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Design team produces rare treat at new steakhouse.

Icrave has redefined the American steakhouse experience with the debut of STK, the latest restaurant from the owners of One Little West 12th, located in the heart of the Meatpacking District.

In creating STK, the New York-based design studio Icrave took their greatest inspiration from the world of theater, specifically, from the starkly lit set designs of Robert Wilson.

In the dining area, for example, theatrical barn-door lights drop a soft spot of light onto each table, illuminating parties of diners, while bubbles of light sparkle in the darkness overhead.

"High-contrast lighting sets a theatrical tone to the space, and enables the restaurant to shift guests' attention from one feature to another, from visit to visit, or even within one evening," explained Icrave principal Siobhan Barry. An added bonus of the soft spotlights on the patrons, Siobhan points out, is "they make each person feel like a star."

Not only has Icrave blended two concepts into one with STK--the modern New York steakhouse with a downtown lounge--but they have broken from convention altogether in the design of the restaurant.

For example, the cozy hearth that has been a steakhouse staple for generations is reinterpreted in a 10-foot tall lavender-glass fireplace, while traditional cattle horns have been reborn in a white flowing horn-like sculpture that emerges from above the bar. "These are metaphors for what you normally see in a steakhouse," said Icrave founder Lionel Ohayon. "We've broken down the barriers of a normal steakhouse and lost the overly masculine vibe that has long been the trademark of the genre."

With its sultry, sleek decor, STK is both sensual and welcoming. The main floor, consisting of 3,300 s/f, features a large central lounge furnished with creamy leather banquettes, textured crocodile tiles and custom glass wails. The space is studded in varying hues of purple, and incorporates exotic woods and other natural materials.

To encourage interactions among guests, casual open seating is equally comfortable as a meeting spot for after-work drinks as for an informal meal, smoky mirrors allow patrons to catch glimpses of each other and a catwalk sneaks between banquettes providing space for impromptu encounters.

"We used wood for warmth, glass and mirror for opportunities to catch leathers and skins for a soft feel on surfaces people will touch, aud points of light for contrast and sparkle," said Ohayon.

STK's main dining room has seating for up to 200. The second floor features private dining rooms named for famous burlesque stars, such as "The Tempest Storm" (with seating for 70), "The Betty Page" (with seating for 20), "The DO May" (with seating for 20), and "The Mabel Saintley" (with seating for 40).

These rooms provide the perfect setting for private parties or corporate and special events. Also on the second floor are a boudoir, champagne rooms--two rooms connected by double doors that can be rented separately or joined for larger parties, and a clubroom.

In addition to the entire restaurant, Icrave designed the nightclub/lounge Tenjune, which is located below the restaurant on the basement level. Both STK and Tenjune were built by Ohayon and Desarno Construction Management, specialists in commercial hospitality and retail construction.

The signature steakhouse fare will likewise be reinterpreted with a modem twist, featuring organic cuisine that will appeal to the young sexy market as well as the established New York diner. Upon seating, diners will be presented with a selection of assorted shellfish and STK skewers to begin the meal. Steak will be the main attraction at STK, but the menu will feature a selection of Petits, Mids, and Big Boys to appeal to all appetites.
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Title Annotation:SPECIAL REPORT: ARCHITECTURE WEEK
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 4, 2006
Words:603
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