The latest big trend for haute fashion houses is to try their luck in the food business, either opening their own restaurants or incorporating this type of service in their most exclusive boutiques.
We are talking about places that become true temples of sophistication, with special emphasis on perfection in every detail, from the decor, lighting and attire of the waiters, to the tableware, menu design and the artistic presentation of the dishes.
These are three of the finest restaurants, whose imprint carries the hallmark of three major international fashion labels: Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani.
173, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris
The American designer Ralph Lauren has placed his restaurant on the ground floor of a former hotel in the posh 6th district of Paris, the same seventeenth century building where the designer has his Parisian boutique. The site, spacious and elegant, perfectly combines the classic American style with the French elegance we all expect from such an exclusive place. Something that stands out is the bearing, poise and demeanor of the waiters, who resemble models out of a fashion show in London or New York. The restaurant’s decor evokes a British polo club, emphasizing dark wood paneling and paintings of hunting scenes, cushions made of fine fabrics and leather saddles that adorn the walls. The restaurant is comfortable and welcoming, reminiscent of the Hamptons. But the crown jewel of Ralph’s is its beautiful patio dining. The wrought iron tables carefully arranged with attractive white tablecloths and fresh flowers are a suitable complement for a luxury restaurant in the heart of Paris. The menu is a testament to the richness of American gastronomy: lobster from Maine, crab from Maryland, Black Angus beef and veal filets from Ralph Lauren´s own ranch in Colorado, destined exclusively for his Parisian restaurant. Exquisite desserts and an excellent French wine list carefully selected complete the offer at this restaurant, which is as exquisite as it is seductive.
Dolce & Gabbana´s Gold
Via Carlo Poerio, 3. Milan
An upscale restaurant, Gold is located in one of the most emblematic streets of Milan. It is the perfect place to enjoy authentic Sicilian cuisine with international flavors. But it is also a must for seeing and being seen as Gold is frequented by the most attractive and beautiful people in this capital of world fashion. Its superb design features a bright and glamorous environment with a predominance of gold, in perfect harmony with the white leather chairs and huge Venetian crystal chandeliers. In this exclusive and sophisticated oasis, you can taste traditional Sicilian fare carefully prepared by Chef Claudio Arciglione: cod fritters, cooked grape must sauce, and red onion marmalade, saffron risotto, squid ink sauce and wild salmon eggs, duck breast, mashed purple potatoes and vanilla fries are some of their succulent culinary delights served at the restaurant. Gold also has the Martini bar, where you can sip cocktails in the style of the golden years of the Dolce Vita, the great film by Federico Fellini.
717 5th Ave, New York
It is impossible to imagine a better location for a luxury restaurant than the Fifth Avenue in the cosmopolitan city of New York. And if the restaurant takes its name from a fashion legend such as the incomparable Giorgio Armani, success and glamour are guaranteed. The Armani Ristorante is located on the top floor of the building occupied by the modern Armani boutique in the heart of the Big Apple, which is accessed, from the street, by a private elevator. The decor, which was led by Armani himself alongside architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, is very characteristic of his designs: elegant, discreet, sophisticated and truly refined. The chef who runs this culinary network is Roberto Deiaco, an Italian with an ample experience in the best European kitchens. It offers Northern Italian cuisine with very accomplished touches of creativity. His dishes always look like small works of art. The tagliarini with prawns, mushrooms and black truffles is a truly sublime experience. For dessert, nothing beats the bombolini accompanied by a rich chocolate and limoncello cream. Actually, it makes no sense to highlight one dish over another because everything is delicious at Armani Ristorante, from the starters and bread selection, to the appetizers, meat and fish. ■