Restaurant Interiors

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This morning I found myself eating breakfast at Five Leaves in Williamsburg (I took my boyfriend out for breakfast since it was his birthday). We had a lovely, lazy meal, which confirmed everything from the glowing review in The New York Times a few weeks back, including the assertion that Five Leaves may have the best coffees in the New York City (Ninth Street Espresso is also a contender in my book).

When we left we both remarked how pitch perfect the interiors were. I looked it up and according to Eater.com, "If you've been to Smith & Mills or Williamsburg's Moto, you'll immediately recognize the handiwork of designer John McCormick." We'd been to a Brooklyn Public House, a new bar/restaurant in Fort Greene this past weekend and had the exact opposite reaction. It was interesting for me to think about the difference between the two spaces and what made one so great and one so not-great.

Brooklyn Public House could have used a stronger hand to guide their decisions with the interior of the space. Nothing is glaringly wrong (except for the too-bright lighting), but it's just not quite right: The upholstery on the banquettes looks is an unappealing maroon vinyl, the tile on the floor look likes it belongs in a suburban basement, the wall sconces look like they came off the shelf at Home Depot and so on. Five Points, on the other hand, is handsome down to even the tiniest details: The rustic copper soap dispenser in the bathroom, the shockingly chic arrangements of carnations on each table and the various pieces of framed paper ephemera and art. I salute John McCormick for his success and hope that Brooklyn Public House can make some small tweaks to give their space the polish it deserves.

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