The restaurateur is a front-runner in the Outstanding Restaurant Design category:
Perhaps no movement in dining design is more evident to the average New York diner than the rise of the mega-restaurant, epitomized by the gargantuan spaces found on Tenth Avenue, including restaurateur Stephen Starr’s Morimoto — named for chef Masaharu Morimoto.
Glass walls that begin upstairs in Morimoto appear to continue on the basement level. Bathroom stalls are equipped with mirrors tricked out to show infinite reflections of suspended flowers. An undulating canvas ceiling in the dining room is meant to evoke the rakings in a Japanese Zen sandbox. Even Morimoto’s designer Tadao Ando — a vaunted Japanese architect — is a big deal.
Morimoto also signifies restaurant design’s current willingness to play with light and technology. The space’s most famous aspect is arguably a room-dividing wall of 15,000 clear plastic Ty Nant water bottles, backlit in shades of pale blue and green by hundreds of LED lights.
New York’s James Beard Design Nominees [New York Sun]