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Oct 9, 2007 03:31 PM

A restaurant for an architect...?

Been a lurker for a while, taking cues from the great posters here, but I have to post my particular dilemma, to see if we can get another solid answer.

Going to Manhattan in mid-November with my girlfriend, and I'd like to book a birthday dinner. We're both aspiring foodies, driven by our love to eat and attention to detail.

The thing that gets her, though, is the architecture. She's particularly critical of the materials used and the way the space feels. She recently slammed a restaurant in Boston which despite having some fairly good food and showed a lot of promise for future visits, had this ridiculous blue light wave in the ceiling and an awkward split in the dining room.

To the point: I'm looking for a classy place, preferably Midtown or below, that has food as attractive to the palate as the surroundings are to the eyes. Sorry if I can't give a NY reference - most places I know are in Boston. Type of cuisine or price point isn't particularly important.

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    1. Interesting request. One of my closest friends is best friends with a pretty famous architect/engineer. He raved about the architecture at Aquavit. I've only eaten in the front cafe, where I've always enjoyed the food, though reviews on this board are mixed, and I find the design on the sterile side.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        I ate at Aquavit once, not a major herring fan . . . the design is amazing especially that indoor waterfall. Unless they have redecorated since I went years ago when I worked in Midtown.

        Also Asia de Cuba. I only went there for drinks. Not sure if the food is worthy of a hound.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          They've moved from the location with the waterfall. I'm also not a huge herring fan, but love the curried herring - I think it is served with apple.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I love the herring at Aquavit, but would have to say the new (well, not so new now) space looks more like an airport waiting room.

        2. re: MMRuth

          Aquavit is the first thing that came to my min.

        3. For good food and very interesting striking architectural details....The Capital Grille...great steak and the building interior is awesome

          1. Weird nobody mentioned the Four Seasons in the other thread. I'd imagine your friend would enjoy the ridiculously high-modern Seagram Building — Mies van der Rohe designed it, and the restaurant. Lunch there might be nice (huge glass windows), though it will be packed with stuffy business types.

            2 Replies
              1. re: cmballa

                I'll third the 4 seasons. It's easily one of the great interiors of NYC. I would suggest going for the whole nine yards in the pool room. It also shows a style of relaxed, comfy table spacing that has mostly disappeared from NY dining.

                1. re: AK21

                  Perry St, right in the Richard Meir (sp?) towers. The Modern, overlooking the sculpture court at MOMA. Both are clean, modern spaces. Other spaces I like: Anissa (crisp, elegant), Chanterelle (like a 19th c. palace room), Thalassa (used to have a waterfall-- still does?).

                  1. re: simetrias

                    Ditto both places! Also, restaurants in the Time Warner Center overlooking the Central Park/Columbus Circle are great (Asiate at the top of the Mandarin Oriental!)

                    I like to eats.

                    1. re: druz99

                      De gustibus non disputandem notwithstanding, I wouldn't take an architect friend within 5 miles of the Time Warner Center in its entirety... (g, shudder)