Iter – A thirst-quenching, hunger-busting travellers’ oasis
Milan is the financial heart of Italy and one of the fashion and design capitals of the world. You will find centuries-old art and cultural history, modern boutiques and upscale gastronomy. The aperitivo time, drinks and snacks, is an important part of the Italian culture and a great way to experience the local way of life. There are interesting bar concepts to explore and a good reason to return to Milan’s bar counters more often.
I have to admit that Milan was love at first sight and after a year I couldn’t resist. It was time for a revisit. Iter had already fascinated me during my first visit. It is the brainchild of Flavio Angiolillo & Co, also owner of Mag Café, 1930 Speakeasy, Backdoor 43 and Barba. Angiolillo is a great host and a genius in matters of gastronomy.
Iter means travel in Latin. Iter, from Italy to the world.
As soon as you enter the bar you go on a beautiful journey. A cosy atmosphere and a friendly smile welcomes you. Iter is a feel-good place, like a living room with a home-like décor and an international flair. A place for people who love to travel. Your journey at Iter starts from breakfast onwards till late-night cocktails. Drinks are accompanied by some dishes from the small kitchen and vice versa. Cocktails & Food is always a winning team.
What impressed me most is the well-thought-out and consistent concept, which nevertheless constantly changes and always stays interesting. Really impressive.
Travel has always been an infinite source of inspiration. “The greatest travellers in history were Italians and Iter was born to retrace their footsteps,” says the menu. Every six months the team travels for a week to discover a new country and learn about the cuisine and culture. All impressions and what they have learned result in a new dedicated menu made exclusively with typical products from the country visited. Exciting, inventive and, above all, delicious.
A place for travellers made by travellers
I found my place at the comfortable communal table, the centrepiece of the venue and a lowered bar counter for improved seated comfort. The table connects people and the bar team enabling the exchange of stories. As usual, I found my seat at the bar, soaked up the atmosphere and looked at the lovingly arranged details. Souvenirs from all over the globe underline the concept. You will find many pictures, maps, hats, a flying carpet under the ceiling, a huge departure board and a wall painting which is changed according to the country theme. I would estimate around twenty-five seats inside and around fifteen outside. It is a rather small bar with a homey vibe. The whole venue is designed to foster interactions, enjoy delicate bar bites and crafted cocktails. A playground for grown-ups. The detail I liked the most was the integrated tubs in the bar counter full of ice to keep your drinks cool at any time.
Let’s have a look into last December’s menu when I was there.
“Life is an adventure,” said the menu, and paid tribute to Estonia. The menu comes in a little booklet with pictures of the bar crew’s adventures. Very beautifully done. Have you ever thought about Estonia’s culinary delights?
Estonia is a small country in Northern Europe that lies on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Estonian cuisine is influenced by those of Scandinavia, Russia and Germany. Food is simple, seasonal and made with locally sourced ingredients. Traditional Estonian cuisine is based on meat, potatoes, rye and fish in coastal and lakeside areas. Brewing beer has a long tradition in Estonia and the craft beer scene is constantly growing. But spirits from Estonia are still rarely found abroad, which will certainly change in the near future due to the good quality of their distillates. A first foretaste is offered by the menu of Iter. They brought many interesting bottles to Italy on their return.
Drinks are both classic and contemporary, all lovingly made with quality ingredients. Reinterpretations of traditional dishes and flavours with a distinctly Italian twist.
I was there early in the evening and started my adventure with an aperitivo and soul food accompanied with liquid delights. The fish dishes were delicious and the Bloodymir a big surprise. Honestly, I neither like vodka nor tomato juice, and I never drink Bloody Maries but somehow the ingredient list looked so tempting: Tuna infused Estonian vodka, chilli flavoured Estonian vodka, plum vinegar, concentrated tomatoes, spice mix and fish sauce. For me, this Estonian twist on a Bloody Mary sums up the country perfectly in a glass, or in this case, a can. The bar team chose a can to serve the drink to pay homage to the Russian Market in Tallinn that is the celebration of canned and long-life food.