Many restaurants prefer the main focus to be on the food and to spend minimal time on the design of the interior. Although this does not rule out the fact that the space will have a less then appealing interior layout, it only signifies that some projects have more time and budget to splurge on a lavish decor. We have chosen a selection of remarkable restaurants and bars, that have created a feast for the eyes, even before seeing the menu.
Bar Raval, Toronto
Image Credits: Jonathan Friedman / PARTISANS
This Tapas-bar takes its interior and food menu inspiration from Spanish Art Nousvous design and features a breathtaking interior made from carved wood. The wood has been delicately sculptured onto separate boards and then installed around the space to transform the complete look and feel of this Tapas-bar. First you see the wooden lattice work created for the windows, teasing passer-buyers to have a look inside. Inside, the play on light and dark areas further enhances the dark wood and creates shadows that illuminate the carvings in the wood. The bar curves around created with very soft edges. The fact that the entire interior is carved from wood means it was possible to customise the form allowing for ridges and dips in the wood where needed. Creating an organic form over the walls and climbing up to the ceiling feature intricate details that further add to the cave-like feel of the bar.
Yue Restaurant, Chengdu
Image Credit: Ng Siu Fung
Situated within a new luxury hotel, the Yue Restaurant serves as a place that caters to both hotel guests and also events and private parties. The brief for the design team outlined that the new restaurant was to be in tune with the design of the rest of the hotel, whilst offering flexibility to convert the interior layout for the multiple functions the space would be used for. Three main materials stand out; marble, wood and brass. Each one, a highly characteristic material option has been used in unison to enhance the high design feel of the space whilst creating a light and airy feel with access to the outdoor area through large glass doors. The impressive expanse of space has been kept clean with the use of a buffet stand with castors, made from marble and brass to further add to the attention of detail given to each element. A backwall features an impressive use of recycled paper and LED lighting to create a mural, whilst white-ceramic bird-shaped figures hand suspended from the ceiling, creating a sense of the outdoors, inside.
Shift Restaurant, Bucharest
Image Credit: Radu Malasincu
Another restaurant that takes advantage of the outdoor area is Shift Restaurant in Bucharest, Romania. The design team use the space outdoors to inspire the interior design of the indoor area of the hotel to create synergy and a nature flow between the two spaces. The selection of elements indoors have been carefully selected with great through and applied to the interiors to enhance the restaurant feel. This includes natural clay plastering over the brick walls, a method that is centuries old, slate to add a similar texture indoors to the stone floors used outdoors and the final element of detail is a selection of natural moss boards applied to various walls creating the feel of a ‘field of grass’. Alongside these architectural features, the intricate use of lighting adds further to the theme. Taking inspiration from the formation of plants and climbers in a garden, the lighting features fabric cords and lamps in reference to the era of the building to add details that really bring the building into the modern era without loosing touch of its past heritage.
Bibo, Hong Kong
Image Credit: Nathaniel McMahon
Presenting a modern twist on French fine-dining, this avant-garde restaurant brings together fine food and art to form open perceptions on both. Outstanding combination of street artists and well known artists from all over the world collectively reunited on the walls of the restaurant, a concept the owner, Bibo has worked on to present his passion towards art and fine dining. The result is a warm invitation to experience modern french food and to surround yourself within the immersive collection of work throughout. Lighting helps to direct eyes towards each corner of the interior, which has been furnished with high quality seating and tables, adding to the fine-dining experience even though you are surrounded by a very industrial-inspired feel. The uncovered ceilings add to the raw appeal whilst the artwork further adds to a young and fresh appeal.
Alain Ducasse, Paris
Image Credit: Pierre Monetta
Last and most certainly not least on our list is the restaurant at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris France. The finest attention of detail towards design and craft are the results of this ravishing interior. First impressions fall on the chandelier lighting that adorns the ceiling. This is the one element that has been retained from the original features prior to the refurbishment to the restaurant space. The crystal chandeliers are magnificently reflected off polished stainless steel domes, that are the backs of booth seating formations aligning various parts of the room. Key colour tones including grey and white have been used throughout, from the carpet to furnishings. Solid wooden table tops add warm accents whilst a specially crafted plaster structure that creates a semi-private space.