As a name for a restaurant Dash Kitchen brings up images of fast food or at least food prepared and consumed quickly. It also makes us think of a small place with bright colours and a few little tables for a quick bite.
Add to that a tagline that says ‘good food & good beer, restaurant lounge bar’, and we are now thinking casual, perhaps pub-like, a place to meet buddies after work.
So our surprise was substantial when DASH Kitchen, one of Turin’s newer restaurants, turned out to be a cavernous, dark, nightclub/bar-like place with a seriously industrial vibe.
The 600 square-meter (6460 sq.ft.) restaurant occupies a former industrial printing shop located in central Turin’s historical, restaurant and bar-rich San Salvario area between Porta Nuova station and Valentino Park.
It is operated by Massimo De Cristofaro who declares his passions to be cooking and craft beer. To design his establishment he invited Turin-based architect, Fabio Fantolino, whose many restaurant, hospitality, retail and residential projects evoke a sense of either dark, masculine order or white minimalist elegance.
At Dash Kitchen, Fantolino is first bringing out the space’s industrial and brutalist past with uneven cement surfaces, exposed pipes, dark colours, industrial widows and sharp edges. Anchoring all this is a repeating, cage-like pattern that appears in the widows, tubular lighting fixtures and dividing walls made of polished-chrome bars.
He then introduces a softer, 70s retro vibe with dark wood, bent chrome furniture legs, leatherette bar stools, upholstery in mossy-green velvet and red and taffy leather, and an overall rounded shape that repeats in arches, seating and bar counters.
In-between are transitional segments of marble walls and floors, tiled walls and even a bit of exposed old brick wall.
With all these components, the overall appearance of Dash Kitchen is astonishingly balanced. The seemingly disparate components make beautiful design sense together and, despite of the industrial hardness, the vibe is inviting. It would seem that our initial confusion with the brand elements has no basis in the actual restaurant where the mood is decidedly unhurried.