December 6, 2017

Argenio Napoli Presents Their New Line at ACQUA Restaurant

Annamaria and Salvatore Argenio presenting their new line at ACQUA Restaurant
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By John Napoli
As our readers may or may not know, we at Il Regno are big proponents of the Compra Sud, or Buy South initiative. Put simply, we support individuals and businesses that promote southern Italian interests so they can keep providing their desired services. So when I learned that Argenio Napoli, one of the leading fashion houses of Naples and official distributor of the Real Casa dei Borbone Two Sicilies, was presenting their new line of designer accessories at ACQUA Restaurant and Wine bar in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport District, I immediately knew where I would be Tuesday night.
Table laden with handbags, silk scarves and watches
Warmly received at the entrance by executive chef Giuseppe Marrone and maître d' Luca Lerario, I was happy to see the restaurant was packed to the gills with revelers, diners and potential clients. Slowly making my way through the lively throng to greet the evening’s guests of honor, I found Annamaria and Salvatore Argenio rubbing elbows with many friends, well-wishers and admirers.
Pens, ties and jewelry boxes on display
On display were a wide selection of purses, silk scarves, ties, watches, jewelry boxes, and more. Emblazoned with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies or other famous Neapolitan cultural themes, such as the San Carlo Opera House, the Royal Navy, and the famed Farnese Hercules, the merchandise combined southern Italian culture and history with the elegance and quality that has become synonymous with the prestigious Argenio name. Even San Gennaro, the patron Saint of Naples, made an appearance on a fashionable set of cameo cufflinks.
Blazer badges embroidered with silver and gold wire bullion
Not only is everything made in southern Italy by local artisans, but also in some cases Napoli itself literally gets incorporated into the products. Sold out before I even got there, Argenio’s new beaded bracelets are made with beads carved from lava rock from Mount Vesuvius and the famed red coral curniciello from Torre del Greco. Variations of the bracelet sport other lucky charms, including the auspicious and adorable Podarcis sicula, or wall lizard, commonly found throughout southern Italy.
New stilo and roller pens with Constantinian Cross
Guests mingled and enjoyed bountiful platters of antipasti with wine while perusing the couturier’s stylish wares. In addition to ACQUA’s impressive selection of southern Italian varietals, representatives of Tribeca Vini; Sertura, Vini di Irpina; and Judeka Winery from Sicily offered partygoers a taste of their spectacular vintages. I especially enjoyed the full-bodied aglianico by Mastrodomenico from Basilicata and the primitivo by Casa Primis from Puglia.
Guests enjoy fine food, high fashion and fellowship
Chef Marrone treated us to an assortment of delicious southern Italian delicacies, including his renowned arancini tartufo, polpo alla griglia, and dainty cuttlefish ink gnocchi slathered with a mouthwatering spicy crab meat and Piennolo Vesuvio cherry tomato sauce. As is the custom at ACQUA, dinner was followed with a little Amaro del Capo and Giuseppe’s potent homemade limoncello. Needless to say, we capped-off our feast with a variety of desserts and, of course, some piping hot caffè. 
Affettati e formaggi
After dinner, yours truly treated myself to an exquisite navy blue fountain pen embellished with the Borbone fleur-de-lis and cross of the Sacro Militare Ordine Costantiniano di San Giorgio. So not to ruin the surprise, I won’t reveal the other items I purchased, but needless to say my loved ones will be elated with the handsome Christmas presents St. Nicholas will be leaving in their stockings this year.
Bruschetta al pomodoro and patè di funghi
Don’t fret if you couldn’t make the Argenio presentation this time around, Salvatore and Annamaria are planning to return to New York City again this March, just in time for Easter. In the meantime, you can always visit ACQUA Restaurant (21 Peck Slip) for a delicious meal and get to know Giuseppe, his friendly and attentive staff, and experience true Duesiciliano hospitality.
Polpo alla griglia e ceci