Rome | KOOK

KOOK osteria and pizzeria in the swanky Olgiata district of Rome is, from an interior design point of view, the work of Mohamed Keilani and Luca Gasparini, otherwise known as Noses Architects. What they’d achieved when the restaurant opened something over a year ago is a contemporary, loft-like ambiance with an uncommon fusion of styles. They paired a stark (post)industrial shell – open, white-painted spaces, bare concrete, exposed pipes, ducts and brickwork, skylights and glass – with warm elements betraying a kind of nostalgia both urban and rustic – vintage lighting, shabby-chic tables and chairs, maroon leather sofas, wooden flooring and panels, retrò tiles, a Bianchibike hanging on the wall, and a sizeable olive tree transplanted into its very own winter garden as the central feature.

All just as they intended, apparently. Namely, to evoke a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity in the kitchen, where Mediterranean heritage meets culinary innovation. From that point of view, it’s much easier on the senses. Excellent tavern fare and pizzas, with apt refinements and well-presented, as befits an eatery in a classy, leafy neighbourhood which passes for the Beverly Hills of the Eternal City (there’s a lovely big dehors I have to try out come the warmer months). Daniele is a charming host and his staff polished.