Michelin-starred chef Dani García marks his return to New York with Casa Dani, a decadently designed Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant in Citizens at Manhattan West.
The fine-dining restaurant, designed by architect and interior designer David Rockwell and his team, complements Garcia’s homestyle Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine and draws guests in through a series of spaces. The journey through the restaurant follows through smaller, more intimate areas into the restaurant’s showcase – a grand, double-height sunken dining room.
A grand staircase with leather-wrapped rails leads the dramatic descent into main dining area where guests dine on classic dishes from Southern Spain, made by the master of progressive Spanish cuisine. A sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere is created through the choice of soft earthy tones, touches of greenery, and lace-inspired curtains.
“Custom lace drapery screens divide the main dining room into a series of alcoves for guests, with intimate booths, larger family-style round tables, and dining tables for two,” explains the Rockwell Group. “The mediterranean palette features light wood, warm clay plaster, tiles, and marble, while Mori pendant lights from RBW emit a lantern-like ambience throughout.”
For an unforgettable culinary experience, the design focuses on bringing the theatre of cooking to the forefront. Running along the right-hand side of the entrance space and overlooking the double-height dining room, a 30-foot-long kitchen is framed by glass and a brushed stainless steel box. This allows diners to be at the heart of it all, and it lets them experience all the innovative cooking techniques by Chef García and his team.
Anyone who wishes to sample the drinks menu can pull up a luxury, custom ivory leather stool at the sculpted L-shaped bar in the lounge area. Touches of a mediterranean material palette shine through in this space, with the teal green marble counter with fluted ceramic tiles at the bar, and in the lower dining area where there’s an open, handmade emerald green tile-clad fireplace.
“A woven rope art piece next to the bar is inspired by the fishing villages of the Andalusian region where Chef García is from,” explain the design team. “In the lounge, custom solid marble tables and custom banquettes and counter-height seating provide a variety of seating options for guests, while potted olive trees reference the region’s prized exports.”
Photography: Nikolas Koenig
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