New Restaurant Launches at the Guggenheim Museum

. December 9, 2009 . 0 Comments

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building, The Wright, New York City’s newest restaurant, opens to the public on December 11, in the famed museum. Named in honor of the great American architect, the intimate Upper East Side destination is located in an elegant and modern architectural space that is sure to dazzle trendsetters, fine diners, art lovers, and world travelers. Additionally, a site-specific sculpture by British artist Liam Gillick was commissioned for the space, creating a truly unique dining experience.

The Wright embraces the cosmopolitan excitement of today’s New York. Designed in white by architect Andre Kikoski—who was inspired by the original Wright museum design—the restaurant decor is contemporary and chic. A modern American menu created by David Bouley protégé, Rodolfo Contreras, emphasizes seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients, appealing to savvy palates of New Yorkers and discerning travelers from around the globe. The Wright promises to become a “must-see” destination.

The Wright combines an upscale atmosphere with a sleek, modern, and comfortable venue, comprising 58 seats and a communal table where guests can enjoy a full-service menu. A casual, European-style bar that features small plates, panini sandwiches, espresso, and cocktails serves as a lively focal point of the space.

“Inspired by and created within an institution renowned for its art, architecture and innovation, The Wright will extend that experience to its food and service,” said Aaron Breitman, director of the new restaurant. “The Wright will appeal to neighbors seeking stylish and sophisticated dining as well as visitors who want to experience the thrill of New York in one of the city’s greatest cultural treasures.”

The Dining Experience
Signature menu items created by executive chef Rodolfo Contreras include: Seared Diver Scallops, Gently Cooked Shrimp, Lump Crab Meat, Sea Urchin Sauce; The Wright Salad, Green Market Vegetables, Gently Cooked Egg Truffle; Maine Lobster, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Marcona Almonds, Clementine Sauce; Slow Roasted Suckling Pig, Quince, Violet Mustard, Apple Bacon Jus; and Spiced Pumpkin & Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Sauce, Pumpkin Seed Oil Ice Cream.

Located in the landmark Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue at 88th Street, The Wright is open during the following times:

Lunch: 11:30 am–3:30 pm, Friday–Wednesday
Sunday Brunch: 11 am–5 pm, Sunday
Bar Menu: 11:30 am–5 pm, Friday–Wednesday
Dinner: 5:30–11:00 pm Thursday–Saturday, starting in January 2010

The Design
The Wright at the Guggenheim is designed by Andre Kikoski Architect, a Manhattan-based architecture and design firm named one of “The New Garde of Ten Designers to Watch” by New York magazine.

The 1,600-square-foot space features a curvilinear wall of walnut, layered with illuminated fiber-optics, a bar clad in a shimmering skin of innovative custom metalwork and topped in seamless white Corian, a sweeping banquette with vivid blue leather seating backed by illuminated planes of a woven gray texture, and a layered ceiling canopy of taut white membrane.

Andre Kikoski Architect’s design philosophy for The Wright engages the heightened sense of procession that is essential to the experience of the Guggenheim and the dynamic perception of art that it fosters. Surfaces and textures are animated by movement, creating an ever-changing fluid aesthetic that is an essential part of the design.

The Art
In summer 2009, the Guggenheim commissioned British-born artist Liam Gillick (b. 1964) to develop a sculptural installation for The Wright. Gillick navigates across a broad range of disciplines, developing his ideas through texts as well as object-based installations. His commissioned work, The horizon produced by a factory once it had stopped producing views (2009), traces the restaurant’s distinct architectural space. Conceived as a sculpture that can be expanded or contracted to fit any designated space, this piece comprises a sequence of horizontal planks of powder-coated aluminum mounted to the walls and ceiling; a similarly constructed transparent screen marks the entrance to site. The resulting room-size installation creates a modular skin on the interior’s surface, its parallel beams meant to be understood, according to the artist, as “a series of horizons.”

The horizon reflects Gillick’s interest in “modes of production rather than consumption” and is part of an ongoing narrative begun in 2004 that centers on a future post-capitalist society. With this work, Gillick invokes the horizontal vista as a space where visitors can reflect and discuss how the built environment structures and patterns everyday lives.

The horizon produced by a factory once it had stopped producing views (2009) was purchased with funds contributed by Restaurant Associates and the International Directors Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and is a partial gift of Casey Kaplan and the artist.

Category: Museum News

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