New York City's winter Restaurant Week is well underway (it’s actually two weeks) and with a $35.00 prix fixe menu, I love being able to try all the places on my wish list. When Materialista™ goes to dinner, she’s checking out the food and the space! A truly memorable dining experience is when the interior design, ambiance and cuisine all compliment each other. The material selection in a restaurant is an integral way of defining that sense of place and evoking the mood, whether festive, relaxing or opulent.
Just last week when I was celebrating my (milestone!) birthday dinner with family and friends at Villa Pacri in the Meatpacking District, we felt instantly transported to a fabulous place. The look of luxury French chandeliers hanging above old reclaimed wood floors, barn wood panels and other distressed finishes is very au courant! This is one of the hottest new spots in the city, but the restaurant’s warm, old world feel and classic Italian menu was a much needed antidote to the cold, wet snow outside. (Next year I’ll have to visit their location in St. Bart’s…)
We continued my party at Affaire on Ave B in the East Village, and experienced another example of the “stylized industrial” design trend. The glamour of chandeliers, velvet curtains and upholstered couches met the roughness of exposed brick walls and wood plank coffee tables. The energy of the downstairs lounge created the perfect environment to have a table with bottles of vodka, Patron, and a choice of mixers, and if you know me, the night will include dancing!
I also plan on catching up with friends at an old favorite, Aquavit, known for combining authentic Scandinavian cuisine and Scandinavian design. With four series of spaces to choose from, the simple, yet careful design incorporates lots of white with red-toned wood and matches the look of the beautiful and carefully presented dishes. We’ll be sure to order one of their signature Aquavit liqueur cocktails in the bar and lounge area while I show off the timeless Walnut Hardwood flooring.
So many restaurants, so little time! Click on nycgo.com for the 300+ participating restaurants. Bon Appetit!