Controvapore is a love story that started catering and now lives on in one of Milan’s restaurants. Cristina and Alessandro Mantovani met in 1997 and decided to pool resources to pursue their dream of a restaurant in Milan together. In 1999 they opened Controvapore, a veritable love nest, an intimate, plum-red candlelit space with seven antique tables. rnrnAppropriately, this quiet and mellow hideaway with no street sign is ideal for trysts; guests must knock for entry. Regulars request the troni, two 19th-century Genoan thrones around an antique Piedmontese table worth €10,000. For added privacy (and a premium of €25 per person), the new salon privé has just three tables, decorated with Bohemian crystal glass, real silver cutlery and antique Umbrian linen. rnrnAll the aesthetics are taken care of by Alessandro, a one-time antiques dealer, and Cristina provides a very personal service, patiently translating the handwritten menu of Tuscan, Umbrian and Sicilian cuisine, while Alessandro’s mother prepares Controvapore’s specialities: tender Tuscan chianina beef and sublimely fresh pasta; rare vintage wines are matched to taste.