Ristorante Berton was opened in Milan, November 2013 by the Michelin star chef Andrea Berton. It can be found in one of the buildings designed by the renowned New York architect, Kohn Pederson Fox in the new Porta Nuova Varesine area. This district with its futuristic urban planning project and its high-rise residential and business towers has now become one of the up and coming areas of Milan.
Berton is a luxury restaurant, which reflects the chef’s personality and philosophy.
The subtle use of the paper, wood, cement and metal materials together with the colour choices of light grey tones favours sobriety, elegance and creates a welcoming and refined atmosphere which focuses on simplicity without foregoing an element of surprise.
As the restaurant is on street level, one of the key challenges in designing the space was to let in plenty of light which was achieved by putting in large floor to ceiling windows. The outside visibility is a clear benefit in an area of Milan which is gaining popularity but at the same time Vudafieri Saverino Partners had to ensure the privacy of its customers. Therefore, they decided to make the source of natural light the main feature of the dining room partially covering the windows, which look over the pedestrian walkway, with parchment panels allowing the outside to be seen during the day while still ensuring privacy within. At night, thanks to internal LED lighting, the panels become a perfect source of gentle illumination.
Another key challenge was to fulfill the request of the chef and give great importance to the kitchen, the font of creation. Vudafieri Saverino Partners did their best to find a balance between the two spaces of the kitchen and the dining room. They created an original element of surprise which captured the attention while dining. It was a kind of séparée in the form of a burnt elmwood ‘compass’ which, like other elements scattered around the restaurant, created a link between the dining room and the kitchen. Another link was a table which went from the dining room into the kitchen divided by a frosted glass panel with four seats in the dining zone and two seats in the kitchen area - a new twist to the classic chef's table for a 'site-specific' gastronomic experience with a pinch of originality.
The fixtures and fittings, with the use of burnt elmwood, give a warm touch to the atmosphere and remain harmonious with the surrounding walls which are covered with light panels of refined and textured French-style wallpaper. The cement flooring and the ceiling, with the use of inclined panels, provide a elegant and sober contrast creating too, a subtle effect of movement and also contributes to the soundproofing of the restaurant. Very simple black oak tables have an intentionally rough surface and their sides are finished with an outward curve. Deliberately, there are no tablecloths and the table settings focus on the original and contemporary forms of the handmade ceramics.
A large asymmetrical door - a unique artisan piece - separates the dining room from a small private room with just one table, fully equipped with technological support, for business lunches. The side of the door facing this small room is covered with staggered elm blocks while the side facing the main dining room is made from a composition of nickel-plated steel and brass panels on top of an elm base.