well lit dining area meant for large groups
Photography by Double Space.

6 Restaurants and Bars That Inspire Appetites and Awe

Across the Americas, from Canada to Argentina, a fresh crop of restaurants and bars is serving up truly innovative F&B design.

Feast on Design at These Stunning Restaurants, From Canada To Argentina

Monman Coffee House by Arkylab

The choice of materials and construc­tion methods was crucial in minimizing the ecological footprint of this ground­-up build—a 5,275­-square­-foot, two ­level café in Aguascalientes, Mexico—while delivering big aesthetic dividends. A wall of compacted earth excavated on­site encloses the lot, forming an enclave comprising a coffee bar, kitchen, seating area, and perimeter garden; a wood­-clad steel frame covers the mezzanine above, creating another plant­-filled seating area with a semi­-enclosed terrace—the perfect spot to savor the café del día.

Yingtao by Glen & Company

It’s all in this intimate, 45 ­seat Chinese restaurant’s moniker, which not only means cherry in Mandarin but is also the name of the proprietor’s grandmother, whose mosaic portrait graces one wall. The fruit lends its red hue—a highly auspicious color in Chinese culture—to accents throughout the 1,800-square­-foot space in New York, which is mostly finished in glossy black that, paradoxically, feels light and bright, with gold elements adding further animation. Cherry trees also appear etched onto mirrors, but patrons can enjoy real flora in the charming rear garden. 

Cocody by Nina Magon Studio/Winn Wittman Architecture

The French ­inspired cuisine in the 6,600­-square­-foot, 72­-table restaurant in Houston gets a French ­inspired setting—one evoking the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, specifically, down to an outdoor dining patio—that features a gold­ and ­pink palette overlaid with polished­ metal elements, including mirrored champagne brass–accented arches and a golden horseshoe-­shape bar. Other curved surfaces, finished in Venetian plaster and backlit marble, abound, while more than 5,000 concealed light sources create a glamorous ambience. In the lounge, custom wallpaper offers a cheekily eroticized depiction of another Parisian grande dame: the Mona Lisa. 

Wayland Brewing Company by Abstract Architecture/West End Interiors

Led by Wayland owner Caryn Dujanovich, the teams created a buzzy new beer ­lovers destination by renovating two structures, including an historic 1806 house, and adding a new building—20,000 square feet in total—that encompass a brewery, tap room and restaurant, an event hall, shop, beer garden, and bocce court. The F&B facilities occupy a vast greenhouse­ inspired space in Orchard Park, New York, with a decidedly Nordic aesthetic that boasts a ton of natural light, raw cedar–clad ceilings, custom white­ oak furniture, and a long bar clad in exuberant, jade­ green tile, just like the restroom walls. 

Moretti Gin Bar by Grizzo Studio

The first watering hole for a micro-­distillery gin brand in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 320­square­ foot sliver of a corner bar serves the liquor on tap. The burnished ­copper stills essential to the distillation process provided design cues, the metal’s hue appearing on the bar front and in the pigmented­ resin countertop embedded with scrap copper shavings. Polished­ steel elements behind the bar suggest the lab-like conditions gin is made under, while slabs of rough white concrete, also flecked with copper shav­ings, offer textural variety, like a well-balanced cocktail.

Lee Restaurant by Best Gable Design/Futurestudio

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the acclaimed Toronto eatery relocated to a 6,000 ­square ­foot site in the historic Waterworks building. The design firms, which included chef­ owner Susur Lee’s wife Brenda Bent’s studio, turned a bare concrete box into a warm 300­seat dining room by installing walnut paneling and millwork, wrapping large structural columns in sisal carpeting, commissioning a sculptural host station from artist Echo Electra, and hanging an array of velvet­ patchwork banners, including an enormous one that spans the room to separate space for private events. 

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