And you thought the food was excellent. But could it be that the beautiful interior design subtly enhances your palate? Energizes your conversation? Makes you tingle a bit? Two stunningly beautiful new restaurants show why dining is more than eating.
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LeRoy agrees. She’s points out the many happy faces she sees on her kitchen staff, who, after working in a basement kitchen in her old space, now enjoy sunshine all day thanks to Danner. “Other local chefs saw the kitchen windows and said, ‘Why are you wasting all this natural light in here?’ But it’s not wasted. They are so much happier.”
Of course, there were glitches. “It’s a year later, and we’re still sitting with sun on our faces, because no one thought, ‘Hey, we need some drapes here,’” LeRoy says.
Unaccustomed to the acoustic properties of the space, Danner had to retrofit sound panels on the ceilings to buffer the din.
Danner says Pizza by Elizabeths is a work in progress (“I’m still not sure I like this glass display case,” he says), yet the big part—the atmosphere—is set.
“I want to show people through design that we’re trying to build a relationship here, and we’re swinging for the fences,” Danner says. “Ultimately, the goal is to have people like being here.”
“There is one woman who comes just to sit at the bar,” LeRoy says. “She told me it’s the closest she’ll ever get to ‘Sex and the City.’ Our food deserves this place. The lobster and white wine pizza has found a home.”
The Stone Balloon Wine House is one gorgeously cohesive restaurant where Italy clings to every detail. One would expect nothing less from a designer who trained in Venice. But the next time you visit, look closer. You’ll notice that every corner is a unique cocoon with a distinct mood.
Because wine is so important to the Stone Balloon experience, Giroso began by considering all the associations people make with it—“warmth, Tuscany, earth tones”—and designed with that in mind. “I want people to feel warm in the space,” she says. “So I invite them.”
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