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Open: Restaurant
DBGB by Thomas Schlesser of Design Bureaux
Photographs by Bill Milne

299 Bowery
Tel: 212-460-5777
Designer: Thomas Schlesser/Design Bureaux

The building that houses DBGB, Daniel Boulud’s new burger temple, is of fairly recent vintage, but designer Thomas Schlesser of Design Bureaux has taken pains to make it mesh with the old restaurant supply houses on the Bowery. On the dining room’s cast-concrete floor stand shelves laden with wine bottles, ingredients, and pots and pans, the latter souvenirs from star chefs around the world. (The rest of the supplies are functional, and cooks venture out to retrieve what they need during the service.) The shelves also cleverly define space without blocking views: They partially enclose booths set into the wall, and separate the dining room from the kitchen, whose bustle can be glimpsed through stacks of napkins and jars of capers. DBGB also borrows from French bistros, with chairs modeled on a classic,19th-century style, and mirrored walls featuring hand-written menu items. Layered over this antique aesthetic is a sleekly modern one: The vestibule is a minimalist glass box, and the bistro menu is surrounded by gastronomic quotes that create “the pop version of a bistro mirror,” said Schlesser. The dynamic space is tied together with details like scalloped corners on booths and tables, echoed in metal door plaques and in brackets neatly painted around the menu.

Julia Galef