“Come on, let’s go have a drink at Ugo’s.” I spend the whole journey thinking who this Ugo is, when I met him, why he invited me to his house. Then I arrive on the Naviglio and I discover that Ugo is not a person, but a cocktail bar. A Mr. Cocktail Bar, starting from the big bottle-library full of gin labels (about forty at the moment) and other remarkable spirits and liqueurs. We sit in what looks like a living room and order a gin&tonic: the owner of the house (no, his name is not Ugo but Francesco, with his friend and partner Valeria) invites us to the counter to recommend the right bottle. We opt for a Monkey 47, served in a beautiful glass with juniper berries and tonic water 1724 and accompanied by a delicious appetizers, which gives an idea of the small and delicious kitchen: “Crouton with Bra sausage 90 percent veal and 10 pork, truffle mortadella, goat cheese with poppy seeds, olive pâté with bacon from Piacenza, zucchini roll …” we are praised. All good, so let’s do the encore: this time martini cocktail, and another round of appetizers. Thinking back, I wasn’t so wrong: more than a bar, Ugo is the home of a friend I didn’t know I had.
Translated by @silaskin