With creative menus served in stunning settings, these new restaurants, in cities from Austin to Milan, have all paid as much attention to their design as to what they serve. Take interior inspiration, or book a tasting trip to these culinary stars.
1. Roman and Williams Guild, New York City
Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of hip interior design firm Roman and Williams know a thing or two about creating welcoming interiors. The duo worked on the Ace Hotel in New Orleans and The Standard, Highline hotel and Lafayette restaurant in New York. Now they’ve created an own-brand flagship store—The Roman and Williams Guild—which incorporates décor, a florist, and a restaurant, inspired by the grand cafés of Paris. La Mercerie, which the duo has opened in partnership with Stephen Starr, has an all-day menu by Parisian chef Marie-Aude Rose that takes diners from brioche and eggs at breakfast through to saffron-infused broth with market vegetables or buckwheat crepes for lunch, and beef tartare and cocktails come sundown.
2. Jean-Georges at the Connaught, London
Acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten recently returned to London to launch an eponymous restaurant at The Connaught hotel. His return has also signaled a makeover for the hotel, which comes courtesy of interior architect John Heah. The new restaurant features wall-to-ceiling windows with stained glass designed by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. Representing the stages of the day—from sunrise to sunset—the effect of the glass gives the space a golden glow. The design also showcases The Connaught’s art collection, including pieces by Louise Bourgeois and Sean Scully.
3. Bullion, DallasWith Bullion, his new Dallas restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Bruno Davaillon wants to show that French food doesn’t have to be stuffy, and hopes to create an “elevated yet approachable atmosphere” where he can share his passion for all things French. Bullion takes its name from the Latin for “to boil,” and obviously references gold bullion given its gold-tiled exterior and gold-themed interior by London- and New York-based interior designer Martin Brudnizki. Dishes on the launch menu include white fish soufflé with dumpling and lobster sauce, and a modern take on duck à l’orange, served with radish, endive, and an orange marmalade. In the kitchen, Davaillon has worked with Dallas Urban Farmers to install an indoor vertical farm, allowing Bullion to be the first Dallas restaurant to grow plants from seedlings on site.
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4. Cracco, Milan
Housed in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world's oldest functioning shopping arcade, Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco’s new restaurant forms part of a four-storey food emporium that includes a café, patisserie, wine bar, private lounge, and chocolaterie. Studio Peregalli took on the renovations of the historic space, sympathetically restoring its 19th-century gilded and mirrored accents and adding contemporary elements—the richly colored floral wallpaper might look wholly modern, but its pattern is actually copied from a 1920s design that the architects discovered during their research. For the restaurant itself, the architects kept the individual rooms from the original layout, creating an intimate setting in each.
5. The Pool, New York City
New York’s glamor rating recently enjoyed a boost with the opening of The Pool seafood restaurant and bar. Housed in the Seagram Building, once home to the Four Seasons restaurant, the original Philip Johnson-designed interiors have been updated by William T Georgis. Cocktails at the Pool Lounge can be enjoyed around a handmade bar crafted from mother of pearl, while the restaurant—with a menu by chef/partner Rich Torrisi—is designed to showcase a white marble centerpiece pool. An Alexander Calder mobile from 1958, the year the Seagram building was built, hangs above the pool.
6. ATX Cocina, Austin
Michael Hsu has made a name for himself in his native Austin, making good use of space and light within his many restaurant projects, and injecting a sense of wonder with interesting shapes and materials. ATX Cocina is no exception. The architect’s latest project features a vaulted ceiling of hemlock and pine that curves elegantly over an open kitchen. Pecan table tops and floors, custom-cast concrete pendants in pastel shades, Zapotec-style fabrics by Knoll and Carnegie, and local artwork by Aaron Michalovic complete the look, while the menu—a confident take on modern Mexican—is as pretty as its surroundings.