Madonna, a friendly Italian brasserie serving comforting pasta dishes

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Photos by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on November 30th, 2023 at 03:25 a.m.
There's no need to cross the Alpine border to enjoy traditional Italian dishes: at Madonna, both the food and the atmosphere are reminiscent of the finest Milanese brasseries.

Milan has an enchanting Lake Como, a majestic cathedral and the legendary La Scala theater, but this city in Lombardy, northern Italy, also boasts a large number of comforting traditional brasseries. Put away your passport and cancel your transalpine ticket, because it's in the 9th arrondissement that the Italian brasserie Madonna has opened its doors.

Eva-Louise and Alex Laporte, who run the place, have opted for tradition, with a decor that blends classicism and modernity. While the exterior woodwork of the previous restaurant retains the allure of the Parisian brasserie of yesteryear, the sister and brother have completely redesigned the interior with the help of decorator Véronique Laporte, none other than the siblings' mother.

Madonna - Pizza friteMadonna - Pizza friteMadonna - Pizza friteMadonna - Pizza frite

Velvets and a fresco by painter Roberto Ruspoli reinterpreting classical motifs, fringed chandeliers and the boisterous ambience of a real Italian osteria all come together. Between the restaurant's 150 seats, the waiters move gracefully, dressed in white jackets and black bow ties, in the image of the waiters in Milan's great cafés.

Don't expect to find any pizzas on the à la carte menu - there aren't any. Madonna' s emphasis is on authentic, traditional dishes with simple presentation, which you'd expect to find at an Italian mamma's, like these fresh pasta dishes. And don't count on sea urchins or tomatoes on the menu in winter, as the restaurant is committed to respecting the seasons and the rhythms of nature.

Madonna - Ravioli ricotta épinardsMadonna - Ravioli ricotta épinardsMadonna - Ravioli ricotta épinardsMadonna - Ravioli ricotta épinards

The same is true of the rest of the products, which are well-bred, cultivated or pressed, and come for the most part from small Italian producers. The olive oil comes from Puglia, the cured meats and ham from Parma, the meats from the Bedogni Edigio salumeria, which has been using traditional methods for over 60 years, as do the mozzarella, the cheeses and the Italian wines, selected from small estates and the great transalpine wines, as well as the inevitable sparkling wines, which can be enjoyed on their own or in cocktails created by mixologist Marco Balestra.

Two chefs are also on hand to work these choice products: Sicilian chef Danilo D'aquila, trained by his grandmother in Palermo (the best of schools), and executive chef Stéphane Mangin, who makes traditional recipes dance: small fried pizza (8€) - we're not lying, it's the only one on the menu; generous plate of fried fish and vegetables (15€); ricotta and spinach ravioli with sage butter sauce (21€); meatball paccheri (18€); but also secondi piatti like veal chop Milanese style (69€ to share) or osso buco and saffron risotto (29€).

Madonna - Chou praliné pistacheMadonna - Chou praliné pistacheMadonna - Chou praliné pistacheMadonna - Chou praliné pistache

It would be a pity to overlook the desserts, created by young pastry chef Margaux Bataille, who worked with Laurent Duchêne. The crackling cabbage filled with fresh pistachio cream (14€) is absolutely addictive, and we've been told that the tiramisu (14€), made according to an old-fashioned recipe, is also very good!

This test was conducted as part of a professional invitation. If your experience differs from ours, please mention it in the comments.

Practical information


52 Rue La Fayette
75009 Paris 9

Official website

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