Boutique Design - June 2017 - 8
EditEd by Mat thEw hall
"This is the greatest restaurant space of all time, and we're doing everything we
can to honor that."
- Major Food Group (MFG) partner Jeff Zalaznick
No pressure, right?
MFG has taken the wraps off a restoration of the Grill Room within the
former Four Seasons Restaurant in New York's famed Seagram Building. Now
dubbed THE GRILL, the 60-year-old space has been refurbished by restoration architect Annabelle Selldorf, who worked within strict historic-space
guidelines to maintain Philip Johnson's 1959 interiors. Meanwhile, New Yorkbased designer William T. Georgis oversaw a reimagination of the dining
venue's interior elements.
Given its illustrious history, the space that includes THE GRILL and two
adjoining dining venues is the only one of the 117 designated interior landmarks in New York that's a restaurant. MFG, the New York-based restaurant and hospitality company founded by Zalaznick, Rich Torrisi and chef
Mario Carbone, took over the lease of the former Four Seasons space last year.
(According to published reports, Four Seasons proprietors Julian Niccolini
and Alex von Bidder plan to reopen a new iteration of that famed restaurant-
designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld-on Park Avenue later this year.)
In the refurbished dining space in the original Four Seasons, Selldorf
restored the existing glass walls, steel beams and recessed ceiling light
fixtures. The furnishings were given carefully curated updates, as well.
Knoll's curvilinear Brno chairs, which were created by Johnson, have been
boutiquedesign.com june 2017
reproduced in the same shapes as the originals, and refreshed in new materials such as dandridge ombre horsehair and spinneybeck leather. Marie
Nichols' original chain curtains, made of looped aluminum in gold, brass and
bronze, have been cleaned and restored. Edward Fields Co., which Johnson
chose for the original interior floorcoverings, produced new carpets for THE
GRILL based on its classic designs.
The space's transformation also involved a few layout tweaks. For
instance, the restaurant's elevated balcony has been reinvented as what
project participants describe as "a regal perch," overlooking the room with
four-square tables and banquettes at its edge.
Off the main room, a private dining space features a "Starry Night" ceiling
created for Johnson's original design overhead, as well as a pair of Lee Krasner
paintings. Meantime, the passageway connecting THE GRILL with THE
POOL, the second restaurant in MFG's restoration of the former Four Seasons
space, has also been revamped with a wall-size sculpture of overflowing
plants by artist Paula Hayes.
THE POOL will debut this summer, and will also include a new lounge
featuring a handmade bar clad with mother of pearl. The lounge, which previously served as a private dining room, will showcase a blue-tinted, aquaticinspired look with plush custom furniture and hand-knotted wall textiles.
In addition to the revamped Four Seasons space, MFG's other New York
restaurants are: Carbone, Dirty French, Santina, Parm, Sadelle's and ZZ's
Clam Bar. It also operates The Lobby Bar at the Ludlow Hotel and provides all
F&B and event services for that property.
ANTHON Y C AUSI
FOUR SEASONS' GRILL ROOM REFRESHED, RECHRISTENED