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Monza: from luganega to rustisciada, this is what riders and team managers love

Every year (we reached the hundredth) racing season draws tens of thousands to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. With crowds of fans ready to swarm the park and the circuit, intoxicated with the excitement of the race and clearly ready to support Ferrari, even if, after a brilliant start to the season, things are not going very well for Maranello. However, there are plenty of opportunities to party, as Brianza offers not only the dull roar of engines but also a highly respected gastronomic welcome.

British journalists who followed motor racing and especially Formula 1, they loved Monza. And some of them still attend the World Cup. They are fascinated by the circuit, which still holds the absolute lap speed record (held by Lewis Hamilton, who in 2020 with the Mercedes obtained pole position with an average of 264.362 kilometers per hour), and also by the environment , by the picturesque fan parties. But especially them, accustomed to traditional cuisine based on roast beef, fish and chips and, wanting to exaggerate, on game, they like to frequent the restaurants of the city and around the large park.

Traditional Brianza recipes are usually based on poor dishes. A sober, frank and authentic cuisine, with flavors that are not too elaborate. The different varieties of vegetables, from peasant production, generally associated with high-calorie meats, are widely used. Pork is a must, of which “nothing is thrown away”. Starting from the mythical Cassoeula in which the different arts of the pig are cooked for a long time with cabbage, Rustisciada, fried with lard, onions, luganega, floured loin, white wine and tomato sauce. Moving on from different types of risotto, ‘alla brianzola’ with saffron and the addition of luganega, which is a light colored sausage with cheese, or stuffed with ossobuco. Not to mention the myriad of appetizers. Finally, remaining in the classic style, the Paesana Cake, therefore of peasant origin, made with stale bread and any sweet ingredient found in the pantry: candied fruit, biscuits, dried fruit, pieces of chocolate milk or dark, even fresh fruit.

Salvatore Buttice by Il Moro

The choice is endless. There are 265 restaurants in the city, beyond pizzerias. If the environment is involved, the number increases exponentially. So let’s start with the places most popular with professionals, where with a little luck, at dinner, you can find drivers, team managers and personalities. L’Antico Ristorante Fossati it is located in Canonica Lambro, a hamlet of Triuggio, not far from Arcore, made famous by the residence of Silvio Berlusconi. A period place with its vaulted brick rooms. Guests can indulge in a debauchery of amuse-bouche, but beware: you have to leave room for the various risottos, house specialties such as the Milanese escalope. For desserts, you will be spoiled for choice.

If you want to eat in the center, here is the moro. Here there is room for the best Sicilian cuisine, refined and gourmet. The dishes bear names that evoke illustrious characters, such as the absolute of prawns Regina Margherita. Among the first courses, the Paccheri from Senatore Cappelli, the pistachio from Raffadali and the prawns from Mazara. Do not miss the Lobster Pink and the Lobster Blue Catalan. The prices are obviously adapted to the level of the place.

A few kilometers from the circuit, in front of the beautiful Villa della Regina, the Hôtel de la Ville enters the scene. It was a favorite of Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt. Welcomed by the professionalism and elegance of the members of the Nardi family, in an extremely refined setting, between Persian rugs, 18th century furniture and precious artistic collections, you enter the Derby Grill. The Italian cuisine of chef Fabio Silva, with references to the tradition of Brianza and a choice of the best raw materials, accompanied by fine wines.

You can also eat inside the circuit itself, al Prime Minister of St. George Viale Vedano. An imposing building that dates back to 1883, in an area of ​​the park where pheasants were raised and where King Umberto I of Savoy used to go on his hunting trips. The very large restaurant offers a fairly classic menu in which there are also many seafood dishes. But the champagne risotto is in high demand. For a restaurant of a certain level, we do not exaggerate with the addition.

We close in Biassono, via Verri, a small crossroads of the national road not far from the northern part of the racecourse. L’Osteria 1927 lives up to its name, between traditional and contemporary, in a joyful and friendly atmosphere. It offers a variety of proposals to satisfy gourmets and even the greediest. In this period, if there are any, fungi are present and properly processed. The cellar is well stocked. These are just some of the most popular places at different levels during the Grand Prix, in a final week where obviously the lion’s share goes to pizzerias and also to fast food restaurants. You are spoiled for choice. But if you are aiming for a particular name, it is better to book well in advance.


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