There are Italian restaurants all over, and then there are restaurants that cook real Italian food. With a nod to the Brera district in Milan, which boasts a deep history of agriculture, art and fashion, this operation honors its namesake with an edgy space, warm décor, and cooking that's specific to the Lombardi and Veneto regions. A set of affable and informed servers merely add to the lure.
Begin with rustic house breads accompanied by butter and anchovy or ricotta and bell peppers. Then launch into a fried donzelle with dry-cured lonzino, lardo, and salame Felino; or luscious octopus with a chickpea purée and 'Nduja. Save room though for the true star of the show—a remarkably authentic risotto Milanese, presented with flair and packed full of flavor.