Milan, a city loved for its cosmopolitan flair, rich historical offerings, varied architecture, and buzzy vibe of a place always on the verge of the next great idea – the fashion capital and mecca of fine food welcomes its newest food destination. Benvenuto META, a location that merges food, design, and sustainability in a sign of the times. This place should surely be on your eating list the next time you’re in Milan.
An innovative concept for casual dining that brings together a world of flavors under one roof, META Merging Taste is a stop for a full multi-course dinner, a quick gourmet lunch, or a sweet bite and some coffee to bring a little dolce vita to your day. Home to five original Italian eating establishments and a coffee shop, it’s a place where food lovers can choose from quintessential classics of Italian dining to more contemporary food creations.
Opened just a few short months ago by young entrepreneurs Ludovico Leopardi and Leo Schieppati, META pioneers a new format that combines the three aspects of today’s dining experience: on-site consumption, delivery, and takeaway.
In an interview, the duo described their launch as such: “META was born after a careful analysis of the model ‘ghost kitchen’ developed in the United States and the United Kingdom, its applicability in the Italian market, and its shortcomings. Starting from this, we developed a new retail concept – on the one hand, a ‘delivery native’ space and on the other a social and convivial space, similar to a small London food market. The innovative concept is inhabited by a ‘Food Collective’ that aims to involve a wide audience thanks to a gastronomic proposal of high quality, but with an accessible price and service that meets high standards of social and environmental sustainability.”
Located in Milan’s Zona Risorgimento on Via Bonvesin de la Riva 3, META finds itself on a street rich in the city’s food history. This is the via where Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi, famous for having revolutionized Italian cuisine and for having trained some of the country’s greatest chefs, opened his first restaurant in 1977; and where he earned his first Michelin star. It is also where Carlo Cracco honed his trade right at the maestro’s side.
Aptly named, Bonvesin de la Riva was one of Milan’s great 13th century poets and teachers. Famed for his writing in both Latin and vernacular, he penned De quinquaginta curialitatibus ad mensam – Concerning Fifty Gentilities for the Table – a unique perspective into the etiquette of table manners at that time.
META’s interior space is punctuated by eight bright and airy floor-to-ceiling windows that peer out onto the street where the restaurant kitchens and retail room are located, while a single patio with capacity for up to 80 seats embraces the location’s outside.
The retail room, which also houses Orsonero Coffee, is a cozy but elegant setting designed by the renowned French-Lebanese designer duo david/nicolas – who were recognized as one of the world’s best interior designers for 2020. The space is characterized by a vibrant and welcoming environment finished with neon lights that add a pop to the beauty of the wood paneling.
Looking at its menus, the location has no shortage of flavors and foods to try – from the savory to the sweet, from coffees to wines and beers. It truly is the stage for a new dimension in food retail and delivery in Milan. Food preparations are varied but always high level, underscored by five temporary establishments that form META’S gastronomic offer.
Uovodiseppia, the street food proposal of famed Italian chef Pino Cuttaia, with its menu that brings together Italian favorites like pasta al forno, parmigiano di melanzane, swordfish rolls, and arancini, each with a modern twist. Young Rice, exquisite rice dishes ranging from Risotto alla Milanese to Spanish paellas to Asian-inspired Bento boxes. Rare, a location that is as its name suggests, with its menu focused on original creations using state-of-the-art cooking technology. VETA, vegetarian offerings with variations on dishes that highlight vegetables, legumes, and cereals.
Gusto 17, the stop to satisfy any gelato craving. Giusto’s amazing gelatos come in 16 variations with a rotating weekly flavor suggested by the location’s clientele; and Orsonero Coffee, a coffee bar for single-origin or blended coffees with classic or alternative extractions, and pastries.
An ever-evolving wine list boasts both traditional and natural wines.
Application to join META’s exclusive Food Collective is always open and is a distinct opportunity for outstanding partners such as star chefs, gourmet restauranteurs, and gastronomic innovators to approach the world of casual and delivery dining, surrounded by colleagues and in a safe environment where they can feel free to experiment, bringing their passion to life.
Participation in the Food Collective is flexible and involves very low initial investments, relying almost entirely on a revenue-sharing model that takes advantage of a comprehensive package of services developed by META with the aim of establishing a successful operation using opportunities such as marketing and sales, software, and logistics services.
The novelties introduced by META, however, are not limited only to the uniqueness of the retail format. The new Milanese food court, in fact, has developed a latest-generation on-demand delivery platform, accessible both via app and browser, which allows users to select dishes from their different kitchens in a single order. The delivery service, in particular, is managed privately using electric scooters, guaranteeing an intuitive and sustainable experience. Ethical delivery, zero impact packaging, and constant research into the latest cutting-edge applications in the field of sustainability are some of the strengths on which META invests to create a unique project in the panorama of Milanese catering.
By Liana Bicchieri