Cambridge, gustazo-cubancafe.com.

Gustazo’s modern spins on Cuban cuisine are an exciting addition to the Cambridge dining scene. / Photo by Jim Brueckner

Fox & the Knife

Southie’s hottest after-work hang is no longer some Guinness-soaked corner pub—it’s this highly anticipated opening from Top Chef alum Karen Akunowicz. The aperitivo-hour crowds start with sips from the whip-smart amari list, then move on to the house-made pastas informed by Akunowicz’s early-career experience in Emilia-Romagna. They linger into the dinner hour under the glow of the restaurant’s “Stay Foxy” sign, which matches the chef’s signature electric-pink hair—and the vibe of her alluring debut restaurant. South Boston, foxandtheknife.com.

Neptune Oyster

Bostonians can be a fickle bunch: We despise change as much as we demand it. So kudos to Neptune’s new chef, Eric Frier, for charting his own course at this North End seafood icon without touching what’s sacred (read: the legendary lobster roll and johnnycakes). Among his menu upgrades: yellowfin collar for two that gets a briny pop from boquerones, and meaty striped bass with duck confit, artichoke purée, and littlenecks. As for Neptune’s devotion to icy platters of raw-bar delights? Steady as she goes. North End, neptuneoyster.com.

Bondir

These days, you can’t throw a fork in Boston without hitting a farm-to-table or prix-fixe restaurant. But years before all the cool kids were slinging coursed-out locavore extravaganzas, chef Jason Bond was quietly making it his singular vision at this country-home-inspired Cambridge charmer. Thankfully, the confidence that comes from being ahead of the culinary curve keeps his cooking as fresh as the heirloom veggies plucked from his 2-acre garden. Cambridge, bondircambridge.com.

Deuxave

In an age when even the most esteemed chefs are opening footloose-and-fancy-free fast-casuals, is elegance a lost art? Mais non, says Deuxave toque Christopher Coombs, who proudly traffics in fine modern-French ambiance and cuisine: see his crispy-skinned chicken arranged around painterly strokes of green harissa, or balsamic-brushed foie gras accompanied by a sliver of cherry-and-pistachio cake. The technique: type A. The experience: A-plus. Back Bay, deuxave.com.

Juliet

In a hectic, rushed world, this uncommonly earnest neighborhood café/restaurant fancies every meal as an experience to be savored. That’s why its all-day menus offer multiple entry points, from à la carte Sunday dinners (dubbed Romeo’s at Juliet) to pre-ticketed, prix-fixe “productions” with seasonal themes: currently wild apples. All convey chef Josh Lewin’s technique-driven yet warm cuisine, not to mention co-owner Katrina Jazayeri’s hospitality—and her winsome wine list emphasizing boutique producers. Somerville, julietsomerville.com.

No. 9 Park

Put simply: We’ll always need No. 9 Park. While flashier fine-dining spots hog the spotlight, Barbara Lynch’s flagship in the shadow of the State House’s gold dome is still in a class—emphasis on class—of its own. The menu remains special-occasion-worthy, wisely eschewing trends in favor of the crowd-pleasing consistency epitomized by its signature prune-stuffed gnocchi. The white-tableclothed dining room overlooking the Common, meanwhile, is unabashedly Beacon Hill: refined, familiar, and utterly timeless. Beacon Hill, no9park.com.

Myers + Chang

When Joanne Chang put aside her Harvard degree in applied mathematics to enter the chef life, she probably didn’t think she and restaurateur-husband Christopher Myers would end up inventing an enduring (and oft-copied) formula for funky pan-Asian plates. At Myers + Chang, they still do it best, as evidenced in dishes like wok-charred Japanese udon noodles with black-bean oyster sauce, Indonesian fried rice with pork and pineapple, and a Filipino-inspired take on a blooming onion. South End, myersandchang.com.

Chef John daSilva leads his kitchen team at Chickadee, a high-flying Seaport newcomer. / Photo by Kristin Teig

Celeste

Cofounders JuanMa Calderón (a filmmaker by trade) and Maria Rondeau (an architect) turned their home-based Peruvian pop-up project into a joyful, beautifully idiosyncratic restaurant that earned national attention within its first year. But an inspiring backstory didn’t land Celeste a place on this list—our loyalty comes from sipping piscos alongside sparkling ceviche and ambrosial seco de cordero (lamb stew) in a snug space whose open kitchen and swinging South American soundtrack invite all diners to make themselves at home. Somerville, celesteunionsquare.com.

Sycamore

Who says suburban restaurants can’t keep up with their city brethren? Certainly no one who’s ever visited Sycamore. One of three Newton spots helmed by chef-owner David Punch, it’s packed nightly with both neighborhood types and city dwellers reverse-commuting for killer cocktails and farm-sourced American-bistro fare, such as grilled quail with hazelnut and Mission fig. Here’s hoping that one day, Punch finally brings a knockout like this to Boston. Newton, sycamorenewton.com.

Hojoko

Four years in, the party’s still going strong at this boisterous Fenway-side izakaya from O Ya’s Tim and Nancy Cushman—and thanks to the recent addition of an adjacent vinyl-record lounge, the good times keep getting better. The restaurant’s retro-kitsch, rock ’n’ roll–inspired digs set the stage for no-rules cocktails (cheers to sake bombs and entourage-size punch bowls!) and riffs on Japanese tavern food (crispy calves’ brains with fish-sauce butter, “Funky Chicken” ramen) served till last call, seven nights a week. Fenway, hojokoboston.com.

Little Donkey

The oh-so-typical youngest sibling in Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s restaurant family is bold and unrestrained, channeling its (purposeful) lack of focus into celebrations of freewheeling creativity. The result? A smorgasbord of global small plates that jump from Turkish dumplings to a Mexican-inspired spin on Chinese dandan noodles to a burger topped with foie gras and onion-soup mayo. Impossible to pin down, but full of fun—doesn’t every clan need someone like that? Cambridge, littledonkeybos.com.

A handsome dining room and top chops make Grill 23 & Bar an enduring icon. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

Brewer’s Fork

Sicilian. Neapolitan. Al taglio. Everyone has a different idea of the perfect pizza—until they visit this Charlestown favorite, where the woodfired pies, more rustic Yankee than anything Italian, unite us all in agreement: These rule. (So do the small plates, including tender meatballs roasted in the same oven.) Of course, stellar pizza demands an equally epic beer selection, and Brewer’s is among Boston’s best, offering an assortment of juicy IPAs, assertive lambics, and bourbon-barrel-aged sours. Charlestown, brewersfork.com.

Sweet Cheeks Q

Tiffani Faison’s first restaurant is a great one—the fact that it just so happens to specialize in barbecue is totally beside the point. Arguably Boston’s first real destination restaurant for ’cue, Sweet Cheeks has forced city slickers to respect the Americana art of smoked meats. But just as important to the dining experience, its cocktails, desserts, and vegetarian accoutrements—including a heavenly farm salad with roasted broccoli and minted peas, tossed with lemon buttermilk vinaigrette—are stars in their own right, not afterthoughts. Fenway, sweetcheeksq.com.

Waypoint

Chef Michael Scelfo tackles seafood with bold style, and ends up hooking us with winners in every category. Kicky crudo notions (such as hiramasa with parsley crema, fried capers and almonds) pave the way to live fire-cooked pizzas topped with chopped clams or smoked whitefish. Then there’s the house made pastas like uni bucatini, mostly-classic caviar service, and absinthe cocktails—all piling on the punch. Scelfo is quite an angler, and he has an angle—a colorful view of coastal cuisine that sees farther into the future than most. Cambridge, waypointharvard.com.

Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth

Kava Neo-Taverna

When the early-evening sunlight hits Kava’s oversize windows, it feels like maybe, just maybe, you could close your eyes and teleport yourself from the South End to some charming taverna in Athens. A never-ending parade of beautifully executed mezedakia (phyllo-wrapped feta drizzled with honey, fried smelts sprinkled with lemon zest) reinforces that notion. The restaurant’s wide selection of Mediterranean wines, meanwhile, is as light and fresh as a swim in the Aegean. South End, kavaneotaverna.com.

Chef Ronsky’s

When Ron Suhanosky opened a daytime café in a Chestnut Hill shopping center three years ago, it felt like an odd fit for the James Beard Award–winning toque, founder of the acclaimed Sfoglia restaurants in Nantucket and New York City. Reimagined as a tiny trattoria, though, the new Chef Ronsky’s fully expresses its owner’s many culinary talents, piling upon mismatched dishware his outstanding seasonal pastas (such as spaghetti in strawberry-tomato balsamic sauce) and Italian-inspired specials—are they ever!—like halibut with caper-spiked caponata. Chestnut Hill, chefronskys.com.

La Morra

Times change. La Morra reflects that in its seasonal approach to northern Italian cuisine (see: cornish hen under a brick with walnut-dill pesto to usher in autumn). But this romantic stalwart has also weathered a fickle industry that favors the buzzy and new—for 16 years now!—thanks to rare, enviable consistency, showcased best in chef Josh Ziskin’s timeless tagliatelle Bolognese. Brookline, lamorra.com.

Island Creek Oyster Bar

When this restaurant offshoot of a Duxbury oyster farm first dropped anchor, it rapidly accelerated a tide change in Boston seafood: Simple broiled scrod wouldn’t cut it anymore, kehd. One majorly upscaled dining decade later, Island Creek now steams ahead as the compromise between frill-free and overly fussy fish-focused fare—don’t miss the stellar lobster roll with chips and coleslaw and the lobster roe noodles gussied up with braised short rib and mushrooms. Kenmore Square, islandcreekoysterbar.com.

Tanám

Conversation is at the heart of Tanám—how could it not be, when you’re gathered with strangers around a 10-person table, eating with your hands from a banana leaf piled with steamed lobster and spring rolls during one of chef Ellie Tiglao’s kamayan feasts? Tiglao uses Filipinx cuisine—underrepresented in Boston dining—as an entry point for tableside storytelling about culture and community, part of her larger commitment to food-justice activism. “Narrative cuisine,” she calls it. Here’s what we call it: inspired. Somerville, tanam.co.

Read more about 2019’s best restaurants in Boston.

This list is updated throughout the year to reflect closures and other prominent developments. Please send updates to food editor Scott Kearnan at [email protected] .


Eat off the beaten path

On the suggestion of a friend, I bussed from the airport directly to Tacos El Gordo — a 60-minute trip (I missed the 108 bus, which gets there in about half the time). With roots in Tijuana, Mexico, the cheerfully crowded taco stand in a nondescript strip mall between downtown and the Strip features a row of meat carvers behind the counter, ready to shave spit-marinating pork into pliant corn tortillas ($2.60). Two tacos topped with chopped onions and cilantro made a bargain meal. I was lucky to get a table.

It’s not that you can’t eat cheaply on the Strip. Donald Contursi, the owner of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, introduced me to several specials, including the $29 three-course lunch, which includes creamy Greek spreads such as tzatziki and grilled fish at Estiatorio Milos, and $5 happy hour appetizers at Mr. Chow. At Eataly, a bustling new food hall that anchors the Park MGM hotel in a space that could double as a train station, focaccia slices sold from $2.90.

But by wandering farther afield, I found intriguing and affordable food. Downtown, I wandered from the dimly lit Downtown Cocktail Room, lively with locals during “halfy hour,” when my $12 Paloma was $6 (Monday through Saturday 4 to 7 p.m.), to the new robata bar Hatsumi at Fergusons Downtown, a former motel now housing restaurants, shops and co-working spaces. Decorated in cartoon monsters, Hatsumi served skewered meats ($2 to $6 each) to the mostly under-40 urbanites who are repopulating downtown Las Vegas.

A friend who lives in another gentrifying neighborhood, the Arts District, guided me to Able Baker Brewing Company, an industrial spot with the brew kettles in the back named for the first two atomic bombs, Able and Baker, detonated at the Nevada Test Site north of town in 1951. Here we had juicy I.P.A.s (most pints, $5 to $8) and generous pork banh mi sandwiches ($9). On the cusp of the Arts District, I paid $6.50 for a chicken-stuffed arepa, or corn cake folded taco-style, at the Venezuelan Viva Las Arepas, a low-key quick service spot where I watched Latin American telenovelas with the office lunch crowd.

Through Eater, which has a thorough guide on cheap eating in town, I discovered Takopa, a tiny and friendly Japanese spot where I sat at the bar and watched the cooks prepare their specialty fried octopus fritters (four for $4.95) in Chinatown, a neighborhood filled with pan-Asian dining deals that required two buses to reach, but worth every bite.


Banana, Walnut, and Chocolate Focaccia

We recently traveled to New York to attend the wedding of some good friends. Just around the corner from their loft in the Flatiron District, we discovered Eataly, my new favorite spot in the city. The New York Times described it as a “megastore” that “combines elements of a bustling European open market, a Whole-Foods-style supermarket, a high-end food court and a New Age learning center.”

An Italian megastore it is indeed! Boasting several restaurants, Eataly houses long aisles of olive oil, handmade pasta, an amazing selection of cheeses, seafood, and meats. If anything makes me feel like a kid in a toy store, this place does.

We made two visits to Eataly during our stay in the city. We truly had the full New York experience when we ended up there at 4 P.M. on Friday afternoon. To describe the space as crowded would be a spectacular understatement. Fighting shoulder to shoulder shoppers challenged our effort for a late lunch. We finally managed to grab a fabulous sandwich with roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pesto on a crusty baguette and one of the best cappuccinos I’ve had.

Our second visit on Sunday afternoon proved to be a bit more relaxed. I resisted the temptation to buy everything in sight, knowing that we’d be boarding a plane shortly. We made our way to the bakery and nabbed a couple of focacce: one with apple and cinnamon and the other with banana and chocolate chips. We barely made it out the store before both were gone.

As we made our way back to Atlanta, I promptly committed to making my own version of banana and chocolate focaccia. This flat Italian bread, similar in texture to pizza dough, typically features savory flavors. I was excited by the variation of using fruit, and for today’s post, I’m sharing my “Eataly-inspired” Banana, Walnut, and Chocolate Focaccia.


The Best Gifts for Foodies

The holidays are a joyous time, when we all put aside our differences and focus on what&rsquos truly important in life: Eating. For two glorious months, there&rsquos a cheesy dip at every gathering, candy at every reception desk, and a stick of butter in every festive meal. Houses are made out of cookies! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Help your travel-minded foodie friend maintain that holiday high year-round with one of these gifts. Whether you&rsquore hoping to stoke a committed eater&rsquos wanderlust (an at-home clambake is sure to sway your pal into tagging along on a trip to Maine) or give an amateur chef&rsquos travel toolkit an upgrade (hotel room sous vide!), we&rsquove got something to fit the bill.

This year, Travel + Leisure is offering its most comprehensive gift guide ever. The goal? Make sure you can find the perfect present for everyone (yes, even your mother-in-law) on your list. Below, our top picks for the jetsetting foodie.


Almond Cake

What better way to welcome March than making a delicious cake. It has been days that we have been craving a piece of cake! I rarely bake, but when I do, I always bake the same things: vanilla or lemon pound cake or brownies (that is as far as my repertoire goes).

I thought it was time I expanded my baking horizons. I love the zucchini and walnuts bread from Nordstrom Ebar and I’ve been wanting to try to make it at home. So in the meantime, I searched for a relatively easy cake and I found this scrumptious piece of heaven. It got my attention that it can be prepared entirely in the food processor.

I made a few adjustments. I used a Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan instead of a 9 inch round cake pan or spring form pan and it came out just gorgeous. It didn’t settle when it cooled or sag. This may happen if you use a regular round cake pan.

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of unsalted butter, I used 1/2 cup. And I reduced the amount of sugar from 1 1/3 cup of to just 1 cup. I thought that the almond paste would compensate for moist and sweetness and it did. If this is the first time you are going to make it I would suggest to follow the original recipe and instructions below.

I made the cake yesterday and the house smelled like a cloud of sweet almond happiness. We let it rest and then we couldn’t help it but to try it. Let me just tell you, if you are going to have a piece of cake you should definitely try this one. It is rich, moist, classy and it has the right amount of almond flavor. It also could be perfect covered with good chocolate icing or ganache. I decided to dust it with powdered sugar.

I served the almond cake with caramel sauce and strawberries. The sweetness of the cake and the sauce, the almond flavor and the tartness of the strawberries made an exceptional combination. It would be excellent paired with raspberries or raspberry sauce, lemon curd or peaches as well. And please, let’s not forget the coffee…

This cake will stay fresh – well covered- out of the refrigerator for 4 days, and it can be frozen for 2 months.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz (in turn adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere)


On The Move : From N.Y. to Milan in a lap of luxury

MILAN — If you have deep, very deep, pockets, or a company that thinks you need pampering, flying business class between Milan and New York is about to get a whole lot easier.

In June, the Italian airline Eurofly will begin a six times a week all-business super-luxury flight. The price of the ticket is not for the faint of heart — round-trip will cost about $3,800, 15 percent more than a standard business-class ticket.

But the luxury will be such that it just might make you forget that you're crossing the Atlantic for, say, the third time in a week.

Eurofly will be bucking a trend by taking on the challenge of meeting the caprices of a high-end market at a time when most airlines are cutting services and costs in search of customers after the cheapest flights. It lacks experience with high-end customers and will be venturing from its core charter business, which generally appeals to budget travelers.

The airplane, an Airbus A319 that usually is outfitted for about 130 passengers, will have only 48 seats. They will be configured four across, two on each side of the aisle. The Italian designer Alviero Martini created the plane's interior with his signature map motif.

The day before a flight, passengers can order a specific meal, not merely a generic low-salt, vegetarian, diabetic or kosher meal.

If you want to get into the Milan spirit before your arrival from New York, you can telephone, e-mail or send a short text message via mobile phone to ask for risotto with saffron along with a veal cutlet, fresh seasonal vegetables and tiramisu.

Naturally you can wash it all down with your wine of choice and conclude the pre-Milan experience with a proper espresso.

A limousine service from downtown to the airport is included.

"Our passengers won't be an X, they will be somebody with a first and last name and we will know exactly how they want to be treated," the chief executive of Eurofly, Augusto Angioletti, said in a recent conversation.

Many practical points have been looked after and all the standard bells and whistles available on most business flights will be available — seats that recline to a horizontal position for sleeping, in-flight entertainment systems with video-on-demand, a power supply for laptops. Passengers will also be able to send e-mails and short mobile-phone text messages.

This is all new territory for Eurofly, which in its first 15 years of operations has generated most of its sales shuttling Italians on charter flights from Milan to well-known tourist destinations around the world.

Last year it flew one million passengers and made €2.7 million on sales of €178 million, about $228 million. The company says that sales are forecast to rise 40 percent this year.

The new all-business flight will leave New York at about 9:30 p.m. Eurofly has secured the slots at John F. Kennedy airport and Milan's Malpensa, but the definitive flight times are still to be decided. So someone could work in Manhattan until 6:30, say, then head to Kennedy airport. (Most other carriers offer flights from New York to Milan that leave around 6 p.m.) Flights from Milan to the United States will leave Italy at about 5 p.m.

"This is the right moment for this sort of flight to be introduced because the top segment of the business traveler is not happy with the service they are getting and we think we can do better," said Angioletti, 43, who has 20 years of experience in the commercial airline industry as an Alitalia pilot, a board member and a union leader.

Eurofly will have to fill on average 35 of the 48 seats to make the flight profitable, Angioletti said. He added that it may take as long as six months to reach that level as the service becomes publicized.

There are no direct first-class flights on the New York to Milan route, so Eurofly would be entering an unsaturated market. But it also risks trying to meet a demand that is not there in the first place.

Angioletti said that PrivatAir's all-business-class flight on the Düsseldorf-New York route, the only such flight between Europe and the United States, offers a good precedent.

Eurofly, previously owned by Alitalia and now controlled by a Luxembourg-based private equity fund, may introduce a Rome to New York all-business flight if the Milan route is successful.


The Best Things to Do in Boston This Weekend: The Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

Small town charm meets big city hustle in this New England capital, which is choc-a-block with historic sites, killer Italian eateries, topnotch shopping, and quaint cobblestoned streets. Consider this list of the best things to do in Boston your ultimate weekend guide.

Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.

FRIDAY

Welcome to Beantown! Before you officially kick off the weekend, drop your bags at your hotel. There&rsquos the Envoy, a cool-kid stay in the Seaport Innovation District, or the Fairmont Copley Plaza, an elegant grand dame across from Copley Square and Trinity Church. The former is best for those wanting a more modern design and incredible waterfront views (especially at the rooftop, which overlooks Boston Harbor), while the latter is a 1912 landmark that has hosted New England&rsquos elite as well as a handful of U.S. Presidents in its gilded halls.

Next stop: shopping. Browse the cute boutiques and gourmet grocery stores along Charles Street in Beacon Hill (while you&rsquore here, peak down the picturesque old cobblestoned alleys), or flex that plastic at the upscale designer shops lining Back Bay&rsquos Newbury Street. And when you need a pick-me-up, the Wired Puppy café is a local favorite. End the afternoon at Bodega, a hidden gem (literally). At first glance, the shop looks like your average convenience store&mdashbut if you step on a tile in front of the old Snapple machine in the back, a secret door will lead to a high-end shop selling sneakers and threads.

In the evening, catch an al fresco show on one of the public lawns. We love the Free Friday Flicks, a summer event where you can pack a picnic and watch a free movie at the Hatch Shell amphitheater on the Charles River Esplanade. (Come early to see the sunset behind the sailboats and stone bridges.) Theater more your thing? Soak up some Shakespeare at a free performance at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. This season, the play is Cymbeline (playing in July and August).

Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

When hunger strikes, Publico is sure to satisfy. Don&rsquot get discouraged by its location in &ldquoSouthie&rdquo (formerly called South Boston, not to be confused with its adjacent neighborhood, the South End) this funky new restaurant sits on a super-safe stretch, just a 10-minute drive from the Envoy hotel. Publico has quickly gained a following for its charming courtyard garden, which has fire pits, a heated floor and a killer cocktail bar (order the Luchador with El Jimador Blanco tequila, ginger, cucumber, mint, and lime). Plus, the casual menu features snacks, small plates (the empanadas are a must), and entrées that ring in under $30. Score!

SATURDAY

Start the morning with a little sightseeing&mdashbecause you can&rsquot come all the way to Boston and not visit Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and the Freedom Trail. The 2.5-mile walk starts in the North End (just follow the red brick path) and retraces the route of Paul Revere&rsquos famous 1775 ride. Along the way, you&rsquoll pass 16 landmarks, including the Bunker Hill Monument, Quincy Market, and the famous site of the Boston Massacre.

And while you&rsquore in the North End, we&rsquod be remiss not to mention the neighborhood&rsquos famous Italian restaurants and pastry places. Skip the line at Mike&rsquos, and instead make a beeline for Bova&rsquos Bakery. The family-run shop has been in business for three generations, making homemade cakes, cannolis, and cookies since 1932. If you&rsquore wanting more than just a tasty treat, take a cooking class at Christopher Kimball&rsquos Milk Street&mdasha multi-use venue that houses their magazine, culinary school and TV/radio studios, which you can also tour. Learn to whip up international plates (like the upcoming Thailand themed-course), take a wine-tasting lesson, and even master the art of recipe writing.

TOUR TO BOOK: The North End, Boston&rsquos Little Italy, is famous for its pizza. See what all the fuss is about during a two-hour walking (and tasting!) tour, which hits three of the city&rsquos best pizzerias including its oldest, Regina Pizzeria.

Photos courtesy of CPK Media

There&rsquos no better way to end the day than with some booze and views. Take a ferry from Seaport, Downtown or Charlestown to ReelHouse, a waterfront restaurant in East Boston. Here, you&rsquoll tuck into platters of fresh seafood (think blackened swordfish tacos, a New England-style clam bake, Maine char-grilled lobster) while taking in the sweeping skyline.

SUNDAY

It&rsquos Sunday, and you know what that means: brunch time, baby. The most epic spread can be found at Row 34, in the up-and-coming Seaport area. While it used to be known for its counter service, the restaurant now offers a full menu&mdashand it&rsquos to die for. We&rsquore talking lemon and ricotta pancakes, smoked bluefish paté on a nori bagel, and the city&rsquos best cup of clam chowder (IOHO).

Photos courtesy of Row 34

Once you&rsquore all fueled up, spend the afternoon getting cultured at two of Boston&rsquos most impressive institutions. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA, for short) is always packed with interesting exhibits, and this season is no different. Don&rsquot miss Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris (through August 4), which displays some 200 works inspired by the celebrity culture of 19th-century Paris painted by Lautrec himself along with Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, and other contemporaries.

Meanwhile, the more under-the-radar Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is gorgeous not only because of its rare art and objects, but also for its striking architecture. Resembling a 15th-century Venetian Palace, the building centers around a tranquil open-air courtyard that feels like an oasis in the heart of the city.

Top three photos (left ro right): Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Musee Matisse/Museom of Fine Arts, Boston Bottom photo courtesy of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

If sports are more your style, you&rsquore in the right town. You won&rsquot find a more devoted following than Boston Red Sox fans (sorry, Yankees!). Although most visitors will just snag tickets to the game, it&rsquos worth it to go early&mdashwhen you can see the players up close and personal. Three hours before the first pitch, you can take a batting practice tour that gives you behind-the-scenes access to Fenway Park and the Green Monster. Talk about bragging rights.

Toast to the end of your weekend at Terra. This restaurant is the latest addition to Eataly, the mega Italian market inside the Prudential Center. The sun-splashed space looks more like a greenhouse than a traditional trattoria, where plants line the walls and dangle from the massive glass ceiling. Plus, the food is just as &lsquogrammable as the décor. The menu focuses on barrel-aged beers and wood-fired Italian cuisine, including ricotta bruschette, house-made rabbit agnolotti pasta, and grilled quail with balsamic and honey.


Top sights and things to do in Milan

Duomo

The centerpiece of the city, Milan’s Duomo is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture made from pink white marble. The streets of the city radiate from the cathedral that rises majestically over the piazza below and neighboring Galleria Emmanuele II.

No trip to Milan would be complete without at least walking past the Duomo and admiring the exterior but you must also look inside to view the stained glass windows and venture up onto the roof. Here you can admire views of the city and the incredible craftsmanship that went into the carvings and statues that adorn the building.

Make sure to look for the tiny bronze Madonnina who sits far above the Duomo towers offering protection to the city.

The Duomo is the most popular attraction in Milan and lines can be very long, especially for the rooftop. So if you are short on time you may want to consider booking skip the line tickets or a tour. You can choose to visit the rooftop on foot or with an elevator – click here for tickets and prices

Duomo opening hours – 08:00 – 19:00 daily (last tickets sold 18:00)
Rooftop hours – 09:00 – 19:00 daily (last tickets sold 18:00)

Visit the Duomo website for latest information on opening hours.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting

Many visitors make the trip to Milan, just to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a church in the city’s west.

This beautiful painting depicts one of the most important moments in the Christian bible and is full of symbolism and nuance. Da Vinci was hired by Milan’s ruling Sforza family to paint the masterpiece that has survived over 500 years and intensive bombing during the Second World War.

To view Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ you must take a short guided tour. There is no other way. Tickets go on sale on the official site around 2 months prior and sell out almost immediately. But don’t worry, you can easily book them through one of the booking sites.

We booked ours on tours booking site Get Your Guide and were impressed by the knowledge and engaging manner of our guide who brought the painting and its history to life with her commentary >>Click here to book the Last Supper tour

Galleria Emmanuele II

Right next door to the Duomo, Milan’s other most recognizable landmark is the shopping arcade known as Galleria Emmanuele II. Named for the first king of the Kingdom of Italy, the grand four storey building with its spectacular iron and glass domed roof was completed in 1867.

These days it is the place to go to admire the spectaculat architecture, peek in the designer stores, have a drink at one of the traditional cafes or visit the amazing food hall Il Mercato.

Look out for a picture of a bull made in mosaic on the floor. The Milanese believe it brings good luck if you spin three times on your right heel in an anti-clockwise direction on the private part of the bull – the symbol of the city’s rival Turin.

Teatro Alla Scala – La Scala theater

One of the world’s most beautiful and important theaters, over 200 years La Scala has hosted operas, concerts and ballets by some of the best known Italian composers and musicians. The theater holds 3,000 people who sit on crimson velvet chairs in the gallery or lavish boxes ready to deliver their verdict on each performance.

Puccini’s Tosca was first performed on the La Scala stage in 1926 to a packed house. Previously Verdi premiered his operas Otello and Falstaff after overcoming a feud with the orchestra who modified the arrangements for his Requiem.

The best way to experience the Teatro alla Scala is to attend a performance however you can also take a peek inside the magnificent theater and visit its museum throughout the year. It is worth taking a guided tour to hear the stories and intrigues behind this world famous theater – click here for details

Teatro alla Scala Museum is open 09:00 – 17:00 most days. Visit the theater website for more information here.

Tickets for performances can be bought online at the box office. The theater also releases a small number of tickets each day for the Gallery. You need to line up at the theater in person at midday to have the best chance of getting tickets for that evening’s performance.

Sforza Castle – Castello Sforzesco

During the Renaissance period the ruling Sforza family dukes of Milan built their imposing fortress to protect themselves from rival attacks. Today the moated castle hosts a series of museums and galleries that are well worth taking the time to visit.

The Sforzas were patrons of the arts and in particular Leonardo da Vinci who painted frescoes in the castle as well as The Last Supper on their commission. You can also see pieces by Michelangelo, Canaletto, Titian and Tintoretto in relative solitude compared with the crowds at museums and galleries in Florence and Rome.

You can visit the castle daily between 07.00 and 19.00 however the museums are open Tuesday to Sunday 09.00 – 17.30. They are closed on Mondays, December 25th, January 1st, May 1st. For ticket prices and more information – click here

Parco Sempione – Sempione Park

Castello Sforzesco is found in the grounds of Parco Sempione, a huge green space in the center of Milan that is great for wandering and relaxing in.

The park is home to a Milan’s Arena Civica that holds concerts and sporting events as well as the magnificent Arco della Pace or Arch of Peace that was built to celebrate Napoleon’s victories in Italy.

For views of the city, Duomo and surrounding mountains, take the elevator to the top of Torre Branca – more information

Navigli

One of the most popular areas of Milan is the area along the Naviglio Grande (Grand Canal – yes Milan has canals too!) known as Navigli. Built to transport marble from the mountains for the Duomo, the canals are now a vibrant hub of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars.

Visit at sunset for aperitivo and stay to enjoy your dinner with the fashionable Milanese.

If you are visiting Milan on the last Sunday of each month, you must visit the popular antiques market that takes place along ripa di Porta Ticinese. It’s great for people watching or picking up a unique souvenir.

Aperitivo hour

Aperitivo is one of the absolute must do activities in Milan. The tradition of a pre-dinner drink accompanied by snacks was first introduced in the city.

From humble beginnings of a few simple bites to accompany a glass of wine, aperitivo has evolved into elaborate appetizer buffets in some venues. No dinner required!

Served from 19.00 – 21.00, here are some great places to try aperitivo when in Milan

    – enjoy your spritz with incredible views of the Duomo rooftop [corner of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – Floor 2 ] – make a pilgrimage to the home of the Negroni cocktail [Via Plinio 39] – elegant and great for people watching in the outdoor courtyard [Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7b]

Italian football greats

Two of Italy’s most celebrated football (soccer) clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan are based in the northern Italian city. If you are a sports fan and timing and luck is on your side there can be no more thrilling experience than watching these teams play a match.

To buy tickets go direct to each club’s website:

AC Milan’s San Siro Stadium is one of the world’s most impressive football grounds. If you aren’t able to see a match, the next best thing is a tour of the stadium.

You can get there on your own steam but the hop-on, hop-off bus visits San Siro as well as Casa Milan where you can view the club’s trophies won over their 115 year history – click here for more details.


Spoonful of Comfort

If you have a loved one that's extra stressed this season, send them a cozy care package filled with soup, rolls, cookies, and more—or pick from one of Spoonful of Comfort's other gift baskets that aren't soup-based at all. This service offers an array of gift baskets that can either take away the stress of having to make dinner for the night or create a fun, dessert-based memory (there's a cute caramel apple care package that's perfect for a late fall date night).

If you really just want the basics, you can also send one of the brand's straightforward soup packages, which include the soup of your choice, rolls, the cookie of your choice, and a cute ladle to dish it all up.