In a little over a month, you can expect Madison Kitchen to be humming with the clanging of pots and pans as dishes make their way to guests in the dining room. But right now, in a space that has been totally gutted, all you can hear is the banging of hammers and the whirling of drills (quite loudly I might add).
Here is a brief video from chef/owner Nick Di Bona of the recent cacophony:
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Yes, that’s Nick giving a quick wave as the camera pans around to all the activity inside. When I stopped by for a quick visit, he was in the middle of what will be the dining room which is functioning as a makeshift office with his laptop perched precariously on top of a garbage can.
It’s hard to believe he can even hear himself think with all that noise swirling around him, but he was oblivious to it as he showed me some of the newest developments in the design of the restaurant. An active imagination coupled with overflowing creativity are traits that all chefs seem to share, but Nick’s focus and imagination seem to have kicked into overdrive and shifted (for the moment) from recipes to plans.
Nick spent some time going over the drawings and talking about measurements with his banquette designer.
With a seven foot wrap around wall, it is sure to be a cozy, private space.
Nick then jumps into the middle of the work zone with the general construction manager, Nicolaos Koutoulas of Arthur Lange, Inc., where they animatedly discuss the installation of pendant lights over the tables
and the exact placement of the in-wall fireplace in the bar area.
Although it’s a challenge for me to envision the pewter bar top or the custom banquettes, I slowly find myself beginning to see the space through Nick’s eyes. The metal framing at the front of the restaurant will soon be a wall that will have a built in EcoSmart fireplace, a design element that will be visible from both the bar and the dining room. It will look something like this
These fireplaces are standalone units which use bioethanol, a renewable liquid fuel that comes from agricultural by-products of crops such as sugar cane or potato. The flame burns clean with no smoke, so units can be installed just about anywhere without worrying about ventilation; so, there’s no need for a chimney.
Believe it or not, that fireplace will have to compete for attention with the unique pewter bar top being designed by Bastille Metal Works. The manufacturing process is quite amazing as the pewter is melted into a liquid and then poured into a one-of-a-kind custom molded form. When completed and polished to the desired patina, it will be similar to this
In the middle of all the organized chaos of construction, Nick gets a wistful look in his eyes and asks me, “What do you think of a happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm with a menu of 5 – 10 items to choose from paired with a NYS beer or a wine on tap?” Now, that’s something I have no problem imagining as I quickly reply, “Great idea. I’ll have the Thai Wild Boar Spring Rolls and a glass of Chardonnay.” Soon, my friends, very soon!