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Kultura Restaurant says...
Valet available on Fridays & Saturdays!
Kultura is a fashionable King St. E. it-spot which previously housed the Wagner Rosenbaum Gallery. The menu is diverse with cross-cultural offerings that include anything from Italian to Asian-fusion dishes, seafood, desserts and more. Beautiful to behold, Kultura bills itself as a spot for "social dining" with tapas/small plates of exceptional food that take diners on an endlessly inventive and inspired world tour. Guiding the way is a small army of clearly well-trained servers... More who do their jobs with warmth, efficiency and a rare thing these days: gratitude.
Kultura is carved out of a historic gem. It's a breathless restaurant design in its own right, yet the entire retrofit of the landmark pushes the best elements of the original site to a glorified level, making the building quip, "Look at me."
There's an intoxicating idea behind this three-level restaurant design. Though forcing diners up a back-lit stairway to a second-level restaurant, thus liberating the main level for lounge activities, smacks of cocky, private-club hubris, the intention is innocent: Kultura wants to utilize a drop-dead beautiful space.
While the main floor exudes brash energy, the meticulously structured and elegantly composed second level effuses chill. The long narrow space fuses righteous heritage with an interior designer's new interpretation, packaged with exposed brick and dark wood floors. At the back of this level, an adjacent room - The Grand Room - showcases a communal table made of 200-year-old oak and 20ft high ceilings with these incredibly cool looking whitish tree limbs that snake up the brick wall to the skylights.
Designed by Core Architects Inc. and interior decorating firm Commute Homes, and now added to by the new owners, the 200 seat restaurant's interior glimmer is suggestive of 1920's romance with an exotic chocolate brown and not-so-subtle purple backlighting. Clever, stylish nuggets like rich leather chairs fill all three levels.
The third floor is the Private Dining Room, featuring a single table that seats 35, as well as two original fireplaces. This level - continuing the 1920's aesthetics, with original beams gloriously owning the space - will be used for private functions and overflow from the second floor dining room.
The whole Kultura package, as an upshot, is original, fun, slightly ambiguous and devoted to delivering quality cuisine. The conspicuous-crowd hot-spot melds old-school swank with a razor-edge hip to draw in the Pilates and nu-yoga-mat-set. Its breathless design and well-chosen wine-list make Kultura an alluring, cork and chill space. Spread out over three levels, the sprawling resto-lounge embraces its historic ambiance, offering look-at-me, smooth-cow seating and chic lean-spaces for culture seeking epicureans.
Joanne Kates' Top 100 Restaurants 2010
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