Most conversation about the James Beard Awards naturally revolves around the honors given to chefs and restaurants. But what about the design awards? In a way, as the Sun writes today, they are the ones in which New York is truly dominant. For the second year in a row, all the design nominees are in Manhattan: the vast, sleek Morimoto, haute modern Adour, and Centovini, with its spectacular lighting. “We’ve found that the strongest restaurant designs over the years have come from New York or Los Angeles, and overwhelmingly New York,” the architect who chairs the awards committee told the Sun. Money is not as flowing as it was, and Morimoto, if it does win, may be the last behemoth to show up for a while. “I could not do this restaurant again today,” owner Stephen Starr says in the article. Which is all the more reason to give it the award — the Beard equivalent of a “pity Oscar” given to a dying star.
The last of the big-box restaurants?