Carico is a very ambitious project that opened its doors in February 2020. The name is short for "Casual Risto Cocktail" and condenses all the creativity and research that the restaurant offers.
It was born from an idea of Domenico Carella (formerly Aimo and Nadia, Langosteria, Dry Milano and a long experience abroad in Hong Kong, London and Shanghai) and Lorenzo Ferraboschi (institution, rather than man, for bringing food and Japanese culture along with Maiko Takashima through Sake Company, Wagyu Company, Sakeya, Takochu and Hiromi Cake).
The kitchen is headed by chef Leonardo d'Ingeo (formerly Le Giare and Joel Rebuchon's Atelier), while at the bar we find the smiling Angelica Baldan the smiling Angelica Baldan (formerly The Doping Club), who also takes care of the room together with Alessio Caruso, and obviously Domenico Carella.
The place is characterized by a metropolitan style, given the important presence of metal and iron, broken by continuous references to vintage thanks to mirrors and antique wooden furniture. The internal room hosts long tables that invite you to share, while the outdoor area is perfect for a quick aperitif with friends or an after summer evening.
It is in this context that cocktails and dishes resulting from long research and experimentation can be enjoyed, as evidenced by the absolutely unconventional kitchen tools: cold extractors, low consumption air fryers, microwaves for dehydration and evaporator for distillation. In a cocktail bar you would expect an ice machine and instead, surprisingly, it is not present here for an ethical choice: it consumes too much water, so we opted for self-made ice cubes. In the wake of eco-sustainability, it was also decided not to use disposable plastic tableware.
The menu opens with a "tasting experience" proposal that includes entrees, six courses accompanied by six matching drinks in compact version (wines, sake, fermented and spirits).
We proceed with the "food" section which refers to the world of grocery: pickled cucumbers, glazed onions and pickled vegetables. Pickles are a great classic of the aperitif of yesteryear, their pungent taste is omnipresent especially in Asia when drinking alcohol before meals.
The "spizzichi", on the other hand, are tasty single-portions that introduce international and Japanese inspirations, such as the tostada with creamed cod and anchovy and lime pil pil sauce or the taco with A5 wagyu shank ragout, escarole pesto and herbs.
We then move on to the dishes of the "morsels" section, where Japan is still present with the A5 wagyu tataki with celeriac, crustacean bisque and glasswort, as well as the study of Asian elements such as the fermented with swordfish marinated in curry, chia seeds, fermented horseradish and candied lemon.
There are also the desserts, obviously unique and experimental.
The beverage menu is a mix of choices that personally drive me crazy. First of all, he presents the saké (by the glass or in the bottle) - if you are not an expert Domenico Carella is an excellent prompter, so let yourself be guided by his advice. For example, I was served an excellent Hatsumago Densho, Honjozo, Kimoto method of Yamagata.
There are numerous wines (many natural), but if you are a Martinian like myself you will appreciate the "martini" (there is also one of the day) and of course the "italici". There is no shortage of signatures, (each of them carries a brief description of the type, so you can choose the cocktail according to your tastes - some are incredible: on the glass of Tepache the chica morada? the garnish attached is to eat because it is made with the "waste" of the pineapple fermented) the classics, highballs and a rich list of gins and tonics.
Carico is a forge of ingenuity and continuous study. This is also demonstrated by the menu of the day, always different and cleverly designed to combat food waste.
Here you feel good, you are pampered by the attentive and kind staff - you rarely find fresh water to welcome you as soon as you sit down, a sign of a hospitality of other times. The proposal is irreducibly minimalist, the food and beverage design is reduced to the essential, clean and basic.
Load is chosen if you want to get out of the ordinary, in an environment that winks at international contexts. The final bill is higher than the average of the majority of places that offer aperitifs and dinners (especially if you take into account the location, Porta Genova), but it is certainly justified by the extensive continuous experimentation.