Avra Madison — New York, USA
The second location of Tao Group’s upscale Greek restaurant has just been unveiled on Madison Avenue with interiors by the Rockwell Group. To complement executive chef Ralph Scamardella’s fish soup, mussels spiked with ouzo, and delicate octopus carpaccio, the two-floor space has been designed to evoke the refined but rustic atmosphere of a seaside villa you might happen upon in Santorini or Mykonos — starting with the two lemon trees standing eight-feet tall by the entrance.
Inside, the blanched colour palette of white oak, Dolomiti white marble, and oil-rubbed bronze, combine with even more foliage and a stunning skylight to deliver an airy ambience that effectively transports diners out of the manic, cramped streets of Manhattan. The main dining room has been decorated with amphoras, washed columns, and a salt crystal and raw cement sculpture (custom-commissioned from Brooklyn-based artist Fernando Mastrangelo), all of which reinforce the Greek holiday fantasy. Cream-coloured banquettes, hand-blown seeded glass chandelier by the Rockwell Group, and pendant lighting designed by Ingo Maurer add contemporary glamour to the space while the ground-floor reflecting pool recalls the iconic, recently closed Four Seasons — a stylish reminder that you are still in the Big Apple.