This Calabrian Restaurant Is Bringing Dandy Back

Think of the concept of a dandy person for a second: someone whose clothing is precise, who carefully selects their words, who lives in pursuit of an aristocratic superiority of the mind. Now think of how you would design a restaurant in tribute to dandyism. Il Dandy, a chic Italian restaurant in San Diego, tries to achieve just that vibe. With a mix of early 20th century Italian aesthetics referencing Art Deco, Italian Futurism, and Italian Mid-Century Modern, the 78-seat restaurant looks like just the spot where Oscar Wilde and Charles Baudelaire would hold salons at in their heyday.

Designer Agostino Sannino chose a palette that reflected the beauty of the Calabrian coast in the south of Italy: Mediterranean aqua, bergamot green, and a yellow the sumptuous shade of extra virgin olive oil. There’s also a large art installation of southern Italy above the massive 2,300 square foot kitchen and replicas of ancient “Bronzi di Riace” statues – full size Greek bronzes of naked bearded warriors – which were recovered off the coast of Riace in the 1970s.

Keshia grew up in Singapore and moved to the U.S. to attend Dartmouth College. When she was living abroad after graduation, a chance enrollment at the Architectural Association Visiting School led to her becoming enamored with door schedules and architectural écriture. She's particularly interested in design for aging, rural architecture, and Asian design heritage.