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Emporio Armani Cafe, Milan
Been here, done that, loved it, and now back to enjoy the experience again. I remember eating an amazing risotto Milanese, superbly done spaghetti and a Caesar salad I never had before. That's the Emporio Armani which I've been following for a long time in Dubai, Paris, Istanbul and wherever it has opened around the world.
A special music plays in a restaurant filled with people, tourists and locals coming to experience what the fashion brand has to offer. Walls of bright light, the main bar, spots coming from the ceiling above and black. Black wooden tables surrounded by green chairs and sofas.
After sitting and ordering the red placemats are set, a fork, knife and a bread plate, a generously filled bread basket. They also have their local Armani water, which is good. A bread basket arrives while you're waiting to be served.
Appetizers, soups, first courses, main courses and desserts with a special leaflet showcasing the specials of the day.
Pasta and risotto was what I was craving. Remembering the past while trying some new things. I love coming here.
- Caesar salad Emporio Armani with iceberg lettuce, lemon dressing, lemon marinated chicken, Parmesan flakes and croutons. That's like no Caesar I've ever had. Richly marinated chicken shredded like ham, extremely hard and crunchy croutons, three big Parmesan cheese strips, fresh lettuce, the faded sweetness... Not visiting Armani in Milan is like going to the Vatican and not seeing the Pope.
- Spaghetti di Grano Duro, durum wheat spaghetti with pachino tomatoes and basil. Simplicity at its finest. Good looking, well cooked spaghetti in a homemade tomato sauce that's soft and acidic. Bravo.
- Paccheri pasta with guanciale bacon, cacio cheese, pepper and pea cream. Oh sweet Lord! I simply felt like stopping and looking at this plate, contemplating it's details, appreciating its content. Al dente cooked cylinders floating in a green sauce and decorated with green peas left with a light firmness. Bacon and cheese on top, a strong, pleasant saltiness, creaminess at its finest. What a plate! It's a food orgasm.
- Risotto Armani Milano, risotto Milanese, creamy with saffron threads and parmigiana cheese aged 24 months. Oh my God! Those were the first and last words that came from my mouth the minute I ate the first bite. I closed my eyes, smiled, felt a tear in my eye... Smokey aged Parmesan, saffron flowing in the middle with olive oil served on a large round plate. A masterpiece, way more than a normal plate of food. Risotto cooked al dente, those flavors, this richness... When eating something that good, I feel like I've won a million dollars.
Good service, a great ambiance and amazing food.
I have visited many of the world's Armani cafes and this is by far the best. I rarely come back to a restaurant on the same trip, but I just might this time around.