Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market Restaurant in New York City has become a staple in the Meatpacking District not only for its wonderful Southeast Asian menu but its exotic and grand design, curated by Jacques Garcia.
The celebrated chef collaborated with designer Jacques Garcia to create a transporting interior of Eastern exotica. A valuable collection of artifacts were imported from Rajastan, South India, Burma and Malaysia to transform the airy two-level space, including antique wall carvings, screens and pagodas. Custom-made colonial style furniture appointed with white leather is mixed with Oriental period pieces such as wooden Thai and Chinese porcelain garden stools. Plush embroidered curtains made of French fabric from Lelievre, upbeat ambient music and the soft, mood-enhancing glow of Herves Descottes’ lighting complete an Oriental cocoon worlds away from the neighborhood’s bustle. A rich color palette of violets, indigos, ochres and deep reds balance the former warehouse’s raw timber beams and teak floors from a 200-year-old Bombay palace.
Inspired by the street food, Mr. Vongerichten enjoyed while traveling in Southeast Asia, Spice Market’s menu authentically uplifts its inspirations while offering guests the additional delight of family-style dining – food comes continuously throughout the meal and is placed at the center of table for all to share. With each new dish, patrons are transported to the idealization of a Vietnamese street market or a Thai food stall. Regional fish sauces, curries and spices are tweaked to tantalizing effect in dishes like chicken samosas with cilantro-infused yogurt, a vinegar-infused pork vindaloo and halibut cha ca la vong.
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