Chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud has added another restaurant to his lineup, Boulud Sud, steps away from Lincoln Center and adjacent to two other Boulud eateries—Bar Boulud and the take-away café Epicerie Boulud. Boulud Sud opened in May, serving Mediterranean cuisine with a French twist.
For the restaurant’s interiors, Thomas Schlesser of Design Bureaux (who also designed Bar Boloud) took inspiration from traditional brasseries and French Mediterranean architecture as well as mid-century modern interiors—nodding to spaces by Le Corbusier and furnishings by Eileen Gray and Pierre Jeanerette. Barrel-vaulted ceilings span terrazzo floors and materials like blond pear wood, frosted glass, zinc, and a cool color palette of yellows, grays, and browns. “I referenced the spirit of the Côte d’Azur and came up with a vocabulary of form and space that looks back at paintings by Le Corbusier and Fernand Légèr and has foundations in pure architectonic forms that capture the spirit of the Mediterranean,” says Schlesser. A selection of photographs from Vik Muniz’s Pictures of Pigment series—works inspired by French impressionists such as Matisse and Van Gogh—line the walls, adding a warm radiance to the wood panels.
Schlesser’s airy and elegant open-plan design for the 4,000 square foot space includes an open kitchen, a bar at the front, and seating for 120 in the main dining room. Perhaps the most striking element is the vaulted ceiling Schlessler chose to include a series of extruded shell vaults, an element he also incorporated into Bar Boulud next door. Framed by three floor-to-ceiling windows, their curves echo the arches at Wallace Harrison’s Metropolitan Opera House, just across the street.