KOOK Osteria & Pizzeria (VIA CASSIA 2040, 00123 Olgiata, Lazio, Italy) opened its doors just outside Rome's Olgiata in 2012, with the great dynamic duo known as design and food behind the helm. The young architectural firm Noses Architects founded by Mohamed Keilani and Luca Gasparini put their best foot forward to create a space that compliments the essence of the dishes while at the same time retaining that overboard-Italian character.
With one glimpse at KOOK you instantly know that this is a place where you can eat, lounge and have one of those wonderful days where you go for lunch and leave from the table late evening. Through the finishes and décor, the character of the interior culminates in what can only be described as contemporary nostalgia.
The cold concrete floor is combined with the warm wood finish to control the balance of its character; a character strongly dominated by the symbolic olive tree incorporated in the atrium within. Symbolising wisdom and longevity, this feature brings about all of the authenticity acquired within the restaurant. As a result, the design surrounding it could be left to a more simplistic structural finish approach while introducing vintage elements. Within the stark white walls and the original exposed lighting/piping channels we see bordeaux leather sofas, ‘trattoria’ old style wooden chairs, suspended chandeliers and mosaic influences on the floor and walls. And it is this marriage that gives this space character and warmness. It is the essence of the strong relationship between grandma’s secret recipes and the chef’s new cuisine specialty.
With a Bianchi bicycle on the wall and French nouveaux detail mirror finishes, KOOK offers an area where you can truly appreciate all that there is in the notion of taking joy in food which the architects have engraved on the walls, setting the scene for what is to be expected: ''Whoever doesn't enjoy the meal is crazy, furious and devoid of common sense.''