Ramses Life & Food
A multilevel, multifunctional Philippe Starck–designed fun house—it’s really two restaurants, a basement dance club, and a throbbing scene around the black etched-glass bar. If you’ve seen any of the latest Starck oeuvre, you know what to expect: walls scrawled with apocalyptic graffiti, a design museum’s worth of mix ’n’ match chairs, cryptic unisex bathrooms, and a general sense of dislocation produced by one too many cultural references. More successful than the upstairs dining room is the casual neo-Gothic Petit café. Here, the jeunesse dorée share bowls of mussels in skillfully spiced Thai coconut curry; one of the creamiest pumpkin risottos this side of Mantua; and hamburguesas featuring a succulent chicken patty in a saffrony almond sauce—the chef’s sly take on a folksy Castilian chicken dish called gallina en pepitoria.