By Stacy Straczynski, Associate Editor
This past weekend, my significant other took me out to dinner for Valentine’s Day to a really nice restaurant in our area. (He’s so thoughtful!) I had been to Char Steakhouse, designed by Cahill Studio, once before, soon after it had opened last year, but this second time gave me the opportunity to really admire the details in the space’s design, all of which tie into creating an “on the grill” theme.
When we first walked in, we could see a beautiful display of candles encased in clear orange glass and aluminum boxes. The warm light served to illuminate a dimmer corner by the recetion desk and bring some additinal color to the mud colored walls and deep brown tiles. The orange glass also nicely played into the wallpaper behind the desk, matching the orange circular pattern that resembled the glow of candlelight.
Since we had arrived early for our reservations, we decided to grab a cocktaila the bar, which lay directly in the middle of the restaurant and took up a majority of the space. The bar itself was surfaced by beautiful marble that had fine brown/black veins running diagonally acrss the top, creating a charred look of grill lines.
As I looked around, what instantly caught my attention–in a bad way–was a row of circular modern-styled lights that hung from dark tiled ceiling. (This is my only negative comment.) The lights, besides from looking humorously like an oversized Target logo, seemed to be out of place in this dark and more rustic feeling setting. I can see that the design of the lights is meant to be the grill of an electroc stove perhaps, with the warm red coils; however, the white was so contrasting that it really drew my attention away from some of the more beautiful and fitting elements of the room.
We were seated in a corner of the room that faced the bar with our backs to the side walls. The seating was absolutely intriguing. A coarse but comfortable fabric covered the back of the booth, and when you looked closely you could actually see that the pattern was made up of intersecting burnt matchsticks! I thought it was genius. Additinally, overhead was a glass column that housed a beautiful gas-powered flame which flicked and casted beautiful dancing shadows across the table.
I think my favorite element overall was the intricate lighting fixture that hung on the wall above my head and on the opposite wall int he room as well. The wall hanging, which served more as illuminated art than an actual source of light, glowed gold in between the curved and delicately shaped pieces of what appeared to be bronze metal. I loved how these fixtures made me think of the glowing coals on a very high-end barbeque.