Cucina Alba in Manhattan Offers Diners Seaside Vibes
Sure, there are water views from the bulging windows of Lantern House, the upscale residential tower by Thomas Heatherwick on the far west side of downtown Manhattan. But you wouldn’t call it beachy. Yet Cucina Alba, the 2,000-square-foot restaurant occupying part of the building’s ground floor, does evoke a seaside vibe, thanks to pale oak millwork, sandy-toned terrazzo flooring, lemon-yellow ceiling panels, and a run of caned-back barstools. That was GRT Architects’s response to chef Adam Leonti’s request for a “vacation Italian” setting and the restaurant’s name (alba is Italian for sunrise). Additional warmth and exuberance emanate from behind the chef’s counter, where a colorful mural covers an entire wall and a portion of the ceiling. “Overall, the feeling is fun, lighthearted, and confidently simple,” architects and GRT cofounders Tal Schori and Rustam-Marc Mehta note. Part of that confidence stems from their consistent recipe for success in their hospitality projects: The nearby Don Angie and Dallas’s Georgie by Curtis Stone have both won design awards. The firm is currently at work on Cucina Alba L.A.
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