I’m not usually a fan of the Dolce dazzle but I think I could be persuaded to enjoy the gastronomical indulgences offered in Dolce & Gabbana’s best-kept secret in Milan: Gold, their restaurant and bar. According to the Bloomberg report, these designer-owned restaurants are hidden gems often overlooked by the boutique-oriented tourists.. for the full scoop read the full story below.– Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
By Elisa Martinuzzi and Sara Gay Forden
Tucked away behind a scaffold that separates the diner from a
pit that’s to become an underground parking lot, a mile east of
Milan’s gothic-cathedral square and fashion hub, this three-story
venue has been open for about a year.
The designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have spared
no expense on their debut dining extravaganza. As the name
suggests, gold dominates, from the glistening bar benches and
gilded bamboo walls through to a gold-leaf-coated chocolate
dessert, and “Goldfinger” film clips playing in the washrooms.
Working with the architect Ferruccio Laviani, the designers
succeeded with the decor, which manages to avoid being kitsch. If
only the food and the crowd were as good. Dishes ranged from
inventive and delicious to ordinary and undercooked, while there
was a distinct lack of buzz before and after Milan’s fashion week.
Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli are among designers that
have opened restaurants in Milan. Rome-based jeweler Bulgari SpA
opened its first hotel in the city in 2004.
You’d be forgiven for not noticing Gold, which is in a quiet
residential area. Metallic blinds run across the floor-to-ceiling
windows on the ground floor, shielding guests from onlookers and
preventing the outside world from spotting the lavish interiors.
The venue includes a bistro and bar downstairs, with white-table-
cloth dining at the formal restaurant upstairs.
Creamy Marble Floors
The attention to detail and the balance of gold with rough-
hewn stone walls, mirrored table tops, creamy marble floors and
glass chandeliers, is exquisite. The movie clips inserted in the
bathroom walls add a sense of fun to a place that might be
intimidating for its perfection and class.
The service is welcoming yet discreet, and the menu
inspiring. The sommelier, Bruno Canetti, poached from the Bulgari
hotel, is helpful in selecting from a list featuring more than
3,000 wines, including a good selection of Champagnes.
A feast of dishes laced with truffles, from risotto to steak
tartare, made up the Luxury Menu. The rest of the offerings were
equally tempting, with a good balance between fish and meat
following the pasta-based primi. Chef Giacomo Gallina, formerly of
Bice in Milan, draws on traditional Italian dishes, including some
from Dolce’s Sicilian homeland, while adding touches of his own.
An amuse gueule of oven-backed prawns with crispy bacon
served on a fruit emulsion was subtle and cooked to perfection and
went nicely with a glass of Ca’ del Bosco sparkling Franciacorta.
Sadly, the rest of the meal didn’t make the gold standard.
The porcini-mushroom pudding was served cold, topped with
generous shavings of black truffle that were utterly tasteless. A
scallops starter was better, served on a bed of thinly sliced
pineapple with a hint of balsamic vinegar: tasty yet delicate.
The Castelmagno cheese-filled agnolotti, sprinkled with white
truffle, were creamy, though served a little too cold. It was
downhill from there. The paccheri, a large, hollow-tube pasta
served with baby scampi, crispy pork cheek and onions, was
undercooked. The South African black cod with olives and borlotti
beans was also cold. Lamb cutlets with pistachios and a reduced
wine sauce were nearly raw and missing their truffle garnish.
For dessert, the tiramisu tasted rancid. The gold-bar
chocolate pudding was better, with vanilla cream and a crunchy
layer tempering the sweetness.
A lunchtime visit to the bistro proved disappointing. Two
families and a handful of business lunches, 30 of us at most, were
scattered in the 120-plus-seater room. There are some foreign
dishes, and the Thai green curry is probably best left to the
take-away round the corner. The Misticanza, a composition of salad
leaves that goes back 2,000 years, was a pretty ordinary salad.
A late-evening drink in the ground-floor bar area in the
spring was rather grim. Aside from an impressive selection of
sparkling wines, there was little to get excited about. The non-
alcoholic cocktail had more ice than fruit juice in it.
As for people-watching, four English soccer fans on a bender
was the biggest group. The dozen or so customers were mainly local
couples. There wasn’t a model or celebrity in sight, though Paris
Hilton and Kylie Minogue are supposed to have visited.
The Bloomberg Questions
Cost? Dinner for two came to 246 euros including a selection
of wines by the glass. Lunch for two at the bistro was 90 euros.
Sound level? Background chatter, not too loud.
Date place? Lack of a buzz may make it disappointing.
Special feature? Over-the-top decor.
Private room? Part of the upstairs room can be partitioned.
Will I go back? For an aperitivo, and maybe to dine, once the
building work outside is finished and it draws bigger crowds.
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