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Do you like to enjoy your food in a restaurant with remarkable design? So take a look on this new article that Design Contract presents to you the best 10 design restaurants.
Visitors to the Astor Grill at the St. Regis Doha 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.
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 by Philippe 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 finds.
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.
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.”
Devised by Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley as part of the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, the interiors of La Maison 1888 offer a spirited take on French Colonial architecture, focused through a contemporary lens. As its name suggests, the restaurant is situated in its own grand “house” on the property. Illuminating the main staircase are pendant lamps made to look like Vietnamese birdcages, complete with the shadows of imaginary feathered friends.
Sited at the foot of the Trollveggen, or Troll Wall, the highest vertical rock face in Europe, the visitor center and cafeteria has a dramatically angular roofline that was inspired by the craggy mountains that surround it. Designed by Oslo architect Reiulf Ramstad, it’s an eye-opening addition to the pristine parkland. No stranger to working in such picturesque locations, Ramstad has completed a number of breathtaking modernist interventions at Norwegian tourist stops.
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For an intimate dining experience it’s difficult to outdo Atera—a snug 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.
Brasserie Zédel’s bones are nearly 100 years old. The restaurant was originally part of the Regent Palace Hotel, Europe’s largest hotel when it was completed in 1915. In the ’30s it was given an Art Deco overhaul by architect Oliver Percy Bernard. Although the interiors suffered plenty of abuse in the years that followed, they have been meticulously repaired and thoughtfully updated by London’s David Collins Studio, while Donald Insall Associates, specialists in historic restorations, rejuvenated the fabrics.
For a bar and brasserie designed by avant-garde architects Herzog & de Meuron, Volkshaus Basel appears surprisingly restrained. But that’s the point. Built in 1925 to house a concert hall, restaurant, hotel, and library, years of renovations and modifications had obliterated the building’s initial character. Rather than add yet another new layer, the architects peeled back as many of the alterations as they could to restore the building’s architectural identity, and then took design cues from the original structure and archival photos.
French Blue has an easy, breezy, summery feel that’s perfectly suited to its Napa Valley location. That’s no revelation when you know who’s behind it—the space was conceived by AD100 architect Howard J. Backen, who has designed a number of California’s most distinctive wineries, along with his interior designer wife, Lori. Not only did they create the space, they’re also partners in the restaurant, which specializes in dishes based on local seasonal ingredients prepared by chef Philip Wang.
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