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Even if you opt for a less pricey meal, the world of fashion and designer labels is never completely out of the picture. Set up by Carla Sozzani, a former editor of Italian Vogue and Elle, 10 Corso Como epitomises Milan’s creative dining scene. Set in a Milanese palazzo (a grand public building) north of the city centre, the concept is a winning combination of a three-room hotel, art gallery, design boutique and cafe-restaurant, and Sozzani has since replicated its success in Tokyo and Seoul. Her love of the Far East is evident through dishes like citrus steamed seabass with steamed snow peas and salted mullet roe spaghetti And at Michelin-starred Ristorante VUN at the Park Hyatt Milan, the plates are designed by British sartorial guru Paul Smith. The food is also exquisite – try the black pig’s neck served with smoked aubergine and plums.

To keep pace with these innovations, classic Italian restaurants are having to up their game. Carlo Cracco, Milan’s only two-star Michelin chef, may have trained in conventional techniques under French master chef Alain Ducasse in Paris, but his signature Milanese restaurant Cracco serves up inventive dishes such as electric-yellow spaghetti made from egg yolks and crème brulée burnt with seasonal Italian olive oil.

Similarly, Il Teatro, at the Four Seasons Milan, has long been regarded as one of the city’s best restaurants and now prides itself on its celebratory nine-course themed menu – last season focused on lobster, this season’s special ingredient is the Italian truffle. If that was not enough, executive chef Sergio Mei has conjured up the out-of-this-world fairy tale Cave au Chocolat – a room dedicated to art of the dessert. Packed full of tiramisus, sorbets and gelato cakes, it is heaven for those with a sweet tooth; even the walls are painted with a special coating of edible chocolate. La Dolce Vita in Milan never tasted this good.

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