369 West 16th Street, 212-243-6400
Once you figure out the way into Matsuri (it’s the unmarked red door on the right), confusion turns to awe. Owners and designers Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson (in conjunction with Mikio Shinagawa) have transformed this vast, vaulted, problematic Quonset-hut-shaped space into a wonderfully trippy, comfortably slouchy, supper-club-in-space. The huge, looming lanterns not only bewitch, they distract from a ceiling that might otherwise dwarf the place. The acoustics create a sense of intimacy instead of sending conversations ricocheting around the room, and though you can see everyone, you never feel on display. It’s as if you’re sitting at the world’s most sophisticated high-school prom.
Best New Design
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).