Wednesday 27th February

| BY Paul Toner

Step Inside the Newly Renovated Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante in Milan

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Calling all fashion foodies. Looking for somewhere a little more fancy-schmancy to take a breather in between shows at next MFW? Or just in need for a food haven in Milan? Somewhere to relax, have a fag, and shout at your assistant for not getting you FROW at Fendi? Well today’s your lucky day, as the newly renovated Emporio Armani Caffè and Ristorante just re-opened after closing for refurb back in May. After originally launching back in 2000, the luxury restaurant became an instant benchmark of Milanese style, with a mix of mediterranean cuisine (Mr Armani’s personal favourite) and Northern Italian classics prepped daily for the most stylish Italians to stuff their faces. Buon appetito.

Conceptualised by the acclaimed designer himself, alongside his internal team of architects, the two-storey restaurant  has been created with full Armani/Casa interiors. The ground floor is divided into two sections. The first carries as a quick stop café where in-house pastries are available to try and buy, whilst the section adjacent is a lunching area, equipped with a versatile show space for entertainment at any given point. Please refrain from your best Pavarotti impressions after one two many though. Head up the winding champaign-gold staircase and you’ll enter the main dining area, equipped with luxury bar reception at the entrance – perfect for one of those wet lunches.

Grand in design, but classic Armani in colour palette, the new upstairs walls are adorned in Giorgio’s favourite blue. A more muted alternative to the colour blocked, Wes Anderson-designed, Prada Bar Luce – famed for its mint green and Mendl’s pink interior. Remember what they say, “due dita di vino e una pedata al medico”. For all you non-Italians, that’s “A little wine kicks the doctor out the door.” And the Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante is the best place to get your healthy dose of red on your next stop in Milan.

Here are the top ten dishes making the pot noodle office lunch seem (even) less appetising:

Baccalà – Codfish, Storo’s polenta chips, traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, oyster leaf

Ravioli – Stuffed Ravioli with peas, Martini Dry, confit, tomatoes, sweet and sour onion

Ombrina – Stonebass, celery root, foie gras, salmoriglio

Maiale – Brased belly pork, Borettana onions, rhubarb, leek

Ricotta – Ricotta, mango, salted peanuts, black truffle

Vitello – Breaded Milanese veal, vegetables ratatouille, frozen rocket, baby beetroot

Manzo – beef, parsnip, spelt, trumpet mushrooms, chicory, green apples

Crema – Borage velouté, broad beans, lemon

Polpo – Roasted octopus, purple potatoes, olives, chicory tips

Fusilli – Fusilli pasta, confit rabbit, pepper, Taggiasca’s olives, liquorice

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