Inspired by Chef Melissa Rodriguez’s description of her menu as a “beautiful wedding dress, without the beads,” Modellus Novus designed a space that was at once classic and formal, but also celebratory. To match the clarity of Chef Melissa’s statement, MN leaned on the grand scale of the existing space that previously housed Del Posto but chose to bring its structure to the fore. By creating a repetition of arched forms, the two Michelin-starred space, which opened in 2022, is both more grand and more intimate. These arches allow the eye to drift toward the ceiling while activating the volume of this already massive space. Yet the same arches also modulate the space’s vastness, breaking it into smaller volumes-within-volumes.
While there are countless architectural examples of classical unidirectional arches, MN was inspired by the austere beauty of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. Its relentless archways provide a feeling of antiquity and of arrival, yet this grandeur is carefully curated so as to not feel intimidating.
Photos by Adrian Gaut
“The Al Coro job was a huge undertaking, taking a very recognizable 12,000 foot dining room and making it entirely new. We needed light, a performance stage, grandness that was also somehow intimate, and wanted it all wrapped in a sophisticated bow that wasn't afraid to get a little loose and a little tattered at times. MN truly delivered.”
Jeff Katz, Managing Partner
Michelin stars awarded to the restaurant in 2022
MN-designed custom chairs, upholstered in location specific colors and fabrics
Number of feet to highest point of each arch, added to lend grandeur and simplicity to the space
Pieces of custom furniture, handmade in Italy
Number of stone slabs used throughout the project
Diameter in inches of the arches
Performance stage inserted into the mezzanine where live jazz is played each night
Number of women leading the kitchen as Executive Chef, Chef de Cuisine, and Executive Pastry Chef