Stephen Starr’s Latest Is a Grand European-Style Brasserie in a Sleek New Museum


A high ceilinged room with chandeliers, windows along the left side, and mirrors along the right side
Veronika – Adrian Gaut/Veronika [Official Photo]

Courtesy of EaterNY

Hit restaurateur Stephen Starr today debuts his newest New York City restaurant. Verōnika — inside new Gramercy photography museum Fotografiska at 281 Park Avenue South at 22nd Street — is a lushly decorated, high-ceilinged restaurant inspired by grand European cafes.

Courtesy of Architectural Digest

Chef Robert Aikens (the Rainbow Room) has created a menu that pulls influence from France, Vienna, and eastern Europe, hitting on rich nostalgic classics such as veal schnitzel, potato pierogies with caviar, beef stroganoff, and lamb goulash.

Photos courtesy of Architectural Digest

The 146-seat space is a major calling card here, designed by expensive firm Roman and Williams — known for rich textures and fabrics. Underneath 20-foot ceilings with cornices and archways, there are brass chandeliers, velvet blue banquettes, large leather chairs, and rotating framed photographs.

This is Stephen Starr’s tenth restaurant in the city after Buddakan, Upland, Le Coucou, and others, though it’s his first collaboration with Fotografiska, a global photography museum that started in Stockholm. It’s moved into a landmarked space in NYC, taking up 45,000 square feet over three floors for photo exhibitions, a private event area, café, Verōnika, and an adjoining bar also from Stephen Starr.

Veronika is open daily at 5 p.m., until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.


Rich detailing of the building’s exterior. Image courtesy of Fotografiska. 

Courtesy of Architectural digest

Fotografiska, a Stockholm-based photography museum, will debut its long-awaited new outpost on Park Avenue South in Manhattan. With its first expansion outside of its original space in Sweden, the new art and cultural center will live in a Renaissance Revival–style former church mission house, taking up all of the 45,000 square feet spread across the six floors of the handsome, historically landmarked building.

A view of the museum’s gift shop. Image courtesy of Fotografiska.

The outpost of the Swedish photography museum and cultural space features a restaurant designed by Roman and Williams.

Founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman, whose passion for photography was engendered by growing up in their father’s darkroom and has continued to expand since their childhood, the museum is a testament to their passion for the beauty and importance of photography. After eight years of successfully operating the museum in Stockholm, the brothers set their sights on expanding to New York, which chairman of the board Yoram Roth described as a logical next step for the organization, giving them a home in “the mother of all cultural cities.”

Five new exhibitions will debut in concert with the museum’s opening. Celebrated fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth will open “Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women,” a career retrospective that highlights her pioneering work in the field. Self-taught talent Tawny Chatmon’s dreamy, intimate portraits of children of color, woven through with elements of digital collage, gold leaf, and painting, shine with Klimt-ian beauty. Landscape photographer Helene Schmitz’s recent work showcases the large-scale impact of humans on nature, while Time magazine’s Anastasia Taylor-Lind illuminates the lives of women in New York and the childcare networks that they depend on to survive. And finally, Israeli photographer Adi Nes’s work, which explores identity politics through carefully staged scenes, will be the fifth show on view.

Claudia Saez-Fromm

An entrepreneur, innovator, and singularly successful real estate salesperson, fitness fiend, foodie, mommy, and fashion fan.

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