"Da Claudio", the fishmonger's loved by the Milanese
In 1958 Claudio Gnocchi, known simply as “Claudio”, refurbished a shop that had been an institution in Milan since the late nineteenth century, the first fishmonger’s in the vicinity of the Cathedral.
In the sixties, “Da Claudio” became famous for the oysters that it imported directly from France, for the live salmon transported in twenty-four hours direct from Canada and for the lobsters shipped from Sardinia, and it continues to be popular today for its Milanese-style sushi aperitifs. Located for decades at Via Ponte Vetero 16, close to Milan’s Brera district, “Da Claudio” has now moved to a new site not far away in Via Cusani.
None of the equipment from the old shop has been retained given that the counters and tanks were incompatible with current health and safety legislation.
But for several months now, customers have been flocking to the “Da Claudio” fishmonger’s not just to buy fish or enjoy a sushi aperitif but also to dine at the recently-opened restaurant managed by chef Paolo Casanova. The interior of the new minimal-style restaurant was designed by architect Luca Trazzi, who chose to leave the kitchen open to view.
Trazzi, who has two practices, one in Milan and the other in Shanghai, drew inspiration from the style of the previous shop while adopting a more futuristic approach in accordance with the wishes of the current owner, Paolo Genovese.
The fishmonger’s shop continues to operate on the ground floor, while the upper floor has been converted into a restaurant with a kitchen that is open to view from the dining area. This open kitchen is the focal point of the entire project.
With its large tanks on the ground floor, the fishmonger’s shop carries on the great tradition of Italian fish markets, although glass mosaics and steel have been used as the surface covering materials for a more contemporary look. The idea behind the project is to make all stages in the processing of the fish visible to the public so that they can see the quality of the produce with their own eyes. On the ground floor the shop is divided into two parts, a sales area with large steel and glass counters and an area for raw fish tasting. Large counters located around the shop allow customers to socialise while sipping a glass of fine wine.
Access to the first-floor restaurant is via a large stairway with glass banisters on one side and shelving lined with bottles of wine on the other.
The atmosphere is warm and modern with dark wenge wood walls and large windows opening onto Via Cusani, a new and unusual view for a restaurant.
The chosen surface covering material is Liberty collection glass mosaic from Trend in a custom mix of colours ranging from greys to blues and greens.
This Liberty mosaic alternates smooth and undulating elements of different sizes for maximum compositional freedom in creating chrome coloured and iridescent textures. A metal sheen plays on the surface of the material, while the depth of the glass enhances the reflections of light.
The walls of the restaurant are adorned with historic photographs that document the history of the “Da Claudio” fishmonger’s and also serve as decorative elements.
Trend, Liberty series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant