It’s no surprise that SoHo, the Lower East Side, and Williamsburg have eye-catching eateries. But Midtown? Several of our top picks are right in the center of the city’s hustle and bustle. Dig in.
1. Firm: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Site: Meatpacking district.
Standout: Charles Williams pendant domes, Eero Saarinen chairs, and white oak millwork warm up the steel-and-concrete architecture of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
2. Firm: Rockwell Group
Project: The Clocktower.
Standout: The original mahogany doors, wainscoting, and flooring were restored at this New York and federal landmark, while a gold-leafed bar, velvet-upholstered seating, and Eric Schmitt’s oversize ring chandeliers were added.
3. Firm: Crème
Site: Garment district.
Standout: Rustic wood accents, screens of knotted nautical rope, and walls clad in sea-blue ceramic tiles transport diners to traditional Lisbon.
4. Firm: Carpenter & Mason
Project: Van Leeuwen.
Standout: What started out as a truck in 2008 has expanded into three bricks-and-mortar shops plus this new 1,150-square-foot flagship, its palette of honed Thassos marble, white oak, and pale peach inspired by the colors of the ice-cream flavors.
5. Firm: Meyer Davis
Site: Upper East Side.
Standout: Cerused oak floorboards, tracery medallion moldings, subway-tiled vaults, and a custom banquette aglow in LED strips combine French countryside and metropolitan glamour.
6. Firm: Martin Brudnizki Design Studio
Standout: Vintage Italy is expressed via an envelope of rich woods and sienna and cyan colorways, populated by mid-century furniture and a marble-topped central bar.
7. Firm: Robert McKinley Creative Services
Project: Tijuana Picnic.
Site: Lower East Side.
Standout: Lamps made from repurposed tequila bottles accompany graffiti artist Remed’s acrylic mural recalling Mexico City in the 1970’s.
8. Firm: ICrave
Project: Le District.
Site: Financial District.
Standout: French blue is the color hand-painted, in different patterns, on white wall tile to differentiate dining and retail at this Francophile mega-emporium.
9. Firm: CCS Architecture
Project: O Ya.
Standout: Tranquility begins at the bamboo entry garden and continues through to the minimal interior’s original brick walls and polished concrete floor.
10. Firm: Studios GO Architecture
Standout: A former meatpacking plant now sells coffee from a Colombian company, its story told by a roasting facility at the entry and the café’s coffee-plant wall.
11. Firm: Alvarez + Brock Design
Project: Uncle Sam's.
Standout: For the U.S. debut of a Beijing burger joint, green-painted plywood frames, suspended from the ceiling, are meant to evoke lush pastures.
12. Firm: Paris Forino Design
Project: Gem Hotel wine bar.
Standout : Perforated brass panels slide to hide the bottles, contributing to a living-room atmosphere established by residentially scaled furniture.