Besides shopping at the uber-luxury Via Montenapoleone, one must definitely visit the designer cafes in the fashion capital, Milan, Italy. One designer café which I’ve visited is the stylish Emporio Armani Café, which is located just above the Metro Montenapoleone station. Unlike the Armani Hotel which is target at the wealthy, the more accessible Emporio Armani café caters
to a wider group of customers.
Generally, you can either opt to stand at the bar or be seated at a table. I will usually opt to stand at the bar unless I’m having a meal. Standing at the bar (there are a few bar stools) has its advantages. First of all, the prices are much cheaper since they do not charge you service. A cup of coffee (cappuccino, latte, etc) costs around €2.50, which is rather affordable and comparable to any other cafes in the area. And every cup of coffee comes with a cookie and a chocolate. For those visiting Europe for the first time, please be mindful that it’s very difficult to find a restroom in these European cities. You can either pay €1 to use a public toilet (provided if you can find one) or pay €2.50 for a drink and use the cafe’s toilet at the same time. I choose the latter. The only complaint that I have is that there is only one unisex toilet at the ground floor and sometimes, there is a line of people queuing for the toilet. The next alternative is to head up to the second level of the café which has separate toilets for men and women.
The Polipo or Sautéed of Octopus, Potatoes, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Olives served with Arugola
The food generally ranges from mediocre to good, however, the prices lean towards the higher end. The Polipo or Sautéed of Octopus, Potatoes, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Olives served with Arugola, costs €12. The firm octopus is nicely sautéed and I particularly like the slightly charred bits.
Tagliatelle Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
The Tagliatelle Pasta with Bolognese Sauce, at €16, is reasonable. The flavourful pasta is cooked perfectly and has a generous amount of Bolognese sauce.
Sogliola or Sole Meuniere with Swiss-chard stalks and Porcini Mushrooms on Soft Potatoes Cream
Unfortunately, the Sogliola or Sole Meuniere with Swiss-chard stalks and Porcini Mushrooms on Soft Potatoes Cream is not worthy of its €20 price tag. Although the silky smooth potatoes cream is well executed, the sole fish fillet is just tough and lack the tenderness commonly found in younger fish.
Tortino Soffice or Small Soft Cake Rose Grape served with Vanilla Sauce
The Tortino Soffice or Small Soft Cake Rose Grape served with Vanilla Sauce is very soft and light. However, at €9, the modest dessert is definitely way too expensive.
Since the bar service is relatively inexpensive, Emporio Armani Café is a recommended place for a drink and toilet break. And the ambience is pretty decent for an after-shopping drink. By all means dine at the chic and impeccably-designed café if you’re a hard-core Armani fan. But if you’re after good quality food, there are better options out there.
Emporio Armani Caffe
Via Crocerossa 2, Milan, Italy, Tel: (39) 02 72318680