Here comes the true Milanese Osteria, La Semivuota

Osteria Semivuota opens in the Central Station area, or rather, in the historic former Varesine area. Here in Milan, where the identity and guiding principles of the culinary scene seem to be on the wane, influenced by economic and real estate fervour together with the cult of celebrity chefs, this new old Osteria has its place, in the search for authenticity of Milanese and non-Milanese alike, with an eye on the wallet without sacrificing quality.

Here the old recipes handed down by grandmothers in the countryside of Brianza and Varesotto, where Lombard cuisine originated, are revived.

The nameOsteria Semivuota‘ is inspired by the well-known Renato Pozzetto film, the quote is not trivial and easy to grasp only for true Milanese connoisseurs. The new Osteria is an enogastronomic space that wants to leave its mark, enhancing family traditions and forgotten dishes, with local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

A new corner of Lombard gastronomy in Porta Nuova

In the varied panorama of the Milanese restaurant scene, a new reality with an innovative local gastronomic proposal has arisen La Semivuota is located in the heart of the lively Porta Nuova district, at Via Cornalia 4, between modern architecture and old city shops.

The owner, Mauro Invernizzi, cultivated the idea of a Milanese osteria like those of gone times for several years, but waited to find the right chef to whom he could entrust it and with whom he could build this dream of an osteria.

A few years later, he returned from several experiences in Spain as a restaurateur and opened his own restaurant of dishes and tapas para compartir. Volverè in Milan. A meeting with chef Giacomo Edoardo Salmoiraghi, a young man from Brianza who trained in Ferrara and is passionate about traditional cuisine, triggers once again his desire.

The Milan-centric osteria

With passion and light in their eyes, the owner and chef have created La Semivuota by putting almost maniacal care into the gastronomic proposal. The study of raw materials, from the recovery of tradition, without revisiting and the desire to respect the natural seasonality of raw materials to bring out their simplicity and goodness.

The Osteria declares itself strictly ‘Milan-centric’. Its cuisine involves only the city and its surrounding areas such as Brianza and the nearby countryside, those that in the past supplied the capital with wine, cold cuts, meat, vegetables and cereals. Putting the product at the centre and making the area’s familiar recipes known are the objectives. Without necessarily including on the menu more popular dishes from Valtellina area, Mantua or Crema, as often happens in restaurants of Lombard extraction.

– says chef Giacomo Edoardo Salmoiraghi

Helping the chef in the kitchen are the deputies, as Giacomo likes to call them, Luciano Lila, a young cook with a background in Milanese and Pavia restaurants, who is in charge of cotolette, bruscitt and mondeghili. Another young upstart, Manuel Davoli, passionately devotes himself to ossobuchi, polenta and the preparation of fresh gnocchi.

The menu and gastronomic choices

Deliberately constructed and developed to allow all diners to sample several courses and share the flavours The Menu de la Semivuota offers:

  • The appetisers, or rather the small plates to be shared, are called ‘Piccoli leva fame‘ and include the famous mondeghili, nervetti with Milanese coppiced onion, Milanesetripe (Busecca), and dandelion with pancetta.
  • In order to support sustainable practices, the osteria has chosen to use freshwater fish that do not come from intensive farming. The vitello trotato uses trout (instead of tuna) and the meat of sturgeon, often underused in favour of the exclusive caviar, becomes a tasty and unusual dish.
  • There are many other proposals to start the meal, all conceived in small plates; even the cured meats are deliberately served by single quality, to allow you to mix them to your liking. 
  • The main dishes on the menu are marked ‘Per riempirsi‘: from classic Milanese minestrone to saffron risotto, from ossobuco with gremolada to bruscitt served on polenta. Proposals are varied and also include vegetarian options.
  • For desserts , Semivuota has chosen to rely on pastry chef Chiara Colzani: she is the creator of the best Panna cotta in Milan, along with Rüssumada with panmeini or Torta paesana with salt crystals.

The tables, bricks and open kitchen ‘La Salumeria’

The location of the osteria has been realised thanks to a renovation project that conveys tradition and a sense of family, of home. The idea originated from the old inns and taverns that used to be established on the outskirts of the city and in Brianza, right under the homes of farmers.

Two rooms lined with exposed bricks overlook the open kitchen the ‘Salumeria’ through a glass window from which you can admire some of the preparations.

From the surrealism and genuineness of Renato Pozzetto, for whom I worked in the past in one of his Milanese restaurants, we have taken inspiration to create a place that is welcoming and human, fun and familiar.We offer quality cuisine, always with an eye for taste and substance, pursuing a well-defined cultural idea that sets us apart.

– comments owner Mauro Invernizzi with emotion.

For info, menu and reservations

Osteria La Semivuota
📍Via Cornalia 4, 20123 Milano