It’s become an institution since it opened in 1977, and now, Paper Moon has found its latest home in a 200-year-old neoclassical palazzo square in the centre of the city’s Golden Rectangle fashion district. The second location in the city, following a string of openings aboard, the flagship restaurant only strengthens owners Stefania Galligani and Claudio Berton’s hold on the city’s style scene as proprietors of fashion week’s unofficial post-catwalk canteen.
Hong Kong-based design firm AB Concept has thoughtfully restored the handsome villa, originally built in 1830 by architect Nicola Dordoni for the noble Reina family. Dove grey walls, minimal lighting by glassmaker Lasvit and custom furniture by Promemoria leave space for the building’s exquisite original features — vaulted frescoed ceilings and Venetian terrazzo floors — to breathe.
Giardino boasts a slightly more sophisticated bill of fare than its sister location across the road. The original sprawling menu has been whittled down and refined to a mostly seafood offering: king crab with confit tomatoes, scallops with zucchini flowers and whole grilled lobster sit alongside meatier dishes like pan-seared beef with black truffle and farm-grown chicken with lemon.
Outdoors, a sunny courtyard has been purpose-designed for Milan’s generous months of warm weather. But come fashion week, make sure you’re on the list.