The story of a brasserie in Milan

Veronica Orsi

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  • Kitchen
  • Entrance
  • Brasserie
  • Boulangerie
  • Bar

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7 APR 2017
Le Vrai brings a little corner of France to Milan’s Porta Nuova district. French cuisine combined with a faithful, evocative French-style interior

There was once a city – Milan – that abounded with vitality, sophistication and every kind of venue for sampling local and international delicacies, but lacked an iconic restaurant dedicated to French cuisine. There was also once a lover of French culture and admirer of Italian good living who united these two elements in a project with a sophisticated, yet familiar feel:
Le Vrai, an authentic brasserie in the Porta Nuova district. Taking inspiration from Le Lazare in Paris, Claire Pauze, the restaurant’s manager, involved the same interior designer, Karine Lewkowicz, in order to recreate a strong identity in the Milan restaurant that corresponded to a precise concept of France: tradition, together with a stylish, welcoming atmosphere.

The result is a restaurant with a meticulously-designed interior where you can make new gastronomic discoveries. It features four distinct areas (spread over two floors) that represent four different dining experiences: the Cafè with its croissants and tarte tatins; the Brasserie (the restaurant), where you can sample the specialities of chef Matt Simonet, from classic boeuf bourguignon to prized foie gras; the Boulangerie (bakery) pervaded by the smell of fresh baguettes and the Epicerie (delicatessen). 

The link between the various settings – each of which is neatly bordered by distinctive flooring: a mosaic floor with custom-designed patterns by the interior designer for the bar area and the bakery, an oak floor painted black for the café and restaurant – is the materials, colors and decorative elements that directly follow French style. Starting from the subtle mouldings that surround the three areas or the spectacular entrance chandelier that reproduces classic French style with a modern twist. 

You can therefore find brass inserts that punctuate the imposing bar counter (4m-long, curved) on the first floor, outline the tables and discreetly mark the staircase leading to the loft restaurant with its open-space kitchen: here, wrought-iron prevails, which, thanks to the lighting elements and the table bases, evokes the great Parisian boulevards. The warm, natural oak wood is present throughout the venue is panelling and custom-made furniture, giving way to marble in the service areas. A neutral shade that is only interrupted by the burgundy velvet of the chairs. 

It is a play of references between a setting and the other, an uninterrupted flow of perceptions and sensations within a bright, open space that promotes conviviality.

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