London, a very special Wednesday in September, it’s 5pm. There is a light rain, my last meeting has finally ended, I don’t even have time to put my trench coat on, as I run to grab a taxi. Milan, same day, same hour, the sun is still shining, while on her balcony F. relaxes admiring the spires of the Duomo that dominate the city. The intercom rings. She doesn’t know who it could be, she’s not expecting anyone at this hour. A package for her, it’s her birthday today. It has come directly from the famous boutique Antonia, a little tag says: “Wear me”. She knows it’s from him. She opens the package, a marvelous dress by Valentino. It was exactly what she wanted for a special evening. Brera 8.45pm. I’m waiting beneath her house. My Made to Measure Zegna tuxedo is perfect, and I’m wearing it for the first time tonight, I go up, knock on the door and she still takes my breath away: “you’re beautiful”, I tell her.
The trip is really brief, we are in piazza della Scala and just like in a movie – in a Milan that’s covered by night – we walk and finally arrive at the entrance of Palazzo Beltrami where we present ourselves and they lead us inside. F. starts to look at me the way she does when I have done something good. Maybe she’s wondering if it’s that place she has been wanting to go to for a really long time. We leave the elevator, a few steps of stairs in the open and then… we are looking over Piazza della Scala, view of the Duomo, where we are greeted by a welcome aperitif. I look intensely at this amazing view to notice every detail.
Priceless Milano: a restaurant that will be located on the rooftop of Palazzo Beltrami until October, overlooking the Milanese skyline and is MasterCard’s temporary restaurant. Italian and international star chefs rotate at the head of this concept, making it an experience that is different every time and never taken for granted. There are a total of 24 “lucky ones”. Then we discover that we even got the day right, we are “A cena con Vanity” (At dinner with Vanity) (#acenaconVanity): first surprise of the Priceless organization, a guest has arrived, it’s all top secret until Simona Ventura makes her entrance onto the terrace, with her usual engaging smile. She will also be the protagonist of the evening.
Now that we are all present, we enter a sort of gastronomic theater – an open space – where we are kindly directed to our respective seats. Before we know it all of a sudden from the roof, as if by magic, our table is slowly lowered and it’s perfectly set, the situation really starts to get interesting. Just like in any theater our “orchestra maestro”, Giuseppe Iannotti, is presented to us who is a star Chef from Campagna. The curtains are drawn, revealing the kitchen which is adjacent to our table: the protagonists are the Chef himself with his brigade. A spontaneous round of applause erupts from the diners. In the hall the tasting begins, in the kitchen Chef and helpers get busy to make everything perfect. The plates are sublime, with a contrast of flavors that have never been tried before, always accompanied by a wine that’s just right. The Chef explains each dish – work of art that is – completely capturing our attention.It is a unique and engaging experience where you end up sharing stories and experiences with people you have only just met.
When it seems the “dance” is over and after having enjoyed a special dessert we find ourselves on the terrace again, to admire once again that panorama that is even more romantic now, to organize an after-dinner, to bug our Chef and try to gather secrets and passions from his kitchen. And all of a sudden the last surprise arrives: the midnight spaghetti is served. Smoking plates arrive to lure our palates again. We can’t say no. The evening really seems over now. We say our good-byes, wishing we had a permanent Priceless Milano in our Flawless city, but it would lose it’s charisma and it’s uniqueness, just as all things that are truly special. I wonder where the next destination will be: London? Sao Paolo? Paris? We couldn’t have wanted anything more from this evening. We are in piazza della Scala again and as we call a taxi we look up at the same time get another glance of the restaurant that made this day so special.
A Priceless day.