Opened by the famous restaurateur Giacomo Bulleri in 2011, it is the restaurant with a view par excellence, thanks to its splendid terrace overlooking the Duomo of Milan, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.
Located inside the Museo del Novecento, which exhibits the masterpieces of the International Avant-gardes, from Pablo Picasso to Giorgio de Chirico, the restaurant pays homage to the building that houses it, the Palazzo dell’Arengario, a term with which it was once defined the council offices. Built between 1936 and the 1950s on a project by the arch-stars of the era Griffini, Magistretti, Muzio and Portaluppi, with bas-reliefs on the external facade by the famous Treviso architect Arturo Martini, it is today one of the symbols of Piazza Duomo.
It was 2007 when during an evening in his restaurant in via Sottocorno, the famous restaurateur Giacomo Bulleri was asked why he did not want to take over the restaurant space of the new museum project that was due to be launched soon in Piazza Duomo. And Giacomo, known for his smart sense of humor and the restlessness of those who love new challenges, accepts with enthusiasm.
My secret? Passion and sacrifice. You always have to suffer a little, because if you don’t suffer, nothing comes. A bit like in love.
Thus, in 2011, Giacomo cuts the ribbon of the new restaurant that joins those already signed by the renowned cook, a true legend in Milan. Arrived in the city in the late 50ies after having left his Tuscany, Giacomo initially opened a trattoria in via Donizetti and, after being evicted, moved to via Sottocorno, where his real fortune began.
He understands ahead of his time the importance of a solid local cuisine, of taking care of each guest as a devoted friend and of a trendy interior design. He thus entrusts the decor of his restaurant to the famous architect Lorenzo Mongiardino and this is the beginning of a partnership that will lead his artistic heir, Roberto Peregalli, to sign all subsequent projects, from Giacomo Bistrot to the Arengario.
The interior of the Arengario is the apotheosis of Art Decò: from the entrance room with coral velvet armchairs and oriental-style black-gold lacquer walls, to the Anglo-Saxon-inspired lounge bar with a neon chandelier by a New York designer of the 1940s, up to the magnificent terrace with 1930s wicker armchairs.
A popular destination for tourists, it is also frequented by a very chic local clientele who come here for the exquisitely Milanese atmosphere typical of Giacomo’s restaurants and a solid cuisine based on a highly selected raw material under the careful supervision of the Executive Chef Emanuele Settel.
From tortelli filled with cheese and black pepper, row red prawns, lime and bottarga to Milanese risotto, from lobster Catalana style to veal cutlet “alla Milanese”, the restaurant menu combines tradition and internationality, perfect for every need, from a business lunch to an informal dinner. The wine list is also excellent, with over 400 references, mainly of high-end Italian and French labels, as well as the cocktail offer that obviously could not fail to favor the great classics of the ‘900.
Today it’s the daughter of Giacomo Tiziana Bulleri together with her husband Marco Monti, and their daughters and son in law, who carry on the tradition of what has now become a reference group in Italy in haute cuisine. A growth that is firmly faithful to the values that Giacomo has always wanted to pursue, from the sense of family to the smile that must never be lacking in his restaurants.
Giacomo’s restaurants are famous in Milan for being the favorite destination of international celebs. At the Arengario, the evening in which the actor Russel Crowe improvised himself as a barman by preparing cocktails behind the counter for the restaurant’s customers remains in history.