Opened in January 2007, Morimoto belongs among restaurants created to become destinations. And that's regardless of the kitchen. The interior is designed by the Japanese starchitect Tadao Ando and, after a lengthy period of flirting with the fashion business (Teatro Armani in Milan, Benetton Fabrica in Northern Italy and the yet to be completed project of Tom Ford's residence), this is his first foray into the area of gastronomy.
Ando's signature is immediately noticeable: polished concrete, brilliant play of lights, ceilings covered with white drapes of fibreglass, tables separated form each other by airily transparent screens, an open kitchen (tables in the adjoining area are the most demanded ones) - and yet the real stroke of genius is a several metres high wall of 17 400 cut glass bottles filled with water; it separates the restaurant and the basement bar, serving as a decorative object and original light installation in one. Oh yes, and don't forget TOTO, a Japanese-style toilet bowl in the loo; every first time visitor to Morimoto is in a hurry to try its countless buttons of hygiene comfort. For a complete Zen comfort - an installation with a sakura branch reaching out into the expanse of eternity...
The project cost the owner Stephen Starr, the Philadelphia shark of restaurant business (he can also boast a joint project with Karim Rashid) 12 million dollars. The speciality of Morimoto is experimental Japanese cuisine: everything, from the design of the plates to the food served on them, is a challenge to your taste buds and the traditional idea of sushi and sashimi. The clientele is one of those worth a second glance: no shortage of off-the-wall characters à la Yamamoto.
88 10th Avenue, Chelsea
Phone 1 212 989 8883
Keywords: New York, restaurant, Chelsea