If you’re craving a meaty political debate (hard in Milan’s bars when most are happy to go with the status quo), Nordest may be best able to deliver. Situated in leftfield Isola with a left-of-centre crowd, often to be found with their noses buried in Il Manifesto (Italy’s Communist newspaper), there’s a bespectacled, beatnik air to Nordest. rnrnThis is apparently incidental, since its original objective back in 1996 was to become a quality jazz joint. Owners and brothers Cristian and Alessandro host live acoustic jazz every Wednesday and Thursday, and like their new neighbour Blue Note, expect the music to be taken seriously – no talking and no dancing thank you. Nordest is quiet and civilized, with classical music for breakfast and nostalgic rock’n’roll later on. rnrnUniformed staff serve restaurant food and home-made cakes at varnished bistro tables and chairs (by summer, the bar migrates to the hedged-in pavement benches). The thing to do here is enjoy unplugged jazz over a bottle of red or a grappa coffee and cabbies’ manifestos at the bar.