The small revolution of Contraste in Milan that changes everything. For Matias Perdomo, it's time for a new maturity

Apr 23 2024, 16:00
The turning point of Matias Perdomo, Simon Press, and Thomas Piras: new setups, new colors, new menu for Contraste

"Do not resemble anyone, not even ourselves." This seems to be the mantra of Matias Perdomo & Co. With Simon Press and Thomas Piras, Perdomo has been leading Contraste in Milan for 8 years now, which has reopened renewed in form and substance. Out with the parquet, out with the white walls, out with the red chandeliers, and even out with the lock to peek into the kitchen; today Contraste is a space dominated by dramatic chromatisms that accompany the gaze in a new perspective: thanks to the sequence of rooms that follow one another, the passage of full colors, the alternation of contemporary furnishings and ancient details, different surfaces, and finishes.

The space, designed by Luca de Bona and Debonademeo Studio, is the concrete expression of a change that involves Contraste in its entirety, from the environments to the gastronomic proposal, from social media to the website (currently undergoing restyling). The trio, no longer engaged in side projects that accompanied Contraste's growth, threw themselves headlong into the restaurant's renewal - "we felt the need to reinvest in Contraste and in ourselves," explains Perdomo - with a change that marks a transition, a new maturity: "We had closed a cycle."

So the initial idea of ​​renewing something here and there gave way to a more substantial change: "We could only continue with one menu, the one with iconic and very recognizable dishes, recipes that we could develop and rework." Instead no: "we wanted to challenge ourselves, with a bit of risk" for this, the new Contraste also changes the gastronomic proposal, clearly marking the beginning of a new phase. Perdomo says it's a change from the inside out, evident in both form and content. Because the rooms that mix heterogeneous elements creating unexpected harmonies are the architectural expression of an approach that also concerns the cuisine.

The two tasting menus of Contraste

For the first time, Contraste offers two tasting menus: both with about 20 courses at €180 per person. A double track where the common thread is always the game and with the game, the amazement, but developed from a different point of view: more immediate, recognizable, explicit the menu Riflesso, more adult, cerebral the new Riflessioni. In the first, it starts from the trompe-l'œil that teases the gustatory memory to arouse surprise. In the dishes, hide and seek is played between form and substance, between aesthetics and flavor: caramelized onion, donuts, fake strawberry open an effective dialogue between what they seem and what they are. In the new Riflessioni menu, there is still a playful push, but it is a game in continuous evolution that has different codes. There is no familiar reference, but a leap into the void entrusted exclusively to the ingredients, to the flavors. Technique takes a step back to leave room for the discovery of impossible combinations between recognizable ingredients. Something that does not refer to anything already seen or tried, but a much more abstract game that tickles the mental palate and pushes to free oneself from preconceptions. "Dishes that try to bring together fairly unlikely ingredients that for some reason work in the mouth" and even in the platings, there is no figurative reference: "It is a free matter to express itself without a predefined aesthetic that recalls something else, but in which there is a new aesthetic where the beauty is in the mouth." So there is goat and coconut, or hare crab salad with grape gazpacho, or pea tomato water grilled oysters borage flower with apricot cream or even avocado almonds lard and Brussels sprouts.

The new Riflessioni menu is therefore the evolution of Riflesso. Where in Riflesso there is the amazement of a dish that seems one thing and then turns out to be something else, in Riflessioni there is the amazement of the unexpected within a reckless yet effective combination of recognizable elements. A bit like in the new spaces, those 4 consecutive rooms that change color and communicate with each other in a daring chromatic sequence that creates unexpected harmony. So in the dishes "We try not to be inspired by anyone: I tasted the menu several times, I carefully looked for a point of comparison with someone else but I didn't find it. This menu has completely new creative canons for us and has no meeting point with others".

Contraste - Milano - via Giuseppe Meda, 2 - 02 49536597 -

Photo: Matteo Bellomo-Stefania Zanetti

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