Interviews

In the fridge of a restaurant

Osteria Al Molo 13 is a historic restaurant of Milan. We met with Massimiliano Zucca, the founder’s son, and he spoke with their passion for Sardinia and the importance of products freshness.

ristorante2Why did you decide to open a restaurant?
The idea derives from our entrepreneurial mind and my father’s passion. He learned the job when he was young. He worked at various bistros and trattorias then eventually decided to open his own restaurant without forgetting his origins and his beloved Sardinia.
How long have you run this restaurant and what’s your traditional menu?
Al Molo 13 was opened in ‘80s in Milan. At that time the city was very different from now. My father was the first Sardinian seafood restaurant in the city, before him there had only been trattorias offering inland meat recipes. With his special seafood recipes, raw fish was introduced in the Sardinian cuisine for the first time, and it was a successful idea that is very much appreciated still today.
Freshness is important. How often do you buy products?
Freshness and genuineness of raw materials are the most important aspects, as well as their quality. Everyday we receive fresh fish and lobsters from Bosa and bottarga from Cabras. Each day we strive buy the correct quantity in order to avoid food waste.
Who is in charge of buying foods? Where do you buy products?
We personally choose products from our trusted suppliers who daily deliver their fresh products; while items such as wines, carasau bread, fregola and Sardinian pastries are sent directly from Sardinia.
How many refrigerators do you have?
We need a variety of refrigerators in order for each one to be set with specific temperatures and characteristics to suit all kinds of food stored. The blast chiller for raw fish is fundamental to preserve its taste and  guarantee freshness. In our kitchen there are different refrigeration cells, wine cellars and showcases for cheese, desserts and fish.
Who is in charge of the fridge, of its care and maintenance?
We outsource the service to a specialized firm, because refrigerators must be cleaned often to avoid risks relating to contamination or alteration in tastes. Food hygiene and health are the main aspects in this sector.
What is your secret ingredient?
While working with love and passion, our secret is to offer fresh and high-quality products to get optimal results and offer full satisfaction to our clients!
What is your most successful dish?
Astice alla Catalana (lobster salad) and raw fish. Then we have our specialty dish consisting of pasta with sea urchins, clams and bottarga; these are exaples of our traditional dishes. We are a historic restaurant in Milan, well-known for these special recipes.
Are there any recipes reminding you something special of your life or origins?
All of our dishes represent our origins and passion for Sardinia. My father created his special dish where sea and land flavors are mixed: roasted turbot with olives, Vernaccia and artichokes.
How much does the restaurant’s atmosphere influence your clients?
Our restaurant has evolved over the years, and we’ve tried to evoke Sardinian style into our furnishings. We work with many young people and for a few years have been cooperating with David Andreoli, tattoo artist and painter, who gave the restaurant a more modern touch.

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