The Hotel on Rivington has a new restaurant following the closure of its previous one, CO-OP Food & Drink, after five years in business. Café Medi, an airy, Mediterranean-style affair with a terrace that opens up onto the busy street out front, opened for dinner last Wednesday. Owners Corey Lane (of Meatpacking District spots RDV Lounge, Kiss & Fly, and Gansevoort 69) and Roberto Buchelli (Rivington Hospitality Group) are planning to add lunch in mid-July, with brunch and breakfast service also in the works.
The restaurant opens up generously toward the back, courtesy of some spectacularly high ceilings and skylights, and has a breezy, Riviera-like feel with a color scheme of white, moss, and duck-egg blue. Its artfully decorated wall tiles were hand-painted by an artist in Barcelona, commissioned by Spanish design firm Lázaro Rosa-Violán (this is their first US project). “The artist was apparently inspired by Peruvian myths,” a spokesperson said of the figures and animals on the tiles.
Head chef Vincent Chirico, who has practiced his craft at Aquavit, Daniel, and Jean Georges and still puts in time uptown at Vai, has designed a seasonal, mostly gluten-free menu of crudo bites, meats, salads, and seafood. Right now, highlights include fresh oysters served with a chardonnay-vinegar mignonette, a burrata served with roasted peaches and speck, an heirloom tomato salad with watermelon and basil, a lamb tartar, and roasted king oyster mushrooms with white polenta, a soft egg, and summer truffles.
Café Medi also boasts a lounge adjacent the dining room and also accessible via a nondescript, graffitied red door next to the restaurant’s. Jia Lounge, modeled after a 1930s Shanghai nightclub, sports a rococo sitting-room look, thanks to plush sofas and poufs upholstered in dark flowered fabric. It’ll function as the restaurant’s after-hours club– parties will, for the most part, be invite-only, according to the spokesperson.
Click through our slideshow to see the lounge, restaurant, and menus.
Café Medi at Hotel on Rivington, 107 Rivington Street between Ludlow and Essex Street; open Monday to Thursday, 5:30pm to 11:30pm. Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm – 12:30am; 212-796-8040.