Scarpetta 2.0 Trades Trends for Timelessness

At its new location in the James NoMad, LDV Hospitality’s hit Italian restaurant shows off a refined look, complemented by a new cocktail lounge adorned with a showpiece Domingo Zapata mural.

The casual bar area at Scarpetta.

New York is a city of things unnoticed, as Gay Talese wrote. But for the team behind the new Scarpetta restaurant and The Seville cocktail lounge, everything down to the teaspoons was fretted and agonized over until it was exactly and exactingly right. “It’s the prettiest restaurant we’ve ever had,” LDV Hospitality founder and president John Meadow says. The two new offerings from LDV Hospitality are housed within the glamorous confines of the just-opened Beaux-Arts James New York hotel, in NoMad, designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, formerly of Richard Meier & Partners Architects. “There’s no bling, no gimmick—it’s just well executed,” he says.

The dining room at Scarpetta.

Relocating from its original Meatpacking District address, Scarpetta 2.0 takes a simpler and more timeless approach than its of-the-moment predecessor, an early adopter of the industrial-farmhouse look. “It’s more refined—we don’t have decorative elements; none of it is overdone,” Meadows says. Exposed wood columns built in 1904, when the original hotel first opened on the site, are counterbalanced by thoroughly modern additions like an undulating wooden ceiling that frames the perimeter of the restaurant. “All the boards are offset, so it doesn’t look like an Epcot Center barnyard, but a very sophisticated, warm approach that defines the space,” he says, noting that Juul-Hansen designed every single piece of furniture and light fixtures himself. “This room will be relevant for the next twenty years.”

A lounge space inside The Seville.
The boho design was inspired by the traditional flamenco bars in Spain.

Downstairs in the subterranean Seville, which took its moniker from the name of the hotel that once occupied the building, guests descend into an otherworldly space that feels as far from modern Manhattan as España itself. “I had this dream of 1960s Fellini’s Rome … but what does that mean for today’s New York?” Meadow says of the space, which is decked in custom plush velvet furniture—each piece different from the next. “Think about an exotic Gypsy woman in Seville, Spain, singing live, pouring her guts out, while you’re having a proper drink—that’s the feeling in New York we were trying to emulate.”

Domingo Zapata's mural near the entrance to The Seville.

Reason alone to go: the 40-foot-long acrylic mural by Majorca-born Domingo Zapata, who has lived in New York for two decades. “The mural was inspired by Picasso’s ‘Guernica’—such an iconic piece that was in the United Nations for so many years,” Zapata says. “‘Guernica’ is gray tones; I wanted to make it a little more colorful and today, and indicate that we still have a lot of problems—misunderstandings, race issues, gender issues—and that it’s about time we got rid of those. This is a place where you come to have fun—no matter where you come from, all that matters is you can be yourself.”

Surface Studios is the brand marketing unit of Surface Media.

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