I was back in New York last week, in part to attend the press preview lunch for I Saloni Milano in New York which is a six-week celebration of Italian design. The event is meant to comemorate the 50th anniversary of the Salone furniture fair in Milan. The lunch was at Mario Batali's restaurant Manzo in Eataly, and the man himself popped his head out to welcome us. The festivities commence in late November with a series of video portraits by Robert Wilson, a video installation of Leonardo's Last Supper by Peter Greenway, and events in 20 Italian furniture showrooms around the city. The food was great and it was truly an international gathering of design, art, food, and business. Quite fun! After that I had a little wander around midtown Manhattan to see the design sites, and finished off with a tasty treat at a new high-design cafe on Madison Avenue called D'Espresso.
Here's a shot of the assembled gang of Italian design bigwigs, press, and artists at Manzo, Mario Batali's new restaurant at Eataly in New York. It was bright and festive, and I'm still thinking about those agnolotti. Courtesy of Sam Hollenshead / Samuel Stuart.
Famed theater designer and artists Robert Wilson was at the lunch, in part to speak about Perchance to Dream, a series of video portraits of dancer Roberto Bolle with iconic objects from Italian design. Courtesy of Sam Hollenshead / Samuel Stuart.
Mario Batali of Manzo poked his head out to say hello and to wish us a wonderful lunch. The food was excellent, I must say. Especially the beef carpaccio with apples. Courtesy of Sam Hollenshead / Samuel Stuart.
Each of us walked off with a press kit that included a massive packet of fusilli. Here I am with the packet under my arm like a Frenchman with his baguette. My wife and I made an amazing carbonara with the fusilli last night.
After ducking into the Dwell New York offices I took a stroll. When in the neighborhood I like to stop into the Morgan Library addition by Renzo Piano. It's such a lovely connector between the two other elements of the museum and one of my favorites. Here's a snap from across the street.
Just around the corner on Park Avenue is Scandinavia House. I'd never been and was happy to pop in. I loved the flags displayed on the exterior as well as the clear nods to Scando design with all the glass and wooden slats.
On the ground floor of Scandinavia House is a shop up front and then a charming cafe called Smörgås Chef. Though I did not stop for a bite, I did love the large tree as a design element in the middle.
I did stop in for a treat at D'Espresso at 317 Madison Avenue, though. I'd read about this new spot online and wanted to get a look at the book motif myself. It's just a block or so from the New York Public Library, and the hip clientele and tasty treats are sure to make it a hotspot in the neighborhood.
Here's a detail of the graphic that makes up the floor, walls, and ceiling at D'Espresso. The space was designed by nemaworkshop.
And finally, here's a look at my treat, a ricotta and raspberry pastry sandwich. That napkin says it all.