These 15 venues, from San Francisco to St. Moritz, New York to Athens, set a new bar for what a dining and drinking experience can be.
The debut of L.A.’s Vespertine, in October, ignited a fierce debate inside the culinary world about excess and conceptual overreach. “The synergy of setting and sensory delights recalls the fully realized sets of Westworld and Her,” is how our writer described a meal there. The boundaries of dining continued to expand into new realms this year. At barman Ryan Chetiyawardana’s and chef Doug McMaster’s London collaboration, The Cub, the line between food and drink is blurred altogether. Sometimes all it takes is a new gloss to recapture diminishing relevance, which is why we enjoyed the influx of storied restaurants showing off major facelifts this year. A few of our favorites: Maison du Danemark’s dual-concept remake in Paris, the resurrection of a legendary 1930s Athens café, and the relocation of the original Nobu in Manhattan to a stunning Neoclassical space in the Financial District. Finally, either we’re drinking more or bar design is becoming increasingly enlightened. Home Studios’ sophisticated take on an Irish pub and a Blade Runner-esque scotch den by Avroko are proof of that. Here, our all-encompassing look at the most stylish restaurant and bar designs of 2017.
Cold Drinks – A Cocktail Bar Where Blade Runner Meets Frank Lloyd Wright
Located in a massive Asian marketplace, San Francisco’s Cold Drinks pays homage to the sci-fi classic, Wright’s Ennis House, and Shanghai’s golden age.
If you feel slightly unsettled among the velvet divans and concrete tiles at Cold Drinks, that’s the point. Avroko principal Adam Farmerie hopes the moody scotch den inside San Francisco’s mammoth new China Live complex makes you feel “drunk with a slightly nostalgic sense of déjà vu—somewhere between a Shanghai film noir and Blade Runner,” he says of the firm’s art deco take on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, which appears in the Ridley Scott film. For inspiration for the bar’s discreet brass, leather, and lucite aesthetic, the team also trekked to Shanghai, soaking up the sepia-toned energy of the French Concession’s Bar Constellation. Of the two, Cold Drinks is the most suited to debauchery. Just don’t order too many of the $52 Rob Roys, or your hangover will be as heavy as your tab. – Surface (12.18.17)