Italians, or possibly just the people from Milan, have come up with their own version of brunch. In the last 10 years many restaurants have specialised in a particular Sunday lunch, that goes by the name of brunch.
It’s not too dissimilar from what the international crowd believes brunch should be, but it has its own peculiarities. First of all it happens at lunch time, not in between breakfast and lunch. The experience normally involves a big buffet table that offers food in a very wide range. You’ll find lasagna, pasta and risotto next to meatballs and sausages. All sorts of grain salads next to grilled vegetables. But also scrambled and hard boiled eggs, brownies, pancakes, fruit, yogurt and cereals. So it’s really hard not to find something everybody likes.
That’s why it has become a favourite family event — informal, quick and with lots of choice for the fussy children.
Today we tried the play-brunch at the San Vittore restaurant, named from the prison it faces (in the center of Milan!). The place is light and modern and you get to sit either at normal tables or on small couches in front of coffee tables. It may sound weird but it actually works fine if you have very small children! We were welcomed with a tasty mimosa, the buffet had all of the brunch staples and included in the fixed price menu we were offered eggs (any style) and coffee. Not a gourmet meal, but definitely nice. What makes this place stand out is the entertainment for the children. Two girls went around the tables and joked with the children and built them swords and animals with balloon tubes. When most of the children were done eating they all ventured on the terrace and did some games and a magic show in which children could participate.
That gave us some time to drink our coffee and have some quiet adult conversation. Not bad after all!
p.s. Yes, my son will be the next Harry Potter!