Modellus Novus designed the Michelin-starred Cote New York as a “theater of darkness” that envelopes diners and places context and food on equal footing. Located within proximity of the Flatiron Building in downtown Manhattan, the 125-seat restaurant merges the dining styles of traditional Korean barbequing with classic New York City steakhouses. Completed in 2017, the design of the restaurant is an exploration of illumination, darkness and color.
Making subtle references to the streets of 1930s Seoul, as well as classic steakhouses in New York City from the same time period, the restaurant interprets elements of each to create a dramatic and lively atmosphere. Deep green walls imbue the space with an earthy darkness, while illuminated wood screens create a feeling of visual warmth. The subtle introduction of contrasting color, as well as points of light, enliven the space further. Curated art is featured at visual focal points, while vintage objects—collected in Seoul’s street markets—add another layer of curation to the design.
Photos by Chris Payne and Naho Kubota
“Sex appeal, check. Fun & engaging team to work with, check. Creativity, check. On time, on budget, check. MN is the design team that every chef/restaurateur dreams of working with.”
Simon Kim, Proprietor
Number of Michelin stars received each year since the restaurant opened in 2017
Square footage of the dry-aging room where Cote’s signature steaks are aged for more than 45 days
Linear feet of custom-sewn raw linen banquette booth dividers
Square feet of oiled soapstone used for the custom dining tables, a signature element of our design for all Cote locations
Oiled oak dowels used to form the illuminated screens which gently demarcate different spaces of the restaurant
Neon signs at various locations in the restaurant amplify the convivial spirit of the venue
Number of wine labels on the restaurant’s menu, housed in a sneak-peek wine cellar adjacent to the main dining room
Angle of sloped floor at entry bringing guests from New York City's streets to the restaurant's elevated dining experience