Posts tagged with "Restaurants":

Placeholder Alt Text

Sleek quinoa automat coming to NYC

Love quinoa but loathe human interaction? A California–based restaurant is bringing its healthy quinoa power bowl automat (yeah) to Midtown this fall. At Eatsa, which has locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, patrons order via iPads instead of popping coins into a slot in exchange for food. Diners can customize their quinoa bowls, or choose options like the "Cantina Kale Salad" or "Chili con Quinoa" a-la-carte. In the video below, food blogger Eddie Lin, alternating between amazement and pure, unadulterated joy, offers a blow-by-blow look at the bowl-ordering process: Other corners of the internet are abuzz about the old-fangled concept updated for 21st-century habits. See this diner pick up his food and beverages from the slot with his name displayed on it:

Greetings from the future. Coolest restaurant ever!!! #eatsa @meagle23

A video posted by Chelsea Franco (@francothetank0) on

Quinoa bowls are prepared behind the scenes by real live people but delivered automatically into cubbies with light-up, numbered displays and include the diner's name. While Bamn!, the short-lived automat on St. Marks Place, had a vintage, Jetsons-in-pink aesthetic, Eatsa's brand skews more Apple Store. Crucially, while the automats of yore kept items to temperature with in-cubby heating, Eatsa's items are made to order.
As an added bonus, all dishes are priced under $7.00. Mmmm.
Placeholder Alt Text

Chioco Design crafts an ingenious lighting solution for indoor-outdoor Austin bar

Austin’s newest bar, Backbeat, sits on busy South Lamar Boulevard, a main drag that was strictly car-oriented until recently. “Our main concern and objective was to create a comfortable neighborhood cocktail bar,” explained Jamie Chioco, principal of Austin-based Chioco Design. Drawing from their experience running popular watering hole drink-well, Backbeat’s owners are enticing South Lamar’s pedestrians with the Pink Squirrel (a spiked milkshake), pâté melts, and an indoor-outdoor dining area that offers a pleasant contrast to its hectic surroundings. To beckon patrons and light into the long, narrow interior, Chioco installed a large monitor—essentially a two-story glass shaft—to visually connect the roof deck with the main floor below. One wall of the shaft is clad in mirrors, giving patrons views to the outdoors above. Through the glass-paneled main and rear entryways, bright desert-blue booths and stools complement the walnut wall and ceiling panels, as well as the brass light fixtures and white marble bar, the heart of all the action. Backbeat is located at 1300 S. Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX.
Placeholder Alt Text

Scott Kester designs a slick, utilitarian interior for Los Angeles restaurant LocoL

Take a trip to Watts and experience LocoL, the fast food joint that star chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson launched to revolutionize the dollar menu.

LocoL opened to massive crowds with an interior designed by veteran restaurant designer Scott Kester in an area of L.A. not typically frequented by foodies. Kester’s utilitarian interior gives LocoL the look of a professional kitchen—sleek subway tiles framed by black plywood and stainless steel—while keeping true to Choi’s reputation for casual, experiential dining experiences. The ceiling is decorated with geometrically-arranged tube lights, while “pixelated,” unpainted plywood seating and tables are arranged below. This interior furniture is freestanding so patrons can rearrange it as necessary. “We tried to blend an open, welcome feeling with simple playful forms,” Kester explained. The dining room is reminiscent of a food truck waiting area, with patrons pointed toward the kitchen where focused cooks assemble their signature two dollar foldie sandwiches and six dollar chili rice bowls.

That seating area continues onto a patio designed by Eagle Rock-based landscape architects Superjacent; some of the patio’s seating elements become planters for succulents. “Our design intent for the project was to create landscape strategies and public spaces to best connect LocoL to the community of Watts,” Superjacent principal Chris Torres told AN. “LocoL is about community and bringing the best food possible to the widest audience,” he added.

Watts LocoL is located at 1950 East 103rd Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Placeholder Alt Text

Otto Architects designs a nautical-themed restaurant for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery


The owners of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in southern Delaware are known for creating “off-centered ales” and, naturally, off-centered places to enjoy them. The newest offering is Chesapeake & Maine, a seafood restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that explores nautical themes without resorting to clichés. 

The 150-seat restaurant opened in March, next to the Dogfish Head Brewhouse. The architect for the exterior was DIGSAU of Philadelphia. The interior was designed by Otto Architects of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione and his wife, vice president Mariah. The first sign of whimsy is the front facade reminiscent of  a lobster trap. Inside, a vintage Russian diving suit in a glass case, porthole windows, shark-shaped beer tap handles, and boat cleat door knobs, continue the oceanic vibe.

Artwork is used extensively: Chicago artist Jon Langford reinterpreted music legends as seafarers; Travis Louie created Gothic portraits of sea creatures; and illustrator Tony Millionaire contributed a map mural. “We wanted to create a nautical theme, but not by hanging life preservers and fish nets on the walls,” said Joshua Otto, the founder of Otto Architects. It was very much a collaboration with the Calagiones, he emphasized. “They have a unique eye.”

Placeholder Alt Text

Hot stuff! Sauna located in a Finnish Burger King

Finland is well known for its saunas. In fact, such is the Finnish people's obsession for sweating it out that they have a sauna in every one of their embassies across the globe. The sauna's have even been dubbed as their "diplomatic secret weapon." In Helsinki, Finland's capital, sauna's appear to be becoming even more of a way of life, especially in the case of fast food restaurants. Designed by Fin Teuvo Loman—who is somewhat of a design celebrity in his homeland—a Burger King in Helsinki now has its very own sauna. Complete with wash facilities, dressing rooms, and wooden benches in the company's customary colors, visitors can enjoy their meal in the sauna located on the lower floor of the Mannerheimintie Burger King outlet. Servers from the restaurant even visit the sauna to take orders; the sauna can accommodate up to 15 bathers. According to the outlet's webpage, the venue is more suited to "private and business outings, birthdays and for watching major sporting events." Booking the sauna for three hours will set you back $285, though the price includes "exclusive" use of the sauna and lounge area, access to Burger King branded towels (for hire), cleaning services, seat covers, toiletries, and access to entertainment electronics. Bathers will also be given Burger King crowns to wear (though this isn't a requirement, sadly) and have the option of eating in or outside the sauna. In terms of the electronics, the sauna comes equipped with a 48” television, a nearby media lounge features stereo equipment and Playstation 4. A "premium" experience will grant bathers access to "royal" Burger King bathrobes. Tempted? Booking details can be found here. The sauna isn't just winning the hungry bathing public over either. This year, the sauna claimed third place in Euromonitor’s ‘2016 New Concepts in Foodservice Contest: Customization, Technology, and New Experiences,’ competition. “The concept takes the idea of a unique dining experience to an extreme, offering both entertainment and functionality for Finnish consumers who see saunas as an integral part of their local culture,” commented Euromonitor food service analyst Elizabeth Friend. “Saunas in Finland are taken frequently as social, health and wellness rituals, and it is not uncommon for friends and business associates to sauna together," she added. "In this way, Burger King’s in-store sauna offers a powerful example of localisation, demonstrating an understanding of local preferences while also offering customers the novelty experience of a sauna alongside their Whopper and fries.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Archtober Building of the Day 29> The Musket Room by Shadow Architects

The Musket Room 265 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan Shadow Architects If we visit Michelin star restaurants next Archtober, we’ve got to make a deal for the meal. The meal’s the thing here. The Musket Room moved into Manhattan's old Rialto space, a long-gone hangout for architects working in the nearby Puck Building. It's got a gun over the bar. Larry Cohn of architect-of-record Shadow Architects, prepared the filing documents that wended their way through the post-Sandy building department. The warm woods and teal leather banquettes specified by London-based Alexander Waterworth Interiors, have replaced the bright red plastic ones that lined the brick side walls of the not-forgotten Rialto. A nice chap, Larry, took us through the restaurant, and showed us the spanking clean basement kitchen with its array of chemical lab experiments called food. Frank Hanes, the sous chef, explained the polyethylene-encased meats that were being cooked sous-vide: venison leg fillets, a specialty of the house on the menu as “New Zealand red deer/flavors of gin,” which includes licorice and fennel – and maybe a juniper berry or two. You can tell I’m not a foodie. It was nice to see nasturtiums growing in the raised beds in the back that serve as an herb garden for the chef, New Zealander Mack Lambert, who conjures a nasturtium vinaigrette that might appear somewhere in the early courses of our future meal. We could top it off with Pig’s blood/berries/rhubarb/herbs for dessert. Cynthia Phifer Kracauer is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell. After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson, held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.
Placeholder Alt Text

Wine supplier to the British royal family unveils enchanting new cellar by MJP Architects and Short & Associates

Britain’s oldest wine merchant, Berry Bros. & Rudd, has unveiled its new subterranean Sussex Cellar, an enchanting juxtaposition of classic and modern by Short & Associates and MJP Architects. Wine suppliers to the British royal family since the reign of King George III in the early 19th century, the brand named its new cellar after the duke of Sussex, one of seven royal dukes who were regular customers during that era. Inspired by a Spanish bodega with a tiled fan vaulted soffit, the two-story cellar is an expanse of terra cotta archways and columns clad in handmade London tiles. These extend through the mezzanine and sub-basement level. The dining room retains a light and airy feel, despite being underground, by dint of a circular aperture that connects it to the mezzanine above. Over 800 wine events are held annually in the company’s existing Napoleon and Pickering Cellars and its townhouse on Pickering Place. The new cellar was built to accommodate the uptick in demand for the brand’s well-known ‘Cellar Series’ – intimate 40-cover dinners presented in collaboration with London’s most popular restaurants. “Our new Sussex Cellar affords us much-needed extra capacity in bringing wine education and entertainment to our clients,” said Demetri Walters, sales manager at Private Wine Events, a part of Berry Bros. & Rudd. “This latest venue is of a completely novel design that combines the feel of one of our traditional wine cellars with the existing architecture, convenience, and state-of-the-art gadgetry of a purpose-built venue.” Sited beneath the historic St. Jame’s shop, the cellar is accessible via a secret door in one of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s 17th century townhouses on Pickering Place, with an interior styled by Nicola Crawley of the celebrated decorators Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. The space accommodates up to 40 for a reception and lunch or dinner, or 36 for a reception, tutored tasting, and lunch or dinner.
Placeholder Alt Text

New York City's iconic Four Seasons Restaurant inside the Seagram Building is at the center of a renovation dispute

Four_Seasons_restaurant Traditionalists went into a tailspin over proposed modifications to the landmark Four Seasons Restaurant, a gastronomic and architectural emblem of New York City housed in the historic Seagram Building. The high-ceilinged enclave, clad with French walnut walls, plays daily host to high society a big business in Midtown Manhattan. The eatery garnered landmark status in 1989 for the building’s architectural prowess. Nevertheless, the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) cautions that this designation does not shield the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs, Florence Knoll banquettes, Eero Saarinen cocktail tables, and table settings by L. Garth Huxtable. Building owner and noted art collector Aby Rosen of RFR Holdings recently filed plans to make changes to the restaurant, reportedly without consulting owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder. While the LPC approved the proposed new carpeting without qualm, they balked at a removal of the cracked-glass and bronze partitions separating the dining area and bar. Originally installed by legendary architect Philip Johnson, who designed the space with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1959, the partitions would be replaced by movable ivy planters to open up the space. Selldorf Architects is also considering nixing the large walnut panels separating the square-shaped 60-foot-by-60-foot Pool Room from the dining room on the mezzanine. These will be replaced with five panels, the outer two of which would be operable for reconfiguration of the space. According to Rosen, this would improve the flow between the mezzanine and the Pool Room without the upper tier framing the space. “This landmark is elevated to a level where any kind of intervention would not be living with preservation,” objected LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. Conservationists bristled last year when Rosen entertained an eviction of the Le Tricorne Picasso tapestry hanging inside the restaurant in order to facilitate reparations to the wall behind it, where a “potentially serious steam leak” from the two-story kitchen had purportedly crippled the structure. The preservation commission retorted that removal of the tapestry would cause it to “crack like a potato chip.” A New York State judge issued an injunction prohibiting Seagram from removing the painting, but Rosen, a real estate developer and avid collector of post-war art, is in conservationists’ crossfire again for daring to alter a landmark. “These are features that are integral to the sense of space. Not just decorative but have architectural meaning and value,” said Commissioner Diana Chapin. Edgar Bronfman Jr., whose family owned Seagram, claimed that RFR’s proposal displays “utter contempt” for the icon. RFR representative Sheldon Werdiger maintains that the changes are restorative rather than invasive. “We’re not making changes as much as we’re restoring. Our local press is trying to make it into a controversial situation,” he told Arch Record.
Placeholder Alt Text

Archtober Building of the Day #21> Runner & Stone Restaurant

Archtober Building of the Day #21 Runner & Stone 285 Third Avenue Latent Productions Karla Rothstein and her partner Sal Perry are Latent Productions. They, along with Baker Peter Endriss served up a very nice helping of both delicious snacks and spiffy new architecture on yesterday's Archtober tour. With a full tour of enthusiasts and architects, Karla and Sal described their self-initiated process of design, development, and construction management. They first prototyped, then fabricated the puffy custom concrete blocks that evoke the sacks of flour waiting to become bread that are the design hallmark of the restaurant, Runner & Stone, in Brooklyn. One thousand units were made, twenty at a time, in the basement with workers, some of them students, following the instruction graphic the architects prepared. It all had something of the air of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with an almost mystical unity of material (steel and concrete and bread) and the romance of fabrication. Ah how utopian! The project includes a bakery, restaurant, and bar replete with locavore cred. Even the name is authentic: Runner & Stone refers to the existence of a mill in the 17th century that was near the site. In milling, the moving stone is called the runner. So the flour and the sand, each granulated for admixture, are equalized and each a metaphor for the other. There was also a lot of steel, another building material receiving special attention and distribution throughout the project.  The floor is cold rolled plate, with a foam interlayer, set on plywood, then waxed for residential use in the upper two apartment units. A radiant heating mat keeps it warm. The facade is oxidizing to a nice autumnal orange. Custom furniture blends more raw steel with reclaimed lumber from Brooklyn water tanks. Much was made of the happy relationship of all the parties involved, leading me to conclude that the success is no longer lying dormant: a 2014 AIANY Design Award attests. Along for the tour was budding food critic, and AIANY Exhibition Coordinator Katie Mullen:
As the team from Latent Productions described the building, head baker Peter Endriss and staff passed small plates including pickled vegetables with chopped egg, whitefish salad with sliced baguette, heirloom tomato soup, and sliced sausage with sauerkraut. Endriss, previously head baker at Thomas Keller's Per Se, reserved one surprise for tour attendees returning from 285 3rd Avenue's upper floors: his signature rye flour and toasted caraway brownies.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater. 
Placeholder Alt Text

French Architect's Restaurant Designs Creates A Pixelated Green Facade

Whoever said that one needs to leave the city to experience nature hasn’t seen French architect Stephane Malka’s striking facade proposal for the Parisian restaurant EP7, an unusual site that is sure to stand out in the urban setting of the city. Amidst a city of man-made concrete and glass structures could rise a building essentially comprised of an organically growing “forest. Malka, who has experience in urban landscaping, created a green facade that wraps around a glass enclosure and is composed of raw wooden blocks arranged in a patchy, pixelating pattern. The uneven surface creates spaces for plant life to grow, spilling flourishing green plants and foliage down the building. The textured wooden facade, which seems to actively move inward to completely engulf the glass skin, stops to reveal an expansive view of the restaurant’s interior. Malka’s work presents passersby and restaurant customer with with the interesting paradox of nature abundantly flourishing in an urban environment. [Via Design Taxi.]