IYO, from the Japanese word ukiyo or “floating world”, is an invitation to live in the fullness of the moment, immersed in pleasure and beauty. The restaurant, which has won a Michelin star each year since 2015, offers a unique dining experience. The demand for excellence in both flavors and hospitality is expressed in a meeting of East and West. The IYO Taste Experience brings together an international culinary style inspired by the East, important wine and sake lists, an elegant, contemporary ambiance and discreet service that is attentive to every detail.
IYO’s original culinary style finds the very best ingredients and searches for the preparation methods best suited to enhance them. The chefs experiment with elegant and surprising harmonies in flavors, colors, shapes and consistencies. From the open kitchen, headed by chef Michele Biassoni, and from the sushi counter emerge cooked and raw dishes that perfectly express the two souls of IYO.
Besides the classics of Japanese cuisine and the dishes that have written the history of IYO, the menu is enriched by unusual creations that view the pillars of oriental cooking through an international lens. The same marriage of eastern and western elements is present in the sophisticated pastry made by Claudia Del Frate that brings each dining experience to a close on a sweet note.
Perfect execution and absolute respect for ingredients are the fundamental principles of IYO’s cuisine. All ingredients come from meticulously selected providers and are carefully verified according to well-defined qualitative parameters. Many of these, and almost all the fish, are produced in Italy, while shiso, wasabi, yuzu and other typically Japanese ingredients are imported directly from their home country.
A wine list that includes about eight hundred labels, both Italian and international, enriches the IYO culinary experience. The cellar offers Italian and Japanese craft beers as well as an important list of sakes. Maître d’ and sommelier Danilo Tacconi has selected sparkling, white, red and sake wines to accompany tastings, choosing labels to harmonize with the aromas and flavors of the dishes, often suggesting unusual pairings.
The space is both light and exquisite, international and contemporary at the same time. The restaurant, designed by Carlo Samarati and his team, joins a superb sense of hospitality to elegance in both furnishings and fabrics. At the entrance, a verdant wall of hanging plants leads into the main dining room. Portoro marble tables, along with the walls – also darkly lustrous – create an elegant contrast with rustic brick detail and light-colored, modern chairs. A cascade of light created by twelve kilometers of chains descends from the ceiling. Along with numerous led fixtures, it renders the atmosphere sophisticated, soft. The kitchen and counter, true workshops of culinary experimentation, offer an intriguing spectacle of the chef and brigade at work.
In 2007, Claudio Liu opened IYO, and right from the start it was recognized as a benchmark for Oriental and international cuisine. Since then, the team has taken on important talent from both Italy and Japan, but faithful to that meeting of cultures that is the signature style of the restaurant. IYO’s success is the fruit of team work that joins the creativity of chef Michele Biassoni, the competence of maître d’ and sommelier Danilo Tacconi, along with the professional skills of a multi-ethnic brigade masterfully led by Claudio Liu.