They say it’s only at 40 that you really start having fun. Here at Desco (est. 1981) passion, a sense of identity and play have never been lacking. And the lockdown months were a precious chance to experiment with fine dining experiences at home, like delivery in vacuum-sealed jars and Esko’s Asian sauce accompanied by ramen, noodles and Rizzo-style udon, all while sticking by the motto of serving “who we are with and where we are”, as chef Matteo Rizzo (to whom the still-active owner, Elia, entrusted the kitchen) loves to put it. The result is local, classical ingredients and proven technique made fresh by flashes and experiences deriving from Matteo’s many experiences abroad, both while training and during prolific “side-by-side collaborations” with colleagues from all over the world. But here they’ve never lost sight of flavorsee their sourdough loaf, hand-made breadsticks, and buckwheat crackers served with mascarpone and gorgonzola foam at the beginning of your meal. And then there are the seasonal menus, with features like sea bass, peaches and forest undergrowth, or green curry sauce to accompany cow’s tongue. And finally, there are their pre-Opera menus (3 or 5 courses, available from 6.30 pm onwards). Their deep and wide-ranging wine cellar is very well stocked when it comes to bubbles, but there’s much more as well.