BEST DESIGN RESTAURANTS: ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST


We have selected the the best new restaurants where high design mixes with high cuisine – appealing furniture, luxurious finishes, and alluring lighting. For architects and interior designers, restaurant commissions can be invitations for experimentation. When tasked with creating such statement spaces, a little extra drama or a few theatrical flourishes, which could be too overpowering for a residential dining room, are almost always welcome.
Take a look at high-design dinning destinations where you’re quaranteed to have a memorable night out and check out for some of inspiring suggestions for professional architects and interior designers.
Atera in New York
For an intimate dining experience – Atera. Restaurant in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood with just 18 seats in its main dining room, most of which surround the bar counter. The interiors, by Parts and Labor Design, a New York firm started by two AvroKO alums, are a mix of earthy and industrial, with live-edge walnut slabs, handblown glass, concrete, brass, and stainless steel. It’s an ideal match for chef Matthew Lightner’s experimental culinary approach, which mixes foraged ingredients with inventive cooking techniques. Downstairs, a study, where Lightner dreams up new dishes, does double duty as a private dining room that can host large parties. A wall of white subway tile and an industrial-style table and custom-made school chairs strike a utilitarian note, but the room is warmed up with leather club chairs and wire-glass–paneled doors.
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Ma Cocotte in Paris, France
There’s another reason to visit the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest and most famous flea market in Paris, which has nothing to do with negotiating a deal on antique furniture—Ma Cocotte, the bustling new restaurant designed byPhilippe Starck. Featuring a casual, eclectic interior furnished largely with objects Starck sourced from the neighboring Paul Bert and Serpette markets, it’s an ode to a world of intriguing and unusual.
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Nomad in New York
At the NoMad hotel, French designer Jacques Garcia has fashioned a restaurant and bar as layered, plush, and richly detailed as a European grand hotel. Using sumptuous materials and meticulous craftsmanship, Garcia conjured a sense of history and tradition. Step up to the 24-foot-long mahogany bar, which is guarded by carved elephants, and you get the feeling this place is here to stay. Set apart from the main dining area, the cozy fireplace room offers an intimate escape. The centerpiece is an ornate antique stone mantel imported from a French château. Finished in deep reds, floral patterns, and with plenty of lush upholstery, the room exudes warmth—even when the fire isn’t roaring.
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5 Cinco in Berlin, Germany
The first restaurant outside Spain for renowned Catalonian chef Paco Pérez, 5-cinco is located in the chic new Das Stue hotel. The hotel inhabits a former Royal Danish embassy built in 1939, and the interior public spaces, designed by Patricia Urquiola, feature stately, sober architecture updated with dramatic contemporary details—including a crocodile head sculpture in the lobby. If visitors feel compelled to stay awhile, it’s perfectly natural—Das Stue is Danish for “living room.” 5-cinco’s formal dining room doesn’t take itself too seriously. A haphazard arrangement of copper vessels swarms a cluster of Tom Dixon copper pendant lamps, creating a striking focal point that reflects the energy of chef Pérez’s home country.
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The Astor Grill  
Visitors to the Astor Grill at the St. Regis Doha (Quatar) designed by the Rockwell Group Europe are sure to be amazed. Although the restaurant’s name—a tribute to the hotel chain’s founder, John Jacob Astor IV—conjures images of old New York, the interiors, designed by Rockwell Group Europe, are anything but. At the entrance, a 16-foot-tall curved sculptural installation, inspired by the work of British artist Tony Cragg, wraps across one wall with a spun-bronze profile that has a cutout niche for a banquette.
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