The interior of Menton is designed to reflect Chef Barbara Lynch’s food: beautifully crafted, sophisticated, rooted in tradition yet up-to-the-minute, experiential, nuanced, and convivial. Like the food and the wine, diners will find surprises and detours in the interior that is, like Chef’s food, elegant, honest and delightful.
Dinner at Menton is highly choreographed. Likewise, this is how we imagined the choreography of the space that would complement the dining experience:
Arriving at Menton guests are drawn towards the warm glow of the windows half a flight above Congress Street. Leaving their car with the valet, guests ascend the under lighted staircase and arrive at the metallic porcelain lined vestibule.
Entering the reception area a stainless steel chainmail curtain serves as a backdrop to a Murano glass chandelier that hangs above a silver leather reception desk with a black lace phyllite countertop.
Continuing into the lounge for drinks, guests recline on sofas. There, as if in a living room—with antique carpets from Iran, French ceramic wall brackets, whitewashed root tables, silk velvet pillows, and a mid-century “baroque” lamp—guests sip perfect cocktails before dinner. Along one wall of the lounge is a console with a blackened steel top, antique baluster legs, and a mustard-green silk runner with black tassel trim. Giacometti-inspired bronze lamps light the guest book. A sculptural object fashioned from stacked crown molding and lit from within by an English crystal chandelier separates the lounge from the dining room.
As guests enter the main dining room they are greeted with a room clad in Italian wood veneer, traditional black slat-back chairs, silver banquettes, natural linen and white cotton table cloths, serpentine service stations, and machined aluminum lighting peeking out of slots in the ceiling. Paintings by Matt McClune, a former No. 9 Park bartender now living and working in France, grace the walls. Sconces made in Brooklyn and hand painted 19th century reproduction French garden mural wallpaper line the walls of the back hall that leads to the private dining room.
Peering into the kitchen through the service proscenium, guests see marble mosaic floors, blackened steel trim, and Fornasetti “malachite” wallpaper. The kitchen has a stainless steel Molteni cooking suite, bisquit subway tile, white Corian counters, and large windows. A glass wall at the back of the kitchen encloses the chef’s table. From within a room that has a banquette that runs the length of it, and a sound system that can be programmed separately from the main space, guests are invited to view the kitchen wizardry from ring-side seats.
As we design projects, we like to make a list of words that describe what we’re after. In the case of Menton, we chose words that would also describe Chef Lynch’s food: glamorous, smart, sexy, eclectic, modern, elegant, comfortable, beautiful, delicious.