Art and food both find space in the venue of the three partners Claudio de Magistris, Dario Porcini and Roberto Gargano
The pleasure of food and the mandate of art are the protagonists of “Art Baroq Bistrot”, the venue in Naples founded with the goal of promoting an alternative to traditional restaurants or bars. Upon entering both smell and vision are satisfied, the one for the foods being served and the other for the works of art which range from the great era of Neapolitan Baroque to the contemporary. “Art Baroq Bistrot” is a place where you can breathe culture in the air, at the table and in the rest of the space. Through May, the bistrot will host “IN NUCE. Sketches from the Neapolitan Baroque”, an exhibition dedicated to the sketches drawn by five great figures in Neapolitan painting between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Massimo Stanzione, Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Giacinto Diano and Giovanni Lanfranco. «The walls of the bistrot-gallery become the setting for a different cultural and gourmet experience and a more casual approach to the great painting of the past», explains the venue’s team.
The three partners – Claudio De Magistris, Dario Porcini andRoberto Gargano – sought to create a dialogue between the gratification offered by fine Neapolitan cuisine and the satisfaction of admiring works of art. The venue, which until recently hosted Porcini’s art gallery, which has now moved to the second floor, is the product of the synergy and passion between the three, who organized everything themselves, from the choice of materials to the furniture and design.
“Art Baroq Bistrot” is located on the ground floor of Palazzo De Majo, a nobleman’s residence dating back to the eighteenth century just a few steps away from the seafront promenade
«The spaces were furnished, borrowing the materials of the region around Naples, yellow tuff and lava stone, shadow and light, the two faces of Naples, they explain. At the centre of the venue, we retrieved a seventeenth-century iron and gold-plated brass grating, a distinctive element which in a way has become the icon of a space which once housed an antiques gallery».
In addition to working at the restaurant, De Magistris, the brother of the current mayor, is also the general director of Arena Flegrea, the large open-air theatre in Naples located inside the Mostra d’Oltremare, and is active in politics; Dario Porcini is an art expert; Roberto Gargano is a food professional.
Their chef is an icon of Neapolitan cooking: Antonio Tubelli, a chef with great passion and great experience, the last Neapolitan “monzù”, as he is defined (the “monzù”, a dialectal transposition of the French monsieur,in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were the head cooks in the aristocratic homes of the Realm of the Two Sicilies). With a past as a union leader, after working beside Angelo Paracucchi, one of the masters of Italian cuisine, he decided in 1998 to open “Timpani e Tempura”, a boutique seating a very small number of diners, near Piazza del Gesù. There, with his brother, he dedicated himself to rediscovering forgotten products, very successfully. After a series of further experiences, today he joins chef Michela Sabato in preparing his delicacies for “Art Baroq Bistrot”. The menu à la carte offers the simple and oft-forgotten dishes of tradition: from Tempura of Vegetables and Scagliozzito the Timpano allo ‘Scammaro, to the Cream of Torzelle and Squash Soupto theTriple-cooked Potatoes and Crunchy Pepper.
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translation by Olga Barmine