Tortello is half specialty pasta shop, half restaurant. Pasta is made fresh here daily by professionals (an expert in handmade pasta was flown in from Puglia, Italy to train the staff) and so it was important that the pasta-making process to be front-and-center. Siren Betty Design made sure both patrons and passers-by had a 360-degree view of the “pasta show” by framing the pasta makers with a storefront window on one side, counter seating on the other, and an oversized antique mirror overhead.
Noodles hang from custom pegboards by Ellemeno Pegboards (Idaho) and open shelving displays artisanal Italian goods. The space is rich with details that reference the home of Italian-born owner Dario Monni – a vintage Toledo scale just like the one at the shop his grandfather had in Venice, a teal 1964 Model VBB Vespa hung from the ceiling, red garland curtains inspired by those found in his grandmother’s Venetian kitchen.
Chicago illustrator Craighton Berman was commissioned to create a mural of the Italian “finger purse” gesture from a tattooed arm. Materials like brass, hand-thrown tile, solid olive wood, terrazzo were chosen both for their durability and their Italian heritage. Clean white walls keep the space modern amidst all the traditional details.
1. Terrazzo & Marble Supply Com. – Terrazzo Countertop
2. Design and Direct Source – Tile
3. Mosa Tiles – Tile
4. Renaissance Tile & Bath – Tile
5. Ellemeno Pegboards – pasta hanger pegboards