Simple. Real Italian. Seasonal favorites.

May 22, 2016

If I cannot have too many truffles I will do without. ~Colette


Owners Dario Vullo and Executive Chef Alessio Vullo, Manager Luca @ Nando Milano Trattoria [photo: Choco Photography]


I'm a go-with-the-flow girl.  Serendipity. Synchronicity.  Meeting friends with sailboats my first summer in Chicago...these are reasons for me to be based in Chicago.


Complimenti & salute to our Nando Milano friends and promo partners for early summer wins!


Summer bucket list from Red Tricycle.


TOP underrated patio in Chicago


Shiny new location in Champaign, IL.




I'm off to LA for a benefit concert and book tour planning with a soft launch in June and grand one in August! Fun back story by request...


[Updates from original story September 2014. Cheers to healthy growth since then!] 


I received a call from someone I knew from the French soiree scene who asked if I still work in PR. My honest answer is "sometimes". He asked if I would meet his Italian friends and see what I thought about their restaurant.

Enter Nando Milano...authentic Italian cuisine in Wicker Park. I had started to study Italian as I was writing "Avanti" my first melange of sizzling travel stories in thriller form. 

Short answer: Nando Milano is straight-up deliciousness in any language. 

But I am not a food critic. I was an event manager known for "gourmet soirees", summer menu pairings and "Team Charming".

I've also been a freelance writer for most of my career. 


The first time I met Dario Vullo and Chef Alessio Vullo I introduced them to my dear friend Anthony of Liven it Up Events. He catered some of my soirees, we've planned gorgeous weddings together...and very succinctly loaded them aboard a boat in 18 minutes!

I was glad to share some Italian hospitality with Anthony at my side (and now with no ticking clock before cast-off)!! A lovely intro to Italian cuisine and a pact to workout together more often if we'll be feasting like this. Owner Dario invited me back the next day and explored 5-hour lunch territory with ladies who lunch: Tatiana, AKA Gourmet Rambler and our dear friend Claudia who knew me as "Pirate Lady" through Anthony.

( Voila, our bon vivants "Italian Job" adventure.)  What made it even better is that I had a full day away from an office job and now have made i miei amici del cuore (my life-long best friends)!


I re-entered the Nando Milano picture last year when we did a PR push to help spread their gospel of "Real Italian" from Wicker Park to anyone who would listen. I had another office job - but was able to take afternoons off for photo shoots, tastings, Italian practice, writing, story boarding and filming. Luca, Dario, Chef Alessio and I worked hard to get pro shots of some of favorite Vullo family dishes.

 White truffles highlight house-made gnocchi at

Nando Milano Trattoria [Photo: Gourmet Rambler]


Voila, they brought out my inner filmmaker again. And I'm certainly grateful to work and play so well together (AND in several languages).

Team Nando racked up several awards in the last year, so I'm thrilled to see them shine.


I'm working on rewrites to step away from The Office Job and closer to "Davanti" and The Marketable Trilogy. ("More sizzle!!" they say.  SI - count me in!) I go to Nando to relax and catch up and share stories. Yes, they have inspired some scenes in the "luscious" thriller series.

Fortuantely, I still get invited to some tastings and previews.


Even though I'm not a food critic, I certainly know #RealItalian is the only way to go.  Nando Milano? SI, please!


Follow their adventures on Instagram


Outstanding photos by: Tatiana A./, Choco Photography, Marcin Cymmer, Photos by Garbot, Akasha Garnier & Jared Leto's people.

Grazie mille, all!

Created by Akasha Garnier, Alessio Vullo and Dario Vullo.




Chef Alessio on the patio with one of his amazing desserts ("La Linda" white choc/chocolate cheesecake; photo Akasha).

Please reload

Featured Posts

Strength of 10 Akashas + 2: RTT insights

December 18, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts

November 27, 2019

Please reload

Follow Us
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram Clean Grey
  • Vimeo Clean Grey

Be the first to know about the thriller series.

© 2015 by Akasha Garnier   All rights reserved

Website by CWD  & Akasha Garnier