A slew of new restaurants always open after Labor Day, but this year seems especially rife with designer eateries and cafes. Ralph Lauren is opening a cafe in the Polo flagship store in New York, Roberto Cavalli opened Cavalli Ibiza Restaurant & Lounge earlier this summer, and Band of Outsiders announced that Milk Bar would open its first Soho outpost in one of company's street windows at the new flagship store in New York (72 Wooster Street) which opens during New York Fashion Week. Even department stores are getting in on the action: Bergdorf's will open Goodman's Bar in its men's store later this year. Below, a quick guide to eateries that gives new meaning to the idea of fashionable dining.
Number of Eateries: 16+
Locations: Milan, Paris, Cannes, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Dubai, Kuwait City, Tokyo, Santiago, New York
The Run-Down: Giorgio Armani got into the hospitality business in 1989, launching in Milan. His portfolio of restaurants and bars, which range from casual Emporio Armani Cafes and the velvet-roped Armani Privé nightclub to scores of licensed establishments within the Armani Hotels in Milano and Dubai. In New York, the opulent Armani Ristorante opened in the designer's Fifth Avenue pad in recession-rocked 2009. Floor-to-ceiling windows, sober neutrals and reflective surfaces set the backdrop for carrot panna cotta, prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin and fashion-friendly coconut water sorbet.
The Latest: A new concept, Armani/Caffe, opened during the Cannes Film Festival last May with a guest list including Milla Jovovich and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 7
Locations: Milan, Bali, New York, Tokyo, Osaka
The Run-Down: Italy's Bulgari went from parfumier to hotelier when it opened its first urban resort in Milan in 2001. The company now has sleek camps perched over the Indian Ocean in Bali and at the edge of Hyde Park in London's Kightsbridge neighborhood, all with multiple dining venues. In Japan, Bulgari has a wood-and-amber café and chocolate shop adjacent to their boutique in Osaka's palatial Umeda Hanyuka department store, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, where chef Luca Fantin, a veteran of Mugaritz and Osteria dell'Orso, creates plates like squid ink tagliolini with almond cream and squid sashimi.
The Latest: Shanghai in 2015, Dubai in 2018.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 9
Locations: Florence, Milan, St. Tropez, Dubai, Beirut, New Delhi, Miami, Ibiza
The Run-down: Cavalli got into the restaurant business in 2002, when his Florence boutique annexed and restored Café Giacosa—the rococo clubhouse of ancient Florentines and birthplace of the Negroni—and turned it into a candelabra-lit café/retail hybrid serving cappuccino and animal-print chocolate eggs, among other things. Full-service outlets with the assorted appellations of Club, Caffe or Restaurant & Lounge followed in Europe and the Middle East, landing stateside in 2013 in Miami, where you can graze with models on Osetra caviar service and 24-month-cured prosciutto. All locations provide ample opportunity to drink Cavalli-branded vodka and award-winning wine grown on the designer's Tuscan estate.
The Latest: Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge opened in Ibiza in July, stretching its legs across 21,000 square feet of tropical gardens that face the yacht-packed harbor. And there are plans to open more sheik-courting venues in Bahrain, Doha, and Riyadh in 2015.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 1
The Run-Down: In a partnership with international mega-chef Alain Ducasse, Chanel opened Beige in 2004 atop its ten-story, LED-fronted Ginza store. Dressed in titular colors, signature tweed and matelassé quilting, the serene restaurant has a Michelin star under chef Kei Kojima, whose blend of French and Japanese ingredients and techniques plays out in plates of horsehair crab with fish broth gelee and Hokkaido veal with Nicoise-style stuffed vegetables. The de rigeuer dessert is the Carré Chanel, a Ducasse/Chanel collab involving chocolate praline, gold leaf and candied hazelnuts in crystalline sugar capsules.
The Latest: This restaurant is the one and only for Chanel.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 1
The Run-Down: With architects Storage and interiors firm Dimorestudio, Dan and Dean Caten have turned a Fascist-era building formerly home to Italy's largest power supply company into Ceserio 7, a handsome headquarters, rooftop pool club and restaurant done in Midcentury lines and warm woods—a reference to the identical twins' Canadian heritage. Tables overlook the skyline of Milan's financial district, though the menu skews South, with crab-and-melon salad, prawn carpaccio and bottarga-dusted amberjack tartare by Sardinian chef Elio Sironi.
The Latest: Ceserio 7 opened last September.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 2
Locations: Paris, Chicago
The Run-down: The white-coiffed king of American sportswear got into the restaurant business in 1999, when he converted a portion of his Chicago Polo store into a dignified RL dining room furnished with library-like woodwork, regal topaz drapes, studded leather chairs and $24 lobster clubs. He then cracked the Parisian market in 2010 with the opening of Ralph's, wooing the city's capricious diners with a painstaking restoration of its 17th-century townhouse digs on the Boulevard St.-Germain—and classiques américains like Cobb salads, burgers, and brownie sundaes.
The Latest: Paris is currently the newest restaurant. Ralph's Coffee Shop opens in the new Polo flagship store in New York this fall.
• • •
Number of Eateries: 4
Locations: Australia's Gold Coast
The Run-down: An hour south of Brisbane, Palazzo Versace—the first fashion-branded hotel in the world when it opened in 2000—is all Corinthian columns, Medusa mosaics and ocean views. Mysterious ownership took over the resort in 2012 from original developers, the Sunland Group, but La Casa Versace is still involved in overseeing everything from the linens and china to the four restaurants, which range from gourmet poolside to high English tea to locavore tastings at the crown jewel, Vanintas, where chef Damien Styles' new winter menus star kangaroo, abalone, and black pudding.
The Latest: A second Palazzo Versace hotel is currently under construction in Dubai.
• • •