Fulton Market, two blocks off Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row, is heating up. Chef Grant Achatz, in a double whammy move, will soon open Next and Aviary there, which is already home to Moto, Homaro Cantu’s restaurant-cum-molecular gastronomy lab. Adjacent to Moto is Cantu’s newest venture, iNG, a restaurant reborn out of the former Otom space. In a refreshingly modern break from current restaurant trends (i.e. dark speakeasy bars, burnt wood, a gastro pub feel), iNG designer Ron Vari has created a sleek and simple interior that should pair well with Cantu’s sophisticated and experimental food and drink menu.
Colors and materials were kept at a minimum: white tile, three-inch utility distressed oak, eye-popping red Gliss chairs, and red acrylic bar tables. The restaurant’s signature design element begins on the exterior: a mosaic tile wall that appears to ripple like a wave. Floating above a stainless steel toe-kick reveal, the wall engages customers on the street and vanishes through the glass entrance. Inside, the wall snakes past the floating host podium, finally terminating at the rear open kitchen. This is one of two open kitchens that bookend the space, with the main kitchen tucked away in the basement. While the kitchens are open, the bar workstation is curiously hidden behind a wall with a red acrylic bubble window. Peering inside, guests will glimpse the (chemical) elements of iNG’s cocktails from the future: tanks of liquid nitrogen.