Community-focused restaurant combines culinary skill and artistry.
Where art, culture, and culinary excellence merge
French for “beloved”, Esmé was envisioned as a community-focused restaurant combining culinary skill and artistry to draw inspiration for the seasonally changing tasting menu. The co-owners, who are also the chef and creative director, sought to create a place where art, culture and culinary excellence merged.
As a result, the space was conceived as a canvas in which the food and art could take center stage while also hosting multiple private and community events.
In order to reinvent the prior fast food location to fine dining, the HED design team flipped the main and back entrances of the space to eliminate ramps and allow for the dining room to be seen from the main street front. The windows on the front façade were enlarged to enhance street presence and to serve as a welcoming nod to the community. The team also designed a long sculptural bar, providing guests the opportunity to experience the artistry while enlarging the functional area of the kitchen.
The interior design of Esmé is serene and minimal. The color palette features blush and cream tones to act as a neutral backdrop for the artist’s and the chef’s work to become the focus. The lighting was conceived as a series of backlit fabric planes along the ceiling that can be adjusted from 2400K to 5000K depending on the vibe of the current menu, the art, and the type of event, as well as to create the optimal illumination for videos and photos. The dining tables feature concrete tops and sculptural wood bases by local artisans. The concrete color and finish were tweaked to achieve the ideal surface for the food and plate ware to shine.