Jean-Georges by Neri & Hu: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Fine Dining
Lightening and brightening classic French cuisine, Jean-Georges Vongerichten gained fame. The chef asked Interior Design Hall of Fame members Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu for a similar approach when the time came to update this restaurant in a British colonial landmark on the riverfront Bund. As with any good dish, success would depend on the best ingredients. First, an excellent stock—prepared with 1916 beaux arts bones. “We respectfully renewed the original plaster moldings and cornices,” Neri says. They were even re-created in places. Demolition revealed Doric columns, supporting arched doorways, and their mottled patina lends an earthy crunch to the creamy rooms.
Heritage windows frame river and skyline views, also found reflected in antiqued mirror etched with texts from French philosophers. Partitions in gradient glass, framed with brass, define the bar and lounge, show kitchen, and private dining rooms. Marble, travertine, and enamel all make appearances.
This was the first refresh of the 9,200-square-foot restaurant since it was completed in 2004 by Neri and Hu’s mentor and employer at the time, Hall of Fame member Michael Graves. In fact, they worked on the project. “That made it imperative for us to pay homage to the past while looking to the future,” Hu says. A recipe that’s nothing short of delicious.
Project Team: Laurent Tek; Jacqueline Min; Briar Hickling; Qi Xiaofeng; Alfie Huang; Daisy Yuan; Cindy Sun; Haiou Xin; Poeng Litien; Brian Lo; Chen Xiaowen; Li Ximi; Zhao Yun.