Nightbird & Linden Room
Restaurant Design by Scott Kester
Alter—an elite SF chef who helmed the kitchens at Daniel Patterson’s Plum and Haven—first set out to open Nightbird with the Michelin-starred Patterson, which meant that Patterson’s restaurant designer—Scott Kester in New York—was also originally on board. When Patterson left the project (still supportive, just too busy), Alter turned to Roddy Creedon of Allied Architecture & Design as a local, on-the-ground resource. (But Alter even had to coordinate with the landlord’s own architect, making for a tornado of opinions and drawings that dragged on the remodel for a full two years.) Through it all, Alter was Nightbird’s constant; a technical chef turned chooser of chairs, floors, and napkins.
Alter’s inclination was to fill the space with understated colors—”it’s very like me,” she said; “everything I own is black or gray.” But Kester pushed for color, so they settled on blue. They chose the chairs’ blue velvet and gray leather upholstery together in New York, and picked walnut wood tables to be stained with a lightening blue-gray wash. (Both chairs and tables were custom-made in Arizona.)
Unsurprisingly, the space is personal for Alter. “Basically, I live there,” she told me. “So I wanted something that would evolve and grow with me as a person, and as a chef.” That meant avoiding trends that could soon look dated, or clichés she might grow to hate.
Perhaps most importantly, Alter wanted Nightbird to look unlike other restaurants in town. “I didn’t want it to be industrial or masculine, with exposed wood,” she said. “I love that, and those restaurants are beautiful, but I knew I wanted something different.”
Full Nightbird article by Meredith Swinehart, Photos by Kassie Borreson for Remodelista