Designer: Riscala Agnese Design Group
Just past the entry of new restaurant UpRoot in Warren, New Jersey, visitors are greeted by an abstract sculpture of an uprooted tree suspended overhead. The playful design alludes to the eatery’s heavily wooded surroundings, while expressing an overall aesthetic of “twisted sophistication.” Designed by New York–based Riscala Agnese Design Group, the 5,000-square-foot space is intended to harmonize with the kitchen’s contemporary American cuisine, which focuses on bold flavors and products sourced from small family farms. According to co-principal Fadi Riscala, the design is therefore “very simple and driven by natural elements, but refined at the same time.” The warm palette includes a cherry floor, plaid textiles, and Windsor chairs that help create a sense of intimacy, while sculptural walls patterned with white wooden pentagons and interlocking metal rings add texture. Despite the emphasis on the natural, whimsical touches abound, including a colorful, glass-walled vestibule and a bright red communal table in the semi-private dining room. The tree motif continues in the circular back room, where a custom-made chandelier descends from above, its sprawling branches and suspended bulbs capturing the modern-woodsy look.