Panerai’s Guide to the Upper East Side, Italian Style!

Panerai’s Guide to the Upper East Side, Italian Style!

When is a visit to New York City not a visit to New York City? Answer: When you follow this expert, Italian-flavored advice given to us by the staff at the New York Casa Panerai boutique. Abbondanza!

By Watchonista

When one thinks of the touch points of Italian culture, certainly cuisine pops into one’s head quickly. Wine, fashion, the arts, la dolce vita: They all follow along, but what about the Italian tradition of elevated hospitality?

That is why we thought there would be no one better to give us a tour of New York City’s luxurious Upper East Side than the staff of the first destination of this guide: Panerai’s North American flagship boutique (conveniently located on 63rd Street and Madison Avenue)!

La Bella Casa

There is little doubt that Panerai’s latest vision for watch retail, the much-anticipated Casa Panerai, brought with it not only a piece of Italy to the UES when it opened in June 2023 but one of the best selections of Panerai timepieces on the planet. Plus, despite being the Italian brand’s largest boutique ever, its “casa mia é casa tua” atmosphere permeates the store, from the hearty “Buongiorno!” greeting at the door to the Campari-themed lounge upstairs.

Fun Fact: In September 2023, only a few months after its opening, Casa Panerai won “Best New Branded Store of the Year” at the inaugural WatchPro Awards.

French Boho Meets Egyptian Cotton

While not Italian in origin, since its founding in 1952, Chloé’s signature French bohemian look has only been improved upon by icons like Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney. Playfulness, youthfulness, and enduring “must have” pieces (like the Paddington bag) are business-as-usual for Chloé. Meanwhile, its Upper East Side outpost is among the most popular and trendy stores.

Where There’s a Wool, There’s a Way

Ermenegildo Zegna defines Italian fashion for men, especially given its long tradition of working with wool and cashmere. Founded 113 years ago as a wool mill in Trivero, near Milan, in Northern Italy, Zegna is renowned for producing unmatched garments using not only the finest textiles from around the globe but also its own textiles produced in-house.

Still family-owned, the label is now led by its third generation of Zegnas, so expect to see immaculate suiting options, luxurious outerwear and knits, accessories, fine footwear, and exclusive fragrances at this U.S. flagship store.

A “Quick” Bite

Full disclosure: In Italy, there is no such thing as “a quick bite.” That is why you should take the time to savor the more relaxed cuisine and environment offered by the Upper East Side’s Saint Ambroeus. Or, as Saint Ambroeus’ culinary director, Iacopo Falai, puts it: “When I tasted the food, I was transported immediately to Italy, to Milan (where the operation was founded in 1936), to a place where simplicity is key.”

We guarantee you won’t regret it because, real talk, you can’t go wrong here. However, some words of warning: Make sure you have plenty of room for the restaurant’s Milanese delicacies, like shortbread pastries, special cakes, and panettone.

The Great Outdoors (in Manhattan)

From ornate antique flintlocks to the modern Beretta 92fs handgun (which, until very recently, was the standard-issue sidearm of most branches of the U.S. military), the firearms produced by Italian gunsmith Beretta are nothing less than legendary.

Luckily, a recent visitor-friendly redux of the Beretta Gallery in New York means that, among the things that go “bang,” you’ll also find some of the world’s best-made, elegant, and durable outerwear for the field, as well as more formal fashions fit for a post-hunt celebration.

The Big Meal

Garnering a high reputation for Italian cuisine in New York City is competitive: new places come online – some prosper, some don’t. But for 40 years, Il Mulino New York’s authentic Abruzzese cuisine and stellar service have arguably never been bested (hence its current Zagat rating at the top of Manhattan Italian eateries).

Farm fresh meat, fish, and produce hallmark this very traditional restaurant; even dishes like simple fried zucchini shine, but looking to more complex masterpieces like capellini Il Mulino (a pasta dish with wild mushrooms, pancetta, sweat peas, vodka cream, and black truffles) can be equally rewarding, as well.

Smoke ‘Em If They Got ‘Em

While, technically, the sophisticated Club Macanudo is Jamaican in origin and Dominican in execution, this top-tier cigar lounge is so close to Casa Panerai that you could practically trip off the curb into it.

Evincing the same uncanny warmth and hospitality as the watch boutique but with more of an emphasis on socializing (and a 2,500 per year membership fee), all of the club’s menus – cigar, food, and drinks – are tailored to the international jet set.

Meanwhile, its clubby interior will make you feel right at home as you enjoy a good smoke and sip. Even if you go in alone, you’ll almost certainly see some friends or even make some new ones.

A Little Wine Would Be Fine

With such a classically Latin name, it is no wonder In Vino Veritas is the go-to purveyor of fine Italian wines on the Upper East Side. Reportedly the first liquor store to open in Manhattan post-Prohibition, the recently re-branded shop’s history and passions run deep, as does the wine knowledge of the staff.

Part museum, part retailer, this little gem specializes in Barolos, Barbaresco, and Brunellos (as well as coveted Italian varietals that don’t start with a “b”) but also offers fine bottles from around the globe. If you are lucky, you may even arrive when the store is conducting one of its frequent (and famous) tastings. Cent’anni!

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