A pioneer in the fusion of fashion and food, Giorgio Armani entered the foodservice industry in the 1980s to help him develop an all-around Armani lifestyle. The Emporio Armani Caffè formula was founded in Paris in 1998, with the intention of offering clients a captivating experience beyond shopping. Today, it is a modern and well-structured format, with an offering that ranges from breakfast and lunch to aperitifs and dinner. The common thread is its Italian identity, expressed through excellence and refinement. Emporio Armani Caffès are present today in Bologna, Dubai, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Tokyo.
The first Emporio Armani Caffè in Milan opened in 2000, today the address is the same, Via Croce Rossa, but the new Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante is a completely reinvented environment. The formula, the layout, the design, and the menu have all been changed to create an atmosphere where everyone can relax in the way that suits them best. Expanded and completely re-conceived, the space has been redesigned to accentuate the variety of its offering. Conceptualized by Giorgio Armani, along with his internal team of architects, Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante fits perfectly within the historical building that houses it.
The new interior architecture of the entire space has been inspired by style elements of the 1930s, the period to which the building dates back, but these influences have been used in order to develop a completely contemporary design. The décor elements, the room layout, and the choice of colors all contribute to creating a warm environment and a lively yet refined atmosphere. Thus, this space provides the perfect setting for moments of relaxation or friendly gatherings at any time of day, with the discreet presence of the staff ensures impeccable, fast, efficient service at all times.
The first floor is divided into two parts that are connected yet independent. In the new large café, accessible from Via Croce Rossa, it is possible to sample and purchase fresh pastries and Armani/Dolci by Guido Gobino products. The section adjacent to the café is reserved for lunch, with a varied menu of light lunch options. This area can now be accessed also from the new entrance in Via Giardini. The space is highly versatile, designed for entertainment at any time of day, from breakfast to Sunday brunch, to after-dinner hours (with the opportunity to host high-spirited DJ events). The design highlights rounded lines and natural materials. The fabric of the wall panels is of a specially developed iridescent blue-green shade. Around the rectangular and round tables, blue, green, and red chairs add a sense of energy and dynamism.
The upper floor can be accessed via the spectacular, winding dark green and gold staircase, which clearly separates the two sides of the venue with its sharp silhouette. Here, at the entrance of the restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, there is a luxurious champagne bar reception area. In keeping with the idea to leave the service operations exposed throughout the Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante, the open kitchen is visible through an embellished glass screen. The design of the restaurant presents a bold, new style, which visually continues the lines of the first floor and with softer shades of blue-gray and dusty sage-green. Slightly screened natural light floods the space through large windows that look out onto a small square. The small room at the back, which can be reserved for private occasions, is home to an intimate and cozy atmosphere with a large dark marble fireplace.
The wide, varied food offering of Milan’s Emporio Armani Caffè & Ristorante satisfies the tastes of an increasingly large international clientele. Along with the Mediterranean cuisine that Giorgio Armani himself prefers, the full Italian menu is offered with a unique and sophisticated approach that focuses on simplicity and lightness. The selection varies depending on the time of day and the chosen environment. The more casual first floor offers a modern and quick menu for both lunch and dinner, along with more classic, original dishes that have always distinguished the Emporio Armani Caffè concept. On the upper floor, the restaurant’s gourmet menu skillfully blends tradition and innovation. Here, the Italian culinary philosophy is elevated through the use of top-quality raw materials, careful preparation of even the simplest dishes, and elegant and clean presentation; all elements that reflect the joy of eating according to Giorgio Armani, and that distinguish and bond all of the Armani restaurants throughout the world.
Ilona Catani Scarlett