A little bit bistro, a little bit cocktail bar, a little bit aperitivo, Rebelot in name, Rebelot in attitude. Managed by the most interesting restaurateur of the Navigli zone of Milan, Maida Mercuri and her wise, alter ego, Alberto Cira; Rebelot which means ‘confusion’ in Milanese serves eclectic palette pleasers on crystal plates. Their take on cuisine and culinary ideas is an offshoot from their other, more classical restaurant Pont De Ferr, where their new venture is making waves.
Rebelot del Pont to be precise is a sure bet for those navigating the Navigli. A place where people, voices, ideas and dishes break through its somewhat naff surroundings, becoming a little rebel of the area. In the kitchen, the dynamic Matteo Monti from Piacenza, a culinary graduate with experiences across Siena, Torino and Oslo has created a constantly changing and evolving menu which is designed to accompany their wide range of alcoholic beverages and refined mixology.
These are well-recognised flavours that are being pushed to the most tolerable limits, a fine line that separates normality from madness: it’s called absolute creativity. Parmigiana is turned into a liquid and is drunk with a straw, peaches are served ceviche together with an umbrella and some of nduja; tiny pieces of pork are served with strawberries and gin infused cucumbers.
The most inspirational yet hardy of dishes has to be fish salad with chocolate eggplant. Its format is modular: four tasting plates with three small cocktails or eight small plates with five shots. The iridescent walls look on at the patrons, who try to amuse themselves by counting all the colours whilst the air is filled with alcohol and euphoria, the two other ingredients that reign here at Rebelot.
The kitchen is minimal both in presentation and space, always in view. The most sought-after spaces are at those around the kitchen area where patrons can try and understand Matteo Monti’s secrets and unashamedly try and steal some of the food as well. Be careful though because here, anything goes. Such a gesture could get you an extra plate of food or, you could lose a finger. It all depends on how the chef is feeling that day.
Rebelot is an Italian expression of Spanish tapas and the downfall of nouvelle cuisine with lots of experimentation in the mix. A bistrot with the personality that weaves through the vast (and often poor) offerings of the Navigli. Lots of one-off plates to try and re-try. It’s fast-gourmet if you wish to call it so, Rebelot is the perfect place to constantly go back to and find thought out cuisine, small portions and prices that are completely reasonable.
From one quick taste to another, you could easily fall in love. If you had to think of an ideal restaurant, Rebelot del Pont would be just that; sinuous, irrational, a gastronomic bodega that differs in the confusion of low quality and that, with its roar, bewitches and fascinates whoever approaches it.
What if its unique format, originality and fun loving becomes a routine that you can never quite get used to? From the suite to the kitchen, from the sofas at the cocktail bar to the tables that look over the running water and the changing seasons outside, it can’t be replicated. It would be hard, impossible to reproduce the same sensations that you get in this place, that’s what makes Rebelot, Rebelot.
Since the writing of this article, Rebelot has changed management. Translation provided by Gino De Blasio