07. Mehtaphor | The Restaurant Guide 2012
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
By Lawrence Karol
Great food and great design don’t always go hand in hand—but they should. From a small pizza joint in New York City to a massive art-infused former factory in Sydney, these amazing spaces will sate your appetite for both wonderfully-prepared dishes and creative interiors.
New York, NY
The moniker “Mehtaphor” might be a play on chef Jehangir Mehta’s last name, but it could also be perceived as a reference to the restaurant’s design. Creative Directors Vennie Lau and Paul Vega, of VLDG Inc., were inspired by Mehta’s idea that the restaurant feel like it was his apartment, and guests were coming over for an intimate dinner at his place. Lau and Vega chose furniture and accessories that mix together diverse elements such as metal, leather, and burlap. “All the pieces are complimentary, but not uniform, just as many people’s homes are filled with a variety of furniture and artwork that they’ve acquired over time,” Vega says. The restaurant is located inside the Duane Street Hotel, which Vega also designed.
My favorite reference to the aspects of a private residence is the deconstructed chandelier. Since the small space couldn’t handle a large fixture, Lau came up with the idea of dissecting a chandelier and hanging bits of it along one side of the restaurant. It provides a quiet bit of elegance and sparkle that balances out other rough textures, like the wood floors and tabletops. And in a well appointed “home” like this, I’ll definitely be a guest of Jehangir again.
FOOD: Indian-Asian fusion
DON'T MISS DISH: I’m not a vegetarian, but the Vegetable Dumpling Chaat could be the dish that converts me.