Owner Dario Comino's cocktail bar has been a regular on the list of The World's 50 Best Bars since 2010, most recently appearing at #38 in 2016.
As it was a Friday, and I wanted to avoid the common complaint of long wait times to get in, I arrived a little after 7 pm, about thirty minutes after opening.
Nottingham Forest is indeed small. It's a rectangular space with a long bottle-filled bar taking up the right side.
There's just enough space for some stools, a path to the back and a few leather chairs and tables flush against the left wall.
It's got a tiki vibe thanks to the various souvenirs Comino has brought home with him from trips abroad.
Over 2,000 bottles help fill every nook and cranny in the space.
It's almost hard to take in all the details that surround you. It's like walking into a mad scientist's laboratory.
I was seated at the bar and presented with an extensive menu in English.
It went beyond a standard list of drinks to include detailed descriptions of each as well as methodologies for making them.
During happy hour from 6 to 9 pm, cocktails cost €10 ($11) apiece, with the price rising to €12 ($11.50) after 9 pm. Expect to pay more if you request higher-end liquors.
For my first drink, I went with the playful Sephora, consisting of tonic water, lemongrass infusion with absinthe vodka, and a white foam created from peach liquor.
It was presented with a little rubber ducky on the side, which you then place in the bath for an added citrus aroma.
I loved the presentation, and it tasted delicious too.
See also: The Best Cocktail Bars in Copenhagen
Happy with my first choice, I returned to the menu for drink number two.
I wanted simulated smoke this time, so I ordered Polonio 210, one of the cryogenic drinks made with compressed carbon dioxide.
To my delight, a tiki skull full of a guarana infusion, lime, and tonic water arrived bubbling and smoking.
As much as I would've liked to continue sampling cocktails at one of the best bars in Milan, I was getting hungry.
An hour after arriving, I paid my bill and headed out in search of dinner. The next day, I was off to Florence.
Need to Know
- Address: Viale Piave 1, Milan
- Hours: Tue-Sat 6:30 pm - 2 am, Sun 6 pm - 1 am
- Dress: Casual
- Reservations: Not accepted. Tables seat a maximum of 4 people.