When you are able to combine incredible ambience with outstanding food then you have died and gone to heaven. The combination makes for a perfect evening. One without the other just doesn't work. Architecture Digest has picked some of the best designs in high quality restaurants around the world.
Here are few of my favorites:
1. Astor Grill
Visitors to the Astor Grill at the St. Regis Doha are sure to be amazed. Although the restaurant’s name—a tribute to the hotel chain’s founder, John Jacob Astor IV—conjures images of old New York, the interiors, designed by Rockwell Group Europe, are anything but. At the entrance, a 16-foot-tall curved sculptural installation, inspired by the work of British artist Tony Cragg, wraps across one wall with a spun-bronze profile that has a cutout niche for a banquette. astorgrilldoha.com
2. La Maison 1888
DA NANG, VIETNAM
Devised by Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley as part of the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, the interiors of La Maison 1888 offer a spirited take on French Colonial architecture, focused through a contemporary lens. As its name suggests, the restaurant is situated in its own grand “house” on the property. Illuminating the main staircase are pendant lamps made to look like Vietnamese birdcages, complete with the shadows of imaginary feathered friends. danang.intercontinental.com
3. Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel’s bones are nearly 100 years old. The restaurant was originally part of the Regent Palace Hotel, Europe’s largest hotel when it was completed in 1915. In the ’30s it was given an Art Deco overhaul by architect Oliver Percy Bernard. Although the interiors suffered plenty of abuse in the years that followed, they have been meticulously repaired and thoughtfully updated by London’s David Collins Studio, while Donald Insall Associates, specialists in historic restorations, rejuvenated the fabrics. brasseriezedel.com
4. French Blue
ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA
French Blue has an easy, breezy, summery feel that’s perfectly suited to its Napa Valley location. That’s no revelation when you know who’s behind it—the space was conceived by AD100 architect Howard J. Backen, who has designed a number of California’s most distinctive wineries, along with his interior designer wife, Lori. Not only did they create the space, they’re also partners in the restaurant, which specializes in dishes based on local seasonal ingredients prepared by chef Philip Wang. frenchbluenapa.com
5-cinco’s formal dining room doesn’t take itself too seriously. A haphazard arrangement of copper vessels swarms a cluster of Tom Dixon copper pendant lamps, creating a striking focal point that reflects the energy of chef Pérez’s home country.