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The Wright restaurant in New York’s Guggenheim Museum

The Wright restaurant in New York’s Guggenheim Museum

Christopher Parr | Pursuitist
Pursuitist Luxury Best Luxury Blog

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, New York City’s newest restaurant The Wright opened to the public last December. Named in honor of the great American architect, the intimate Upper East Side destination is located in an elegant and modern architectural space that is sure to dazzle trend-setters, fine diners, art lovers and world-travelers. Additionally, a site-specific sculpture by British artist Liam Gillick was commissioned for the space, creating a truly unique dining experience.

The Wright embraces the cosmopolitan excitement of today’s New York. Designed in white by architect Andre Kikoski — who was inspired by the original Wright museum design — the restaurant décor is contemporary and chic. With a modern American menu created by David Bouley protégé, Rodolfo Contreras, featuring distinctive cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients, The Wright will appeal to New Yorkers’ savvy palates, as well as serve as a “must” destination for discerning travelers from around the globe.

Combining an upscale atmosphere with a sleek modern, yet comfortable venue, The Wright features 58 seats and a communal table where guests can enjoy a full-service menu. Additionally, a casual, European-style bar — which features small plates, panini sandwiches, espresso, and drinks — serves as a lively focal point of the room.

“Inspired by and created within an institution renowned for its art, architecture and innovation, The Wright will extend that experience to food and service,” said Aaron Breitman of Restaurant Associates. “The Wright will appeal to neighbors seeking stylish and sophisticated dining, as well as visitors who want to experience the thrill of New York in one of the City’s greatest cultural treasures.

The Dining Experience

Signature menu items created by executive chef Rodolfo Contreras include: Seared Diver Scallops, Gently Cooked Shrimp, Lump Crab Meat, Sea Urchin Sauce; The Wright Salad, Green Market Vegetables, Gently Cooked Egg, Truffle; Maine Lobster, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Marcona Almonds, Clementine Sauce; Slow Roasted Suckling Pig, Quince, Violet Mustard, Apple Bacon Jus; and Spiced Pumpkin & Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Sauce, Pumpkin Seed Oil Ice Cream.

Located in the landmark Guggenheim on Fifth Avenue at 88th Street, The Wright will be open for business during the following times:

11:30–3:30 pm

5:30–11 pm

11–5 pm

11:30–5 pm
5:30–11 pm Thursday
11:30–11 pm

The Design

The Wright at the Guggenheim is designed by Andre Kikoski Architect, a Manhattan-based architecture and design firm named one of “The New Garde of Ten Designers to Watch” by New York magazine.

The 1,600 square-foot space features: a curvilinear wall of walnut layered with illuminated fiber-optics; a bar clad in a shimmering skin of innovative custom metalwork and topped in seamless white Corian; a sweeping banquette with vivid blue leather seating backed by illuminated planes of woven grey texture; and a layered ceiling canopy of taut white membrane.

Andre Kikoski Architect’s design philosophy for The Wright engages the heightened sense of procession that is essential to the experience of the Guggenheim – and the dynamic perception of art that it fosters. Surfaces and textures are animated by movement, creating an ever-changing fluid aesthetic that is an essential part of the design.

“It is an incredible honor to work within Wright’s iconic building,” stated Kikoski.
“We chose materials and colors for these dynamic forms that are restrained and elegant.”

The Art

In summer 2009, the Guggenheim commissioned British-born artist Liam Gillick (b.1964) to develop a sculptural installation for The Wright. Gillick navigates across a broad range of disciplines, developing his ideas through texts as well as object-based installations. His commissioned work, The horizon produced by a factory once it had stopped producing views (2009), traces the distinct architectural space of the Wright. Conceived as a sculpture that can be expanded or contracted to fit any designated space, this piece comprises a sequence of horizontal planks of powder-coated aluminum mounted to the walls and ceiling; a similarly constructed transparent screen marks the entrance to site. The resulting room-size installation creates a modular skin on the interior’s surface, its parallel beams meant to be understood, according to the artist, as “a series of horizons.”

The horizon reflects Gillick’s interest in “modes of production rather than consumption” and is part of an ongoing narrative begun in 2004 that centers on a future post-capitalist society. With this work, Gillick invokes the horizontal vista as a space where visitors can reflect and discuss how the built environment structures and patterns everyday lives.

About the Chef:

After years of working with some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, including David Bouley, Christian Delouvrier, and Rick Moonen, Executive Chef Rodolfo Contreras has teamed up with the Wright and Restaurant Associates. Chef Contreras’s modern and light dishes incorporate the fresh ingredients he personally selects from area farmers and markets, creating a menu that reflects his
refined taste and culinary vision.

Food, cooking, and family formed the fabric of Contreras’s childhood, launching him on a path that led him to the Wright. Born and raised in Mexico City, he began working for his mother’s catering business at age nine. A long-time New York resident and graduate of the city’s French Culinary Institute, Contreras has done research abroad, honing his skills in France and Spain.