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This renovation of a space formerly occupied by a venerable restaurant in Chicago’s Belden Stratford Hotel refers to the history of the Grand Hotel dining room, while seeking to reform the experience of the space complementary to the clean, modern, exclusive dining of this new contemporary seafood restaurant, L2O.
Through stately Ebony doors, the entrance sequence is defined by a dense grouping of Macassar Ebony columns, marking the transition from the elaborate hotel lobby to the serene environment within the restaurant. Partially obscured through the columns are a small lounge and a private dining room, both screened from the main volume by subtly etched panels of glass. The main dining room is legible as a single generous volume, though curated elements (a work of art, a modern chandelier, a niche of onyx and velvet) afford each table a distinct character within the space. Planes of division are suggested by linear series of stretched stainless steel cables. This diversity of spaces and elements achieves a balance between grandeur and intimacy in the overall design.
A series of Tatami-style dining areas were designed to be accessed from the main room, but experienced as private and intimate. Yellow Cedar tables, frames, and sliding Shoji allow for flexible arrangements of private dining.
The hustle of the contemporary kitchen is buffered from the serenity of the dining room, but easily accessed. Custom tables and serving gueridons were designed to harmonize the world-class service. The “back-of-house” spaces are designed with equally high quality of finish and presence as the dining room, compliments to the chef and his staff.