One of the Worlds First Endemic Bars
Where: Via Garigliano 8, 20159.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu & Sun 18:00-00:00, Fri-Sat 18:00 – 02:00.
Endemic = what is characteristic or prevalent in a specific area, or environment
In this day and age the times of vodka lemon, rum and cola and screwdrivers are over. Mixologists now prepare more elaborate, thought out and (sadly) expensive drinks. But wood*ing bar has created something truly original: the concept of drinking your habitat. Here, you can taste everything native to different environments: deserts, forests, swamps, mountains… And of course, everything that utilised comes from uncontaminated spaces.
The space is a fusion between a kitchen and a lab and it aims to truly favour the ecosystem by using ingredients that are unconventionally used, a ‘recycled’ kitchen, With almost 8 billion people in the world we think that the concept of respecting ecosystems in our daily lives is a revolutionary experiment.
In the heart of the young Isola district, the bar takes the place of an old ‘colorificio’ (paint shop) and has preserved much of its old endemic aesthetic, its as far from franchising and chain as you can get. The atmosphere respects its raw theme: old chipped walls, wood tables and wild vibes. It features three long wooden tables with a concept of sharing. Everything here is made in the kitchen/bar area. The aim is to revisit classics and discover new fermentations and methods with a wild twist.
As we entered we saw three large and long wood tables, meant for a shared experience. This contributed to the lively atmosphere. We were immediately greeted by the mixologist and as soon as we sat down some spruce (abete rosso) infused water was brought to us.
We ordered a gin tonic with a twist: the gin was flavoured Erba Castalda (a herb similar to mint and of the same family of coriander) and an American-style drink, recommended to us by the staff for the vodka flavoured with bark and the cherry liqueur.
Along with our drinks, the staff served us three aperitivo style bites with a twist:
- Grissini made with bark flour, vegan mayonnaise and Erba Castalda leaves.
- Artisanal cow cheese (the waitress specified it was made by 10 friendly cows who the farmer calls by name), almonds, crackers, nettle powder and honey.
- Ricotta cut, chicory and dirt (powdered mushrooms).
As you can tell, despite the typical aperitivo style there is nothing traditional about these dishes. The way they present these bite-sized tastings is incredible – they had us fooled when they called powdered mushrooms dirt – and the passion for nature is evident. After all, the owners were ecologists before becoming mixologists. We loved the fresh yet local touch of wood*ing bar.
We also decided to order two main dishes, just to test them out for the blog… We did it for you guys.
We ordered Lichen bread with Salmon trout and lake fish tacos with herbs. The lichen bread was very peculiar, however, we found it a little bit too doughy and the slice was cut too high. The lake fish tacos were truly stunning: balanced, savoury, and refreshing.
Well, we don’t want to go and pick the needle from the haystack but… If there is one thing that we would change it would be to pay more attention to the music. Although we love a bit of rock we don’t think the music choice was appropriate for the setting.
Overall, the experience was great and definitely something to try if you’re in the city. As per usual, this bar demonstrates why Milan is one of the leading pioneers of innovative food, fashion and style experiences in Europe. We loved the concept of Wood*ing bar and it definitely showed us that everything in nature can be used (and eaten.. and drank…) with some creativity!