Dezeen Magazine

Screen behind the bar at Zaytinya

Zaytinya NYC restaurant by Rockwell Group "transports" diners to the Mediterranean

Blue glass discs, hand-painted linen pendants and ombre curtains were combined by design studio Rockwell Group to evoke the Mediterranean coast at this restaurant in New York City.

Zaytinya opened in July 2022 inside the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Manhattan's NoMad district, housed within a tower designed by Rafael Viñoly.

Two-toned blue glass discs
Zaytinya's interior features a screen of two-toned blue discs behind the bar

Located on the ground floor, the all-day restaurant occupies a 3,000-square-foot (280-square-metre) wedge at the corner of the hotel, facing onto 28th Street and Broadway.

The interiors by New York-based Rockwell Group were designed to echo the menu created by chef José Andrés, which combines mezze-style dishes influenced by Turkish, Greek, Lebanese and Italian cuisines.

View looking out to the street
The restaurant benefits from high ceilings and full-height glazing

This Eastern Mediterranean flavour is echoed across the light and neutral space, which benefits from high ceilings and full-height glass along two walls.

Entering from Broadway, diners are greeted by a custom mural painted in blues that recalls vistas of the Aegean sea.

Wide view of restaurant interior facing arched mirrors
The interior has a neutral palette injected with hints of blue

The same cobalt colour can be found on leather banquette seats and the patterned fabrics used for their backs, as well as in the ombre linen curtains that gently blend to white from the bottom upward.

"Distinctive pops of blue are injected throughout for a playful nod to the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Islands," said Rockwell Group.

Arched openings and tambour walls
Arched openings and tambour walls allude to ancient Greek and Roman architecture

Behind the bar is a backlit screen comprising two-toned blue glass discs based on the Greek "evil eye" talisman, housed within a frame that curves towards the ceiling.

Blue Lavastone forms the bar counter, while the surrounding floor tiles feature an abstract motif of olives and leaves.

Overhead view of table and banquette
Other splashes of blue include leather banquette seat and ombre curtains

The remainder of the flooring is wood, laid in chevron patterns in rows divided by lines of blue tiles that follow beams installed across the ceiling.

Curved and arched elements were introduced to subtly divide the dining areas, and as a nod to ancient architecture.

Sections of the walls feature tambour details, also alluding to the fluting of Greek and Roman columns, and a neutral plaster effect is applied to others.

"Soft curves and a variety of textures transport guests to a modern abstraction of the coast," the studio said.

Booth seating along the wall
Booth seating runs along a wall of bronze-toned mirrors

Pendant lamps in a variety of shapes and sizes are illustrated with scenes drawn by Rockwell Group's graphics team, which were hand-painted onto the linen shades by The Alpha Workshops – a non-profit dedicated to arts education based nearby.

"The line drawings celebrate Mediterranean culture, its harvests and ancient arts," said Rockwell Group.

Hand-painted linen pendant lamps
Linen lampshades were hand-painted by arts non-profit The Alpha Workshops

Zaytinya is the latest of several restaurant interiors completed by the firm, founded by architect David Rockwell, in New York City.

Earlier this year, the studio's Spanish-influenced Casa Dani opened in the Citizens food hall at Manhattan West, closely followed by sushi spot Katsuya in the same development.

The photography is by Jason Varney.

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