Sneak Peek: Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson

With the opening of PACNYC, the Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, comes the restaurant from Marcus Samuelsson in its lobby, now officially called Metropolis. It opens with a full menu in late October and for now, when performances start this week, will have drinks and light fare — spiced nuts, popcorn, sandwiches.

The ribbon cutting ceremony held there last week spilled into the restaurant from the lobby, so a lot of the pictures you see here are after the city’s entire arts press corps has made its way through the space. What I know from the application presented to CB1 in February is the space is 5600 square feet with 40 tables and 160 seats, with 10 tables and 40 seats at the bar. The plan is to be open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Photo by Iwan Baan

What I can say from being in there three times now is the starring feature is the lighting, designed by David Rockwell, who was the architect for the restaurant and lobby interiors. Crafted from sapele wood, the lights are sculptural ribbons moving through the space which then settle in concentric circles in key spots: over the bar, over the lobby performance area. It’s Tron-like but also very Pacific Northwest. I love it.

The first floor lobby will be open to the public; it looks like the restaurant demarcation line will start as you pass under the I-beams; the terrace is part of the restaurant, so I will assume for now that it is not accessible unless you are a customer. Not a huge loss; there are better perches at the PAC, including the main outdoor stairway and the very special bridge that is tucked under the façade on the south side at lobby level.

A bonus: Brooklynite Jean Shin, who was born in South Korea, reimagined the topography of lower Manhattan and the site of the PAC in buttons, each of which is sewn on, for a mural across the back of the restaurant.

Samuelsson’s PR team is calling it “a vibrant contemporary American restaurant” featuring a menu “inspired by the neighborhoods and treasured culinary traditions of New York’s five boroughs.” Samuelsson’s team will also operate a wine bar adjacent to the theaters, upstairs from the lobby, with curated wines, local beers and snacks. The goal is festive, with “theatrical” cocktails and an expansive natural wine list.

I hope it’s like his super fun and lively spot Marcus B&P out by NJPAC in Newark.

More, hopefully soon.

Perelman lobby by Iwan Baan

Perelman lobby by Iwan Baan