So many people have a crush on Chelsea. And no wonder: The once-gritty artists’ community has long been undergoing a renaissance. Just look to the boundary-pushing galleries, restaurants and coffee shops (not to mention the High Line, Chelsea Market and new Whitney Museum) that make it spring to colorful life.
Kimpton’s Eventi Hotel has been in the middle of it all a since 2010, and lately has seen the neighborhood take off at an even more rapid clip. We’re talking a major boom in the creative class — food, design and art. Now, with changes afoot at Eventi — including two new restaurant concepts, the addition of stunning art, and renovated, high-design spaces — the hotel is a hub in and of itself. Read on to discover what’s new, from chef George Mendes’ Lupulo restaurant to “it” curator Kyle DeWoody’s art collection.
SERIOUS RESTAURANT CRED
With Danny Meyer’s Porchlight bar on 11th Avenue and rumors of David Chang expanding his Momofuku empire to the neighborhood, Chelsea has become a playground for heavy-hitting chefs. George Mendes, the Michelin-starred chef at the helm of Aldea on 17th Street, selected the space adjacent to Eventi for his second restaurant.
Lupulo, which means “hops” in Portuguese, is inspired by Lisbon breweries — think shareable plates; beers on tap from Brooklyn, Germany and California; and a rustic, comforting design. Salt cod croquettes, red snapper cru and shrimp porridge feature on the seafood-centric menu, with a beef sirloin, lamb leg, and chicken with piri piri sauce rounding out the entrées. Well reviewed in the New York Times, Lupulo is one of the most exciting openings of 2015.
Through Eventi’s lobby, another restaurant inspired by a chef’s heritage: L’Amico, Laurent Tourondel’s Italian-American bistro with comfort classics like smoked ricotta gnudi, wood oven-roasted chicken and white mushroom truffle pizza. It’s the big sister to his lobby bar, The Vine, which complements food with cocktails like a margarita with fennel and pollen-citrus salt, and a pisco sour with cacao-nib chipotle bitters. Perfect for a date night or happy hour, one thing’s for certain: There’s no need to leave the hotel for a taste of New York.
DESIGN THAT INSPIRES
Thanks to zoning changes brought along by the development of the High Line, new projects by notable architects including Zaha Hadid are underway — Shigeru Ban and Frank Gehry also have famous buildings in the neighborhood. And with the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, Chelsea is primed to be central to this creative industry. For the design team at Eventi, the shifting landscape was inspiration to bring industrial elements into the space, immersing visitors in the unique qualities of Chelsea.
A patterned steel facade plays into the urban surroundings, while inside, a stacked felt reception desk and fabric walls panels pay homage to the nearby Garment District. The theme, from design firm Crème, carries through to the hotel’s bar and nearby restaurants. Laurent Tourondel’s watering hole The Vine features a cork and walnut ceiling and brushed nickel light fixtures, inspired by antique schoolhouse shades. The “library” section, with rows of books and an inset fireplace, adjoins fa mirrored passageway that leads to another secret area.
At L’Amico, the Italian-American bistro from Chef Tourondel, materials such as reclaimed wood, copper cladding, concrete and blackened steel surround the main event: two wood fire ovens. Adjacent to Eventi, George Mendes’ Lupulo restaurant is designed with blue and white tiles and rustic wood — an homage to the chef’s Portuguese heritage.
THE ART OF THE MATTER
Chelsea has forever been the heart of the art world, with world famous galleries dotting the streets, including David Zwirner, Barbara Gladstone and Gagosian. The new Whitney location in the neighboring Meat Packing District further solidifies the area as the center of New York’s Art World. “It” curator Kyle DeWoody brings the art scene inside Eventi Hotel with a dynamic collection of contemporary art.
With help from consulting firm We Came in Peace, DeWoody curated a selection of work that brings New York’s most exciting artists into one space, giving guests a taste of the city’s art scene before they’ve even ventured out of the hotel. A few notables artists include Alex Prager, whose photographs have been featured in Vogue and W magazines; Alex Katz, a painter with over 200 solo exhibitions to his name, and pieces in museums as prestigious as the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Dustin Yellin, founder of Pioneer Works, the non-profit institute for art in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Clearly, the hotel is in beat with the artistic throb of Chelsea — a neighborhood that never stops inspiring locals and visitors alike. Planning a visit? Book your room at Eventi online at eventihotel.com.
Now you tell us — what is YOUR favorite part of this thriving NYC neighborhood? Let us know in the Comments.
— Katherine Brooks