Name: SLA
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Design: Nicemakers

With the world taking a deeper look at it's food, how we eat, and the care of our ingredients, it's always fun to see how these ideas translate into built environments. While the US is focusing on farm to table, warm woods, raw materials, and an overall emphasis on the rustic and farm-like feel, SLA has gone in an equal, but opposite direction, focusing on the greenhouse.  

The main focus in the lofted interior is the greenhouse-like structure over the counter. This large focal point directs guest to the heart of their space and to their overall concept and direction. 

Simple furniture, and a neutral palate adds freshness to the space while drawing attention to the greenery that surrounds. 

The walls showcase plants and other greenery, vintage gardening tools, and service utensils in a minimalist manner while the honey wood chairs and simple metal stools harken back to traditional greenhouse and exterior furnishings. It's always great to see how different regions interpret and showcase the similar idea of fresh, healthy eating. 

James Beard Awards 2013

Just like many others in the food industry, May 6th was spent live streaming & refreshing every social media outlet to get the play by play of the annual James Beard Awards!

While many were awarded, we are always more interested in those that deliver the full package;  great chef, great food, and well designed spaces. Take a look at a few of our favorite winners, after the jump.

*For additional photos, click the photos below.

Best Restaurant Design- under 75 seats
Name: Isa
Location: New York
Design: Taavo Somer

Best Chef in America; Midwest
Name: Stephanie Izard
Restaurant: Girl & the Goat/ Little Goat Bread

Best New Restaurant
Name: State Bird Provisions
Location: San Francisco, CA

Outstanding Chef
Name: Paul Kahan
Restaurants: Blackbird/ Avec/ Publican/ PQM

Tørst Beer Bar

Name: Tørst Beer Bar
Design: hOme

Tørst's interior should be able to get just about anyone excited about beer. With a mix of Scandinavian simplicity, geometric woodwork, and a touch of glam the space is a home for beer nerds and design nerd alike.

Keeping the material palate simple allowed for the design team to go over the top with the details. Different patterns on reclaimed wood table tops occupy each different table type while unique medallions and ceiling moldings make sure no surface is overlooked. 

I love the ombre detail and simplicity they achieved with the beers pulls as it echoes the rest of space keeping everything coherent. 

If you are a beer nerd, I highly encourage you to read more about their 'flux capacitor' that is installed under their taps. It allows them to have four different temperatures for serving and controls the nitrogen and carbon dioxide for each individual tap; ensuring the perfect pour.

All images © retaildesignblog

Town Mouse

Name: The Town Mouse
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Graphic Design: A friend of mine

Once again, a great example of typography and identity going hand in hand with restaurant design. The Town Mouse, located in Melbourne, took a simple color palate and created an interior that was relevant, fun, and modern.

The central bar allows for a multitude of activities while also providing a great amount of seating.

I love the square, gloss tiles that were used throughout the space. They create cohesion and deliver a great backdrop for the typography.

Images 1,4-7 © Broadstreet
Images 2,3 © A friend of mine


Name: Littleneck
Location: Brooklyn

Littleneck has created the perfect roadside seafood shack in the middle of Brookyln, that could cure any quick craving for the East Coast you may be having. 

 02 Littleneck Brooklyn

White washed, half paneled walls, dark worn wood furniture, ropes, bouts, and cage lights keep the space minimal with just enough touches of East Coast roadside charm. This space is successful simply because they stayed true to their concept. There is nothing over done and there was enough thought put into the space to appear intentional and cohesive with the food being served and original concept.

Photos 1, 3 @ Eater
Photo 2 @ Me So Hungry


Name: Mat Bar
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Located in Barcelona, Matbar is a great space that showcases a theme done well.
Using the concept of games, they have created an interior that is rich with details and nods to various classic games.

The paneling on the wall is detailed, provides a great amount of texture and by keeping the color of the wall and panel the same, doesn't distract from the various props placed along it. 

Using custom painted jump ropes, ping pong paddles, hockey sticks, and tennis balls adds a nod back to the overall theme or concept of the space while keeping the interior whimsy and fun.

Image 1 © Miniguide
Image 2-6 © Petite Passport

Local Favorite; Little Goat Bread

Name: Little Goat Bread
Location: Chicago, IL

The newest venture from local favorite, Stephanie Izard, is a diner meets bakery located just across the street from her acclaimed restaurant Girl & the Goat. 

While the diner is not quite open, the bread and coffee spot is and it definitely did not disappoint. 

Using classic elements like Carrera marble and subway tiles, the small space is balanced by barn wood, industrial fixtures, and vintage displays.

It's the little details that truly make the interior shine. From framing the coffee board menu in tile to the textured and undercounter-lit bar front, the space remains classic while still a bit unexpected.

Photos 2,7 © Eater Chicago
Photos 1, 3-6 © The Chicago Tribune

Local Favorite; Embeya

Name: Embeya
Location: Chicago, IL

One of the newest spots on Randolph Street is the highly regarded Embeya. Focusing on modern Asian cuisine with french technique, the interior corresponds well with the food presented.

Using large geometric screens and different seating groups divides up the rather large space making it more manageable to take in.
The center of the space is flanked with a large, upholstered banquette flanked by large wood community tables. 

Lighting within the space also plays homage to the sea inspired cuisine and contrasts the oak floors. The entry into the space features sea urchin inspired pendants while the community table near the rear features custom glass chandeliers with a very organic and sea like quality.

All photos © Embeya

Loveat Jaffa Cafe

Name: Loveat Jaffa Cafe
Location: Tel Aviv
Design: Studio Ronen Levin/ Eran Chehanowitz

Located in a renovated hanger in what was once, an orange packaging plant, Loveat seeks to be an organic coffee break. Designed with the buildings history in mind, the space is laid out into multiple boxes and stacked, just like cargo about to leave the facility would have been.

Loveat Jaffa by Studio Ronen Levin and Eran Chehanowitz

Materials used through much of the space include metal wire mesh, wood, and heavy work shirts which all tie back to the factory idea.

The pop of yellow throughout the space adds a touch of freshness and energy and allows the space a feeling of  'we dont take ourselves too seriously'.

 The kitchen in the space holds true to the initially idea of designing in boxes and resides inside of a converted shipping crate.

All photos © Dezeen / Loveat

Workshop Coffee Co.

Name: Workshop Coffee Co
Location: Clerkenwell, London

The Workshop Coffee Co., London

Workshop Coffee Co juggles multiple hats and does it seemingly well. As a roaster, cafe, and restaurant multiple functions have to happen throughout the space all requiring their own needs in terms of design.

The open, central bar creates unity and breaks up the dining space, allowing it to serve both at night but all for the quick cop of coffee or lunch date throughout the day.

Utilizing the existing brick and exposed duct work brings in an urban industrial element while the reclaimed and distressed wood tables add a hand-crafted layer to the space.

Image 2 © Londontown
Image 4, 5 © Unknown