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Bourgeois Bohemian = Bobo

by habituallychic

01 . 11 . 08

One of the newest hot spots in New York right now is a little gem of a restaurant called Bobo. I’ve been hearing about it everywhere and even the February 2008 issue of Domino has given them a shout out. (Don’t worry, my post won’t ruin it for you. They use different photos.) It’s comfortable and homey restaurants and that was the point. Owner Carlos Suarez intended the Pan-European cuisine to be served in an intimate setting that conjures an old-world dinner party in what he calls “a fantasy apartment in Paris or Rome.”

When Suarez dreamed up Bobo, he wanted to avoid the “large, impersonal restaurants” he says were cropping up in the meatpacking district. So he rented a U-Haul and drove it upstate every weekend for months. “We’d come back with truckloads of goodies,” he says, and among them were six yellow French country chairs that he purchased at a Saugerties antique store for $50 to $75 each.

The restaurant’s designer was his cousin Dolores Suarez who along with her friend Caroline Grant founded the design firm Dekar in 2000 and also decorated the Zagats’ apartment. “They upholstered the chairs with a floral-print, stain-resistant material and painted them black. Now they’re tucked under a copper chef’s table purchased from Odegard, under a spider chandelier possibly salvaged from a bank. Not all of Bobo’s chairs came cheap though, when he ran out of money to buy more, Suarez brought in some from his apartment!”

Sadly, I’ve hear rumors that the food might not live up to the decor’s “promises of a magnificent dinner.” So perhaps one should go in with low food expectations and just check out the fabulous design details that will definitely leave you inspired. By the way, don’t forget to take a trip to the loo to check out the Cowtan & Tout Calliope wallpaper!

Comments Closed

  1. Suzy January 11, 2008 | 4:59 am

    I love the idea of decorating a restaurant like a fabulous apartment. Shame the food might not be up to scratch though..I always hate that…but then I should really stop chosing places to eat based on how pretty they look inside – instead of the menu! 😉

  2. Easy and Elegant Life January 11, 2008 | 2:36 pm

    I wish more restaurants would get it. That’s exactly the kind of ambiance that appeals…. assuming that the food is up to snuff. It looks great!

  3. Habitually Chic January 11, 2008 | 2:37 pm

    Suzy, My friends make fun of me because I always take as much time to describe a restaurant’s decor as I do the cuisine. I think atmosphere is very important to the overall experience!

  4. Habitually Chic January 11, 2008 | 2:38 pm

    Easy and Elegant Life, I’m so tired of super slick modern design for restaurants as well as stores. It’s so boring and tired. I want homey and inviting with dim lighting!

  5. Easy and Elegant Life January 11, 2008 | 3:06 pm

    I couldn’t agree more Ms. Chic. Super slick and modern was nice as a change when everything else wasn’t. But after a while and after any number of modern homes visited, well … I’m sort of a maximalist anyway. If there is such a thing.

    In my opinion the enduring appeal of the English country house and Club look is that it drips with lives well-lived and objects that have some personal meaning.

  6. Anonymous January 11, 2008 | 4:23 pm

    Honestly, your description of the restaurant is better than the article in domino! Nice pics!

  7. Cakespy January 11, 2008 | 5:08 pm

    Oh, I have heard about this place. It looks beautiful! What a great writeup.

  8. At Home with Kim Vallee January 11, 2008 | 5:25 pm

    You really transported us into another era and country with this post. Thumbs up for the decor and your review.

    I am planning a trip to NYC. I would have liked to eat but being raised in the French culture but I am picky about the taste of my food. You are right, I read disappointing food reviews about Bobo. There are too many great restaurants in NYC to eat there. I am sad, the decor would have made wonderful pictures.

  9. decorno.blogspot.com January 11, 2008 | 11:38 pm

    I have been having really dirty Decorno fantasies about those drippy fabulous chandeliers since I saw them in Domino.

    And I, too, hate barren, cold, over-bright restaurants. I like it to be dowager-like and clubby, with low lighting and food that will possibly give me a heart attack from excess butter.

    THAT is living.

  10. KreativeMix January 12, 2008 | 4:07 am

    Makes me want to visit!!

  11. coco+kelley January 12, 2008 | 4:28 am

    i absolutely love it. it looks just like someone set up their apartment for a large dinner party ~ tucking this away for ideas for my dad’s restaurant!! thanks for the post 🙂

  12. All Things Bright and Beautiful... January 12, 2008 | 3:32 pm

    ooooo lovely!

    That first picture especially – I wish my domino would arrive with everyone else’s and not 20 days later due to OS postal services

  13. Me, Myself, & I January 12, 2008 | 4:01 pm

    What a great atmosphere. I can feel right at home here…no problem. I wonder what the menu is like.

  14. Habitually Chic January 14, 2008 | 1:12 am

    Thanks to everyone for the great comments!

    I think it’s a great design and perhaps they will work out the cuisine kinks that all new restaurants go through. If not, you can always hang out the bar and just have drinks!

    I think what they did with all the mis-matched chairs was a simple but fabulous idea that anyone could try in their own home.

  15. marchandmercier January 14, 2008 | 7:23 pm

    I ate there last weekend and I actually thought the food was great and very well priced.

  16. MABELLE January 29, 2008 | 3:54 pm

    Thank you for this post! You’ve officially convinced me to go check it out! Have you been there yet? (are these your pics? might be a stupid question- haha) Great post!

  17. Habitually Chic January 29, 2008 | 4:00 pm

    MarchandMercier, Good to hear! I’m sure the food is great. Some New Yorkers are just very picky. Besides, I’ll eat anywhere that looks pretty too!

  18. Habitually Chic January 29, 2008 | 4:01 pm

    MABelle, They are not my pics and I haven’t been there yet. I have so many restaurants on my places to go list that I fear I may never get through them all! You’ll have to let me know how it is if you go!

  19. Habitually Chic January 29, 2008 | 10:24 pm

    MABelle, I just saw this and thought of you! I was going to email it but you don’t have one listed.

    “Fashion week is starting early for Vera Wang. She presents her Lavender label on the runway for the first time this Thursday at Bobo, a new restaurant in the West Village. “I decided to show the collection in an intimate theatrical setting to see the clothes as I truly intended them…as a collection with a distinct point of view,” said Wang. Intimate, indeed. Carlos Suarez’s Bobo, named after a shortened term for the bourgeois bohemian, seats 100 people in a town house-like setting and serves bistro fare. Here’s to hoping there are warm croissants and café au lait on offer.”

  20. The Nerdy Fashionista February 2, 2008 | 1:40 am

    My company had our holiday party there and the design is absolutely gorgeous. I thought the food was delicious, as well–but stingy! I left hungry! NOT a good thing in a restaurant as lovely as that.

  21. Anonymous March 4, 2008 | 7:18 pm

    I live right around the corner from Bobo and had been dying to try it since its opening in the fall. Honestly, the pictures of the interior were what drew my attention(in DailyCandy and the Vogue spread shot here a few months ago). Thank goodness I finally did, as the food was just as cozy as the decor. I felt so at home, and took ideas for my own apartment – especially the antique pictures in the main dining room, and the warm robin’s egg wall color upstairs. It’s such a wonderful spot, and I’ll definitely be going back. You need to pay a visit, Habitually Chic, even if it’s just to take a look around and enjoy a quick champagne mojito!

  22. Habitually Chic March 4, 2008 | 7:21 pm

    Anonymous, I will definitely check it out after that glowing review. Robin’s egg blue is my favorite color too!