Already bulging with succulent prosciutto, earthy hunks of parmigiano and syrupy balsamic vinegar, Italy’s Reggio Emilia has a new gastronomic delight called Sambirano. Located in the city’s historic pasticceria (formerly called La Torinese), Sambirano is much more than a chic pastry shop. The sprawling space features a bistro restaurant, a cafe, tea room, a chocolate shop, a well-stocked Enoteca wine store and champagne bar, and a homeware design and flower shop, as well as a delicatessen packed with fresh foods and canned specialty items under the new Sambirano label.
The multi-tasking, 500 sq m food space was designed by architect Benta Wiley and interior designer Luca Mercatelli. The duo preserved the 18th century bones and façade of Palazzo Scaruffi-Busetti. Inside, however, the designers added intriguing details such as an island pastry bar shaped like a giant asteroid hunk in the middle of a cavernous room. Though it looks like glass-topped, faceted stone, the bar is made from aged brass printed with a tapestry effect, while the coffee bar is made from butterscotch-and-cream-swirled Palomino marble. The other rooms – for dining and shopping – each have light and dark aesthetics, giving a different rhythm to each space. The minimal restaurant features a black and white etched-looking forest scene wallpaper, antique wood tables and Vitra chairs, while the bathroom is jazzed up in red paint and circus wallpaper.
The delicatessen, meanwhile, features a huge selection of Sambirano’s locally-made specialty products, categorised on library-style bookshelves. Wrapped up in great-looking, sartorial packaging, standouts include artichokes and asparagus packed in oil, exotic passion fruit and preserved tomatoes that look as chic as table top accessories.