Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante — Milan, Italy
Milan’s Montenapoleone fashion district clubhouse – the Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante – reopens this spring with a nip and tuck designed by the boss himself. Set on the ground floor of the brand’s retail headquarters in an imposing grey stone 1930’s-era block, the café and restaurant takes up renewed residence within the stately complex that also houses the Armani Hotel and flagship store.
The renovation pulls from Armani’s meticulous brand codes — a subdued palette, clean lines, good materials — to stitch up the building’s rationalist bones. The joint café and restaurant’s design centres around a ribbon of pale gold that unfurls from start to finish: beginning at the lacquered wood bar, it leads from the cafe’s coffee counter into the restaurant and up the grand winding staircase to the second floor. Soft-touch walls are upholstered in a slightly iridescent steely-blue tone, while seating, rendered in a similar, leather-like fabric, was custom made for the cafe. Upstairs, a monumental green marble fireplace sits pride-of-place at the terminus of the dining room, winged by panels of Armani Casa textiles printed in a tropical palm motif.
Patrons who want to see, be seen and also eat will find a menu of thoughtfully devised Mediterranean and Northern Italian dishes: spaghetti with tomatoes from the island of Vulcano; homemade Scialatielli pasta with squid; and traditional Milanese veal chop all make the list. Diners can opt for a tasting menu or a la carte for brunch, lunch or dinner; or, if you’re just stopping by for a quick coffee, an Armani-branded cake will surely set you back less than a similarly stamped handbag next door. §