GRT


ARCHITECTS

NEWS NEWS PROJECTS ABOUT

Leonti
Click for project description
Entry on W. 77th St.
Entry Stair
Handrail & Stonework Details
Dining Room
Dining Booth
Dining Room
Dining Room
Bar View
Handrail & Stonework Details
Floor Plan

Entry on W. 77th St.
Entry Stair
Handrail & Stonework Details
Dining Room
Dining Booth
Dining Room
Dining Room
Bar View
Handrail & Stonework Details
Floor Plan

Leonti, 2018
New York, NY

After stints in Philadelphia, Berlin, and Bergamo, Chef Adam Leonti approached GRT Architects to help plan his highly anticipated return to the New York food scene. We immediately understood we were speaking to a client who knew what he wanted. What will you cook? North Italian classics, perfected not reinvented. What should the room feel like? Stepping into a Slim Aarons photograph. And what will it be called? Leonti. Quite clear, we can work with this. Oh, and it needs to be completed in four months. With this charge we set to work, quickly.

The space is within a residential building in the landmarked Upper West Side Historic District. It did not immediately seem a natural fit for a restaurant. Directly inside an arched front door is a modest landing followed by a half flight of stairs. This entry forms one leg of a Y-shaped floorplan, with the only possible location for the bar in the other leg. The spaces’ remoteness from each other contravenes an instinct to lead with the liveliest space in the house. The impossibility of doing so led us to pause and consider the sequence of arrival. A well-timed trip to Milan and Turin proved to be the right place for consideration. We went seeking inspiration from bars and restaurants but were most taken by the entrances to residential buildings. Native to northern Italy, the deeply considered ingressi gesture to the street in a manner that is both generous and imposing, with a density of design and material exuberance that is undeniable.

In this spirit we conceived the entrance to Leonti as a place to slow down and celebrate the transition from the street to another world. A tall velvet curtain in rhythmic olive and umber bands sets a chromatic theme, carried forward by a floor striped in polished Verdi Alpi and Rosso Verona. The predominantly rectilinear floor pattern curves to embrace the stanchions of an expressive railing executed in thin bands of polished stainless steel.

At the top of the stair a host in a navy suit receives guests at a rounded stand clad in American walnut. A nine foot disc of Portoro marble forms a knuckle between the restaurant’s three rooms and moods – entry, dining room and bar. The bar was conceived as an amenity to the dining room, an antechamber for an aperetivo or a retreat for an amaro. This space blends motifs from its neighbors, featuring the contrasting marble floor from the entry and the low hung lighting and rich upholstery from the dining room.

Stepping from the marble medallion into the dining room is to enter an altogether more intimate space marked by a haptic and acoustic softening. A warm grey carpet was chosen for its shimmer and luxurious feel underfoot. Chef Leonti selected exquisite and colorful table service from Richard Ginori, so we aimed to keep the room simple, to focus on quality without being stiff. Vico Magistretti’s 1964 Chair 901 in walnut and red saddle leather was used throughout. Banquettes are upholstered in a similar red leather, backed in patterned fabric by American modernist Alexander Girard. Pendants in polished nickel and smoked glass by Roll & Hill create an elegant atmosphere, complemented by Baccarat crystal candle holders. Generous round tables were laid out to keep conversations private and facilitate the chef’s table-craft. Thick linen table cloths, velvet curtains and the dense pile carpet all contribute to the perceived and actual softness of the room. All told, eighty can be served in the twelve hundred square foot dining room.

The greatest luxury in Manhattan may be space and quiet.

Photographs: Eric Petschek

Leonti, 2018
New York, NY

After stints in Philadelphia, Berlin, and Bergamo, Chef Adam Leonti approached GRT Architects to help plan his highly anticipated return to the New York food scene. We immediately understood we were speaking to a client who knew what he wanted. What will you cook? North Italian classics, perfected not reinvented. What should the room feel like? Stepping into a Slim Aarons photograph. And what will it be called? Leonti. Quite clear, we can work with this. Oh, and it needs to be completed in four months. With this charge we set to work, quickly.

The space is within a residential building in the landmarked Upper West Side Historic District. It did not immediately seem a natural fit for a restaurant. Directly inside an arched front door is a modest landing followed by a half flight of stairs. This entry forms one leg of a Y-shaped floorplan, with the only possible location for the bar in the other leg. The spaces’ remoteness from each other contravenes an instinct to lead with the liveliest space in the house. The impossibility of doing so led us to pause and consider the sequence of arrival. A well-timed trip to Milan and Turin proved to be the right place for consideration. We went seeking inspiration from bars and restaurants but were most taken by the entrances to residential buildings. Native to northern Italy, the deeply considered ingressi gesture to the street in a manner that is both generous and imposing, with a density of design and material exuberance that is undeniable.

In this spirit we conceived the entrance to Leonti as a place to slow down and celebrate the transition from the street to another world. A tall velvet curtain in rhythmic olive and umber bands sets a chromatic theme, carried forward by a floor striped in polished Verdi Alpi and Rosso Verona. The predominantly rectilinear floor pattern curves to embrace the stanchions of an expressive railing executed in thin bands of polished stainless steel.

At the top of the stair a host in a navy suit receives guests at a rounded stand clad in American walnut. A nine foot disc of Portoro marble forms a knuckle between the restaurant’s three rooms and moods – entry, dining room and bar. The bar was conceived as an amenity to the dining room, an antechamber for an aperetivo or a retreat for an amaro. This space blends motifs from its neighbors, featuring the contrasting marble floor from the entry and the low hung lighting and rich upholstery from the dining room.

Stepping from the marble medallion into the dining room is to enter an altogether more intimate space marked by a haptic and acoustic softening. A warm grey carpet was chosen for its shimmer and luxurious feel underfoot. Chef Leonti selected exquisite and colorful table service from Richard Ginori, so we aimed to keep the room simple, to focus on quality without being stiff. Vico Magistretti’s 1964 Chair 901 in walnut and red saddle leather was used throughout. Banquettes are upholstered in a similar red leather, backed in patterned fabric by American modernist Alexander Girard. Pendants in polished nickel and smoked glass by Roll & Hill create an elegant atmosphere, complemented by Baccarat crystal candle holders. Generous round tables were laid out to keep conversations private and facilitate the chef’s table-craft. Thick linen table cloths, velvet curtains and the dense pile carpet all contribute to the perceived and actual softness of the room. All told, eighty can be served in the twelve hundred square foot dining room.

The greatest luxury in Manhattan may be space and quiet.

Photographs: Eric Petschek

Back to top   ↑