For its Italian debut, high-end global restaurant chain Beefbar couldn’t have chosen a more prestigious location than Milan’s Piazza del Quadrilatero. Anchored by the Ferragamo family-owned, five-star hotel Portrait Milano, the newly opened hospitality complex features an eclectic collection of boutiques, restaurants and bars housed in the historic Archbishop Seminary in the heart of the city’s fashion district. Beefbar is renowned as much for offering the finest meat cuts from all over the globe as for its subversion of the rigid, traditional codes of steakhouses, so what better spot to host its Milanese outpost than the Seminary’s former chapel. Designed by Monte Carlo-based architects Humbert & Poyet, who have been working with the brand for over 15 years, the restaurant’s interiors are the epitome of understated luxury and “warm glamour” inspired by the mid-century Milanese cafés of the 1940s and 1960s.

Following a seven-year restoration project, the revamped 16th-century Lombard Baroque edifice, one of the oldest seminaries in Europe, evocatively bridges past and present, courtesy of architect Michele De Lucchi and his studio AMDL CIRCLE who introduced a decidedly contemporary look and feel without undermining the building’s architectural heritage. A similar balancing act underpins Humbert & Poyet’s design of Beefbar Milano which complements the baroque architecture of the space with the stylish refinement of mid-century Italian design.

Accessed through a monumental porticoed cloister which now functions as a public piazza brimming with shops, cafés and restaurants, the space conveys a sense of meditative peacefulness and nostalgic glamour grounded in the meticulously restored, hand-plastered vaulted ceiling, dark walnut fluted wainscoting and terrazzo flooring whose stylized wave pattern pays tribute to modernist architect and designer Luigi Caccia Dominioni. A leading figure of the so-called Milan style, Dominioni’s trademark fusion of curves and straight lines, steel and velvet, and the traditional and the modern, reflects the restaurant’s simple yet opulent décor and mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings.

Dominioni is not the only modernist Italian designer referenced in Humbert & Poyet’s scheme; chairs by Vico Magistretti and sconces by Ignazio Gardella further enhance the mid-century Italian vibe, as do Humbert & Poyet’s own ‘Asterios’ bronze and frosted glass pendant lights and ‘Sorbet’ antique brass and light bronze patina table lamps, along with the voluptuous banquette seating. Upholstered in plush green velvet, the latter also adds vibrant splashes of colour while Verde Alpi marble table tops, glossy ceramic tiles and bronze details offer touches of opulent glamour. Finally, an eclectic collection of artworks of various styles and subjects add to the project’s stylish yet relaxed ambience.