Legends are legendary precisely because of their ability to always keep with the times. Such is the case with Peck which, with the opening of Peck CityLife - delicatessen, restaurant, wine bar, cocktail bar - is renewing and expanding its relationship with its Milanese clientele.
The temple of haute cuisine, in Milan since 1883, it brought to the new vertical city, under the towers designed by internationally-renowned architects - now the headquarters of Allianz and Generali, and soon also PWC - all the flavours, aromas and expertise that have made it the benchmark for high-quality foods and a brand known around the world.
For the first time, Peck is leaving the historic part of Milan for the CityLife Shopping District, the largest urban shopping district in Italy, becoming a bridge towards the rising city, animated by a new professional middle class: cosmopolitan, international, mobile and contemporary.
Peck CityLife is located in a 300m² organically-shaped pavilion in Piazza Tre Torri, central in relation to the entrance to the Shopping District and the architecture which is symbolic of the new city.
Here, Peck is introducing a new restaurant formula, who theme is delicatessen eating.
Enjoying food whilst sat at the counter is not merely an aesthetic gesture, but a philosophical one: it strengthens the relationship between foods and their production, between selection and tasting, between preparation and consumption.
The new restaurant - 50 covers, open at lunch and dinner with two different menus - is not just the place you can go every day to enjoy a series of signature dishes such as rib of beef, saffron risotto with osso buco, veal Milanese - in addition to a constantly-changing offering of daily specials - but it is also a location where you can find special dishes such as boiled meats, cassoeula, spit-roasted meats, or less common products such as pickled tongue or marbré.
The tapas-style starter formula deserves a special mention: designed for sharing, they are meant to evoke a social ritual of participation in tasting and to give the diners the opportunity to discover various flavours. The offering vary greatly and allow diners to explore the must-haves of Peck’s deli selection, such as Russian salad, pâté, prawn cocktail, sturgeon, veal in tuna sauce and Peck’s famous own-recipe bresaola.
As is already the case in the large deli in via Spadari, the new restaurant is the ideal place to enjoy truffles, jamon iberico de Bellota, foie gras, carefully-selected cured meats and the interesting cheeses from Peck’s wide selection.
The deli-restaurant allows diners to order off-menu, selecting from everything that is displayed in the large display case at the entrance.
The wine bar showcases a selection of wines and spirits theatrically arranged on a striking wall which holds a selection of 150 label, both Italian and French. Just the tip of the iceberg compared to the more than 3000 labels - always available to order - which make the shop on via Spadari the finest wine bar in Italy.
Enthusiasts and curious drinkers can seek advice from Peck’s sommelier both for wines to drink at the bar and bottles to take home. The wine bar will also be the location for meetings where visitors can meet the producers of certain valuable labels during a series of reservation-only events in which it will be possible to sample important vintages from the best wineries.
The final surprise of this new opening is the bar of the cocktail station - decorated with handpainted tiles with a design taken from a historic photograph of Peck circa 1950 - entrusted to the skilled hands of Riccardo Brotto, supported by a staff of young bartenders who have put together a cocktail list which blends the history of Peck with a modern twist.
In the words of Leone Marzotto - whose family took over the brand in 2013 from the Stoppani family and who has been CEO since 2016 - Peck is many things: “a Milan institution, a historic shop which is spreading across Milan with the opening of satellite branches, a de facto authority on product knowledge, a collection of people brought together by skills, values and passion for what they do”
“Peck has passed from one family to another four times over the course of its history - continues Marzotto - and each time it has been enriched by the visions of a new entrepreneur, and every time it changes its features a little, sometimes adding, knowing how to adapt to changing times, without ever betraying its original DNA.
The opening of Peck in the CityLife Shopping District is doubly historic: not only is it the first time that Peck is opening in Milan outside its neighbourhood, but this shop is also the first of the new Pecks. The challenge is to bring our extremely high idea of quality, service and our passion into contact with new audiences: with innovations designed to endure over time, and without chasing trends or passing fads.”
Peck CityLife is open seven days a week, from 9.00am to 11.00pm (Sundays until 9.00pm), employing 25 people including 5 ‘veterans’ and 20 new figures selected from more than 300 candidates: to provide the public with a staff with a great deal of professionalism, motivation and team spirit. All the new employees have spent four months training in the Peck in via Spadari to absorb the secrets and timeless style of a legend which further cements its status every day.
The design of quality
Peck CityLife is not only a treasure trove of flavours, fresh and packaged products, expertise and traditions - it is also an atmospheric place where the different rites become times, where the food is but an ingredient in a larger experience.
A central role in defining the overall picture of these meanings, in a single message, is played by the interior design, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of expressing the core values of the Peck identity: bringing it to a new audience with a contemporary linguistic identity.
The project was entrusted to the Vudafieri-Saverino Partners firm, which has extensive experience in defining design concepts for restaurants and many high-quality examples already in Milan itself.
Claudio Saverino and Tiziano Vudafieri have defined a concept capable of expressing the fundamental features of Peck’s historic identity, bringing it into a design which is at once timeless and highly contemporary.
It is, first and foremost, a project of “designing relationships”, namely those between different people and times.
The interior design was structured so as to provide a narrative continuity throughout the different areas to create a fluid relationship between the delicatessen, restaurant, wine bar and cocktail bar. Four places which differ in their function and relationship with the public, but which all make for a unique experience.
The space pays tribute to post-war Milan, the reconstruction, the economic miracle, the hard work and vision of the Milanese - the Milan in which the legend of Peck established itself - without making the place didactic.
The quotations pay homage to a shared history: the flooring is redolent of historic Milanese stone, the ceppo di Gré from the quarries of Lake Iseo. The restaurant’s false ceiling, with wooden panelling, recalls Villa Necchi Campiglio in Portaluppi, as well as the struts which hold up the shelves are evocative of the BBPR’s Velasca Tower. For the seating, meanwhile, Gio Ponti was chosen: elegance and essentiality.
Subliminal, rather than explicit, messages of a sober yet bold Milanese character.
The decorative lamps, with their modern, post-industrial look, are intended to recall the aesthetic tradition of Milanese palaces, with attention to the choice of light fixtures whose presence is peculiar.
The aim was to create an environment rich with symbolic elements to reconcile Peck’s historical identity with its more modern and contemporary dimension. A bridge between the tradition of fine dining and the new city.
The vast deli counter welcomes visitors at the entrance, showing off the identity which is conveyed through the product, the gesture, the relationship between the staff and the guests. The counter was entirely designed to offer technical performance, aesthetics and practicality, also introducing a new option: that of eating sat directly at the counter.
The folding tables by the counter allow diners to a privileged view of the authenticity and quality of the product and a new and involving experience of gastronomic traditions.
In the centre stands a large rotisserie oven, under a copper hood, which exhibits the preparation of the product with some theatricality.
The space was designed to the millimetre to be able to open and close, multiplying the seats at the tables - 70 covers in total, including 50 at the restaurant/delicatessen and 20 at the wine and cocktail bar. A series of retractable tables allows the restaurant to multiply its covers by creating surfaces where there was once free space.
The restaurant is an elongated space in which the mirrors amplify the depth of the display walls: punctuated by vertical pillars and long wooden shelves to display Peck products. To accentuate the feeling of intimacy, the setting is made cosier by a low suspended wooden ceiling in a diamond mesh shape. The theme of the diamond-shaped panels also characterises the decorative motifs of the moving tables, another tribute to the Milanese architectural tradition.
In the wine bar, the shelving units create a metric in which the bottles of wine are treated like notes in a piece of music, expressing the value of the overall composition whilst highlighting a handful of great soloists. The sense of verticality is emphasised by the black lesenes which punctuate both the furnishings and the wainscoting of the bar counter.
The displays set up in the window were designed to avoid complete closure, promoting permeability for the eye as well as the hand.
Two-faced copper windows, built like small architectures, give the space a series of elements for the exterior and the interior, giving depth to both the understanding of the products and their use. Each shelf is also a support for the moving tables which make the space versatile and multifaceted.
The bar of the cocktail station is covered with handpainted porcelain tiles with a unique design created especially for Peck, taken from a historic photograph from the 1950s. The counter is made of copper, along with the large mirror which hangs on the wall behind.
In the evening, the volume lights up like a lantern, revealing the product windows and drawing one’s gaze to the atmospheres of the restaurant which finds intimacy in spotlighting.
The iconic materials of Peck, such as wood, black iron and copper, have been reinterpreted in a contemporary way; even in the kitchen, the white and blue tiles from the kitchens of via Spadari have been reused.
Facts & Figures
Piazza Tre Torri - 20145 Milan MI
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 11.00pm | Sunday 10.00am – 9.00pm
Tel.+39 02 3664 2660