Ian Schrager: I wanted to work with Danny Meyer because his restaurants are as close to perfection as humanly possible. He showed his plans to me, but it’s completely his vision.
Danny Meyer: From the outset, I told Ian that the best thing we could do for the hotel would be to create a restaurant that is of, by, and for its neighborhood—a place with a Roman coffee bar at breakfast that turns into a wine bar at night.
David Rockwell: We used the simple, rustic trattoria as inspiration, where service and function are more important than design.
DM: Exactly. We wanted Gramercy Park and the people to be the main attractions. The windows, for example, open right onto the park.
DR: We’ve also included a bit of New York industrial edge—metal juxtaposed with handworked plaster, stone, and marble; woven fabrics and linens with rough reclaimed wood beams; pieces from antiques shops and architectural salvage.
DM: The restaurant doesn’t force you to dress up, but you won’t stand out if you do. Customers here feel like they’ve come home, even though they’re dining out.