Magazine article The New Yorker

Lever House Restaurant

Magazine article The New Yorker

Lever House Restaurant

Article excerpt

390 Park Ave., at 53rd St. (212-888-2700)--The Kubrickian light in this grand windowless pod on the ground floor of Lever House, the landmark International Style glass-and-steel office tower that changed the face of Park Avenue, tricks you into thinking that everyone is someone. That dignified old fellow in the next banquette--isn't that Buckminster Fuller? And what about the woman who stops by his table to say, "I love your offices"? Ayn Rand? It turns out that he's just another hedge-fund magnate. Still, the sense remains that this strange, gorgeous room could be a chamber in heaven designed for deceased futurists. There aren't many right angles: the walls are concave, a giant sliding parallelogram-shaped window separates the private dining room from the main space, and the principal motif--repeated on the carpet, the ceiling, the mirrors, the wine racks--is a web of hexagons.

If the decor is S.S. Discovery meets Honeycomb Hideout, the scene is Korova Milk Bar meets Michael's. The waiters and bus staff are exceedingly attentive--they have a habit of rearranging the things on your table each time they come by with something new--and above all, they seem to want you to stay hydrated. …

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