Restaurants & Stores
The Palais de Tokyo’s new dining mecca, Monsieur Bleu by acclaimed French architect Joseph Dirand boasts an enticing, dramatic and timeless design palette.
The chic, cosmopolitan restaurant bustles from the afternoon to late evening with the contemporary art scene and beyond. From dining on the artisanal plates by feted chef Benjamin Masson to enjoying Champagne-filled nights of dancing, Monsieur Bleu is one of the “it” places of Paris right now.
Unsurpassed views of the Eiffel Tower across the way and the Seine (which the Monsieur Bleu sits above) can be appreciated from within the restaurant via towering windows which spill abundant daylight into the bar and dining room, or from the outside while dining alfresco upon the garden terrace.
Most striking may be the sophisticated yet somewhat serene color scheme. The space is dressed in a vivid backdrop of black and white marble presentations on walls, as modular units and throughout the inlaid floors. Delicious shades of olive which remind me of luxe jewel tones (think green sapphire, peridot and citrine) wrap the rich velvet banquettes and modern arm chairs, which also appear in a contemporary patterned grey hue. I find the entire collaboration both sensual and inviting, archetypal Parisian design.
Walls are textural and seem to feature smooth vertical corrugations, while mirrored tiles add allure to warm dining corners and are flanked by brushed brass and frosted glass sconce lighting. Tonal artworks are recessed into various walls, creating dimension and intrigue. Elegant round black tables trimmed in gold add a brasserie vibe to the gourmet restaurant. Geometric boxes of lighting drop from the black-on-black coffered ceiling creating a subtle, more intimate sense within the otherwise soaring space.
Certain to lure the most discerning diners and artists alike, Monsieur Bleu by Joseph Dirand is a modern restaurant space possessing a stunning color motif and devoted to design gracefully rooted in understated grandeur.
photo © Adrien Dirand.
Posted by Suzanne at 24 May, 2013
A former 1890s Victorian public bathroom-turned-eatery, The Attendant is London’s newest hot spot. Hidden underground on Foley Street in Fitzrovia, this tiny urban coffee bar serves up breakfast, lunch and hot bean drinks to the young professionals crowd.
From the outside, ornate ironwork and small signage with the cafe’s logo designates the undercover location. Once downstairs and inside, quaint pendant lamps hang from the low-ceiling creating a brightly-lit space. The space is small and holds on to its historical value with fully refurbished black and white floor tiles, as well as glazed white brick tile walls and cheery pops of green and orange, adhering to the Victorian color scheme.
Seating consists of a main wooden oak counter featuring the restored (and fully sanitized!) porcelain Doulton & Paisley urinal tops as dining-station dividers. Bright green metal stools line this area, while another square table with banquette booths provides additional seating underneath a wall displaying an original hand drier, as well as vintage photography and artworks.
The original attendant’s office is now the mini-kitchen where a former Michelin-starred chef serves up tasty cold and hot sandwiches, fresh vegetable salads and baked-from-scratch goods by the boutique Bittersweet Bakers. The barista component is, of course, a primary focus at The Attendant, with beans selectively sourced from Kings Cross’ Caravan Roastery and milk from the Ivy House Farm in Somerset.
With its eclectic charm, deep historic character and progressive restaurant design, The Attendant is an imaginative, subterranean gem.(via)
Posted by Suzanne at 20 May, 2013
Inspired by old Eastern European factories, Nazdrowje, a Stockholm restaurant and bar concept by Richard Lindvall encompasses sharp industrial design with concrete, copper, steel and tiles as main elements. Innovative commercial planning can be attributed to this parking garage-turned-restaurant space.
The cavernous, minimalist interiors are swathed in raw materials, most dominantly smooth concrete which was expertly cast into built-in benches, lounge tables, the bar, as well as used as the restaurant’s flooring.
A significant copper fireplace becomes a focal point and is structural, resembling a contemporary artwork with organic imperfections. This warm-hued metal is recognized throughout the otherwise crude space amongst various tabletops, integrated piping and custom-made lighting fixtures which create soft glow against the black ceiling.
Walls behind the bar and designated dining areas feature glazed white tile work which add stark contrast to the substantial vintage pendant lamps salvaged from a factory in the Czech Republic. Concrete shelving displays the wine bottles, liquor and glassware behind the bar area. Steel stools provide casual seating in addition to the mounted concrete benches. A bathroom of the same unedited materials of concrete, copper and ceramic features a trough-style basin.
Warmer touches such as photographs of the construction laborers, as well as sparsely-placed plant and floral arrangements, enlighten the cool interiors.
While we hear Nazdrowje has now become a sports bar bearing a quite different aesthetic, the modern restaurant design is still very much appreciated, if only viewed through photography at this point.
Posted by Suzanne at 9 May, 2013
Designed to attract a younger, more casual and vibrant crowd, La Cantina on the island of Majorca, Spain at Puerto Portals is an innovative, modern restaurant by Sandra Tarruella Interioristas. Affordable design sans sacrificing style was an accomplished goal of the owners. Serving delicious made-from-scratch tapas and refreshing drinks, the vibe is decidedly cool and casual.
The space is fresh and simple in a white and beige palette, with a series of long pine wood and birch plywood communal dining tables bearing green herbs in small terracotta pots. The streamlined bench seating happens to entice conversation and all-around good times. A large bar is flanked with woven straw and wooden stools, while a back wall dons a canvas of colorful vertical and horizontal cabana stripes in turquoise, red, coral, yellow, blue, purple and yellow and is surrounded by individually-arranged tables. All of the organized seating was customized by the designer.
Flooring is a smooth micro-cement and adds an industrial idealism to the space. Ceilings are crafted of reeds and exposed wooden beams contributing both a rustic and beachy simplicity. Lighting fixtures are white and stainless-steel hooded pendants joining three-blade ceiling fans which create decisive movement and flow within the dining and bar area. A shelf of basic groceries is stocked on one wall adjacent to the dining space, creating a cozy and cheery nook.
Sliding glass doors open to the vast terrace which also features plentiful seating of the same picnic-like tables amongst fragrant greenery including lime trees. Table lamps add warmth, as does the black chalkboard which advertises daily specials. A raw wooden work-horse table holds pepper-mills, dipping oils, plates and necessary dining accoutrements. The seamless transition of indoors and outdoors contributes a completely eased energy to this restaurant.
The design team of Sandra Tarruella Interioristas clearly realizes the possibilities of innovative hospitality design, a defined budget and a clean, modern aesthetic. La Cantina absorbs the Mediterranean lifestyle while keeping a distinctively contemporary and relaxed ambiance. (via)
Posted by Suzanne at 8 May, 2013
A flavorful blend of Russian and Western European influences, Maxibread, a bakery and cafe envisioned by Stone Designs of Madrid, New York and Tokyo, brings new light to an otherwise traditional store concept.
The modern interior embraces “new-style” Russian, with a melodious mix of materials in wood, brick and marble. From the glazed exterior, the bakery emits a warm glow, featuring back-lit, images of enticing, magnified baked goods. Once inside, the small shop is appropriately divided amongst its shared space: A bakery on the right, the cafe to the left.
Customers can order their breads, desserts and coffee drinks at the massive marble counter. This elongated structure occupies most of the bakery space and can be likened to an art sculpture with smooth curved edges, a built-in glass display case and an angled end which creates interest. The pristine, gleaming stone yields an elegant distinction from the natural wood flooring beneath it. Carved light wood trim with tiny bird cut-outs wraps the ceiling and is indicative of traditional Russian architecture. Walls are covered in horizontal white brick, creating a clean look while the wooden cubbies of fresh-baked breads emit an earthy vibe.
The cafe area with its rich, dark walls and accent rug was intentionally dimly lit with pendant lampshades creating a cozy space to mingle while enjoying the homemade treats and beverages. Dotting this intimate room are just a few pedastal tables and white geometric stools which are delicately silhouetted with the bird motif.
With unexpected elements and an infusion of diverse organic materials, Stone Designs has managed to bring a basic bakery to a new level of contemporary commercial design.
Posted by Suzanne at 25 April, 2013
In appreciation of Lao and French culture, siblings Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha opened Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar in a historic section of Raleigh, North Carolina. The name chosen by the young restauranteurs, Bida Manda, possesses a sanskrit meaning of Father and Mother. With a precise aesthetic in mind, the two hired in situ studio to develop the 3,300 square foot modern space, completely gutting the existing storefront which belonged to a former restaurant. According to the architects, Bida Manda is collaborative success of “museum, sacred space and dining venue.”
Posted by Suzanne at 23 April, 2013
Chinese philosophy dictates Five Elements: Fire, Water, Metal, Wood and Earth. Taizu-Asia Terranean Kitchen, emphasizes those attributes by interjecting them into a precise balance of hospitality and modern restaurant design. The fine casual dining space envisioned by Pitsou Kedem Architects in collaboration with Baranowitz-Amit Studio, is situated in Tel Aviv’s urban mecca between the bustling Menachem Begin Road in the East and the traditional city in the West.
Taizu-Asia emanates a decidedly South East Asian vibe without being too obvious. Plates consist of a menu reflective of Chef Yuval Ben Neria’s travels to this region of the world, with specific influences derived from India, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam–all as upscale Asian street food.
Posted by Suzanne at 22 April, 2013