British fashion designer Nicole Farhi has added a new notch to her belt: a 20,000-square-foot flagship building in Manhattan, which houses her retail store and, on the lower level, Nicole's restaurant and bar. The dining spot is the second in the designer's collection; her original flagship store and restaurant opened in 1994 on London's Bond Street.
Opened in mid-September, Farhi's latest venture takes over the 1901 landmark building that was once home to the Copacabana nightclub. Executive chef Annie Wayte, previously of Farhi's London location, and Anna Kovel of Chez Panisse preside over the kitchen. "We aimed for the eclectic category" of cuisine, said Barrie Olsen, spokeswoman for Nicole's. "We call it 'modern Mediterranean.'"
Entrees include grilled veal chop with chanterelle and potato gratin, lemon and cumin chicken with spicy Moroccan salad, and grilled scallop skewer with warm lentil salad and pancetta. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $32. The restaurant even offers afternoon tea, with a selection of tarts, cookies and muffins.
The 60-wine list, which is currently being revised, includes bottles from Alsace, Spain, Burgundy, the Loire Valley and California's Sonoma region. About 15 selections are available by the glass, including Wild Horse Pinot Noir 1997 ($12), Leon Beyer Riesling 1997 ($8) and Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV ($16). Also featured are dessert wines, brandies, Cognacs, Calvados, grappas, Sherries and Ports.
Designed by New York-based architect Michael Gabellini, the 120-seat restaurant uses lighting as a major design element to evoke different moods from diners and shoppers alike. Among the unique features are an open kitchen that can be seen behind illuminated glass and a luminescent 30-foot communal table.
"The light and modern decor are designed to make you feel like you're floating," said Olsen. "When you walk into the store, you walk immediately onto a bridge. Shoppers can gaze down onto the restaurant, and diners can look up to see the comings and goings of the store."
10 East 60th St.
New York, N.Y. 10022
Telephone: (212) 223-2288
Open: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, Monday through Saturday
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions