NEWH - November 2003 - (Page 26)

spotlight on greater new york… by Shelly Clark The notion of being privy to an exclusive preview of three soon-to-open restaurants destined to make a major impact on New York City’s dynamic dining scene drew more than 300 to the NEWH Greater New York’s “A Conversation with Three Great Designers” at the Steelcase Showroom on Sept. 16. Presented in association with HD (Hospitality Design) Magazine, the evening showcased Asiate, the signature restaurant of the new Mandarin Oriental, New York; the long-anticipated return of celebrity chef Gray Kunz in the guise of the eponymous CafÈ Gray, and the East Coast edition of The French Laundry. All three restaurants will grace the Time Warner complex on Columbus Circle - New York City’s most ambitious building project in decades. Their designers - Tony Chi, Diego Gronda of the Rockwell Group and Adam Tihany - and chefs - Asiate’s Nori Sugie, and Gray Kunz engaged in a panel discussion about the visual and culinary elements of each restaurant and how they interact. The discussion was moderated by experts in the design and cuisine disciplines, Michael Adams, the editor-in-chief of HD Magazine and Bob Lape, restaurant critic for Crain’s New York Business and host of WCBS-Radio’s “Dining Diary.” In addition to raising funds for the NEWH Greater New York Scholarship Fund, “A Conversation with Three Great Designers” made headlines in the New York Post with disclosures, such as “...The French Laundry, while an urbanized version of its Napa Valley parent, will not be called “The French Laundry.” Panel, left to right, Bob Lape, Restaurant Critic, Crain’s New York Business and a panel moderator; Adam Tihany, designer of new French Laundry in New York; Diego Gronda, Rockwell Group; Gray Kunz, chef; Michael Adams, Editor in Chief, Hospitality Design Magazine and a panel moderator; Tony Chi, designer of Asiate. According to its designer, Adam Tihany, there is presently no name for the restaurant, although he said they flirted with Thomas Keller New York - TKNY - “but Donna Karan’s lawyers made some noises about that!” The Post was also intrigued by the fact that Gary Kunz’s open kitchen will occupy nearly half of the entire 180seat restaurant’s space and that it will separate diners from the extraordinary view of Central Park. Diners will have to peer through the kitchen in order to appreciate the park. “The response to the evening -from media, the industry, and civilian foodies - was incredible,” observed Zina Zimmerman, president NEWH Greater New York. “People would have asked questions all night long if we had let them! We’re seriously considering using this model for an annual restaurant preview. There are always exciting places opening in New York featuring great design and food that people want to know more about.” This restaurant model, the brainchild of Greater New York Chapter member Julie Yusarek of the Rockwell Group, included a pre-panel reception which allowed guests to view what was planned for the three restaurants. Also, NEWH President Jillian Van Dresser made a special trip to New York and started the special evening by welcoming all the guests and providing a background history of the organization and highlighted some of the exciting future plans. Gray Kunz, chef of Cafe Gray, reacting to one of Adam Tihany’s many humorous comments. 26 Photos courtesy of Amelia Panico Photography, NY

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - November 2003

NEWH - November 2003
Letter From the Editor
Hospitality News
On the Road Again... IHM&RS Show
Tips on Specs... Guestroom Lighting
Spotlight on the UK
Spotlight on Greater New York
Random Thoughts... Designing Today’s Boutique
Boutique Chain – Is It an Oxymoron?
Developing Boutique Hotels in Historic Structures
Unique Boutiques... The Story of Watertown
Approaching the Design of a Boutique Hotel
What Sets a Boutique Apart from the Rest?
Simplifying CEU’s
Small Business Advice
Industry Partner Education
Sources & Credits

NEWH - November 2003