The interior design of a restaurant should reflect the personality of the establishment. It remains all too common for an eatery to sell the customer an unattainable dream of the immersive tasting experience. However, Milan’s Posti 28 is a different story, their design is a masterclass in the art of simplicity which is an all too rare victory.
The design says everything about the cuisine that they offer; simple, traditional yet with a hint of modernity. 28 Posti first opened its doors in 2013 and quickly garnered a reputation for its delightful take on contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, an aspect which the restaurant prides itself on. Their basic yet classy layout is pleasant on the eye and allows the restaurant to not tie itself with one specific identity. The design decision process has handed the establishment the flexibility to be a plethora of different things, which make it one of Milan’s most adored bistros.
In 2020, despite being open for a smattering of years, the owners decided it was time to give 28 Posti a facelift in order to keep things fresh and to reflect the modern cuisine. Designer Cristiana Celestina was tasked with redesigning the space and told Arch Lovin that she was briefed to “think up and design an interior that is in continuity with the imagination that patrons associate with 28 Posti, a place that is permeated by an identity that has already been established, yet somehow still evolving.:
The designer added: “The work plays on the concepts of authenticity, comfort, simplicity, origins, and aims to create a parallel between the interior of the restaurant and the kitchen of its chef Marco Ambrosino, the undisputed soul of the place.”
As she notes, Ambrosino is the beating heart of 28 Posti and the design is secondary to the wonderous culinary skills that have won him a number of awards across Italy. The name 28 Posti translates to ’28 Seats’, the limited capacity gives Ambrosino’s vision this warmth and intimate feeling that makes customers feel like they are sitting in his home, as he cooks up his take on classic Mediterranean dishes.
“Ambrosino’s cuisine starts with raw and very simple ingredients,” Celestina told Dezeen. “He turns them into dishes that keep their authenticity, but at the same time uses the ingredients in a very refined and unexpected way,” she added.
That authenticity was an aspect that needed to translate to Celestina’s design in a similar manner as to how Ambrosino uses the most ethical and local ingredients possible in the kitchen, she did with the materials used in rejuvenating the space. The designer used natural earth-based material plaster on the walls which give 28 Posti a gloriously rustic feeling which juxtaposed with the fine wooden furniture create a glorious celebration of past and present.
Celestina attempted to align her work as much as possible with Ambrosino’s vision and one, it’s fair to say, she pulled off spectacularly. When life and travel begin to go back to normal, a visit to 28 Posti should be up there at the top of anybody travelling to Milan’s itinerary along with the Duomo di Milano and the Naviglio Pavese.