Photos by Adrian Gaut
On the second floor of the new Fotografiska outpost in Gramercy—a branch of the Swedish photography museum—is a sumptuous new restaurant that’s quickly becoming one of the city’s most sought-after reservations. Verōnika (named after the patron saint of photography) was designed by Roman and Williams (known for their work on similarly chic Le Coucou, Upland, and La Mercerie) who worked closely with restaurateur Stephen Starr to define the space. Informed by the tradition of grand European cafés, the 150-seat restaurant is filled with elegant details and textures: soaring 20-foot ceilings, warm brass chandeliers, wood-trimmed arched doorways, velvet banquettes, and leather chairs.
Since it’s located in the historic Church Missions House—a Renaissance Revival landmark built in 1894 and recently overhauled by Cetra Ruddy—the designers had to contend with the Landmarks Preservation Committee. When they first started working, the space was “a demolished shell with inspiring structural bones,” the designers told Architectural Digest. They had to salvage all of the stained glass windows but were able to get creative with how the pieces were used. “We were required to use all of the massive stained glass windows, and the Landmark Commission loved our idea of repurposing one into a wall,” they explain, noting the panels next to the bar area. “Also, the repair of the beautiful plaster ornament around the windows was required, but something we intended to [do] anyway.”
Also in the bar area, a mystical forest mural by painter Dean Barger creates a dreamy backdrop with earthy and cyan tones that are reminiscent of early photographs. Black St. Laurent marble clads the bar while the tables in the main dining room feature Rosa Perlino marble and custom egg-shaped lights. Even the bathrooms are chic with a blend of dark red, purple, blue, and black stone.
In terms of the menu, you can expect an elevated approach to French and Eastern European cuisine, with dishes like chicken Kiev, Wiener schnitzel, escargots, and caviar. The restaurant is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and up to 11 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Lunch hours will be added soon.
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Photos by Adrian Gaut
Neighborhoods : Gramercy