Restaurant Review: Intersect by Lexus, New York City, A Shrine to Automotive Gastronomy

By Jonathan Spira on 26 August 2019
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Dining in a temple devoted to the automobile is usually devoted to just that, the car, with the food as somewhat of an afterthought.  The experience of sitting down to a meal at, for example, the BMW Welt’s Bavarie or Bertha’s Restaurant at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, has always been a satisfying experience, but the car is clearly the star.

BMW was the first, spending €500 million ($562 million) to develop the BMW Welt brand experience and delivery center in Munich, when it opened the Welt in 2007 (as a side note, I was the first customer to take delivery of a new vehicle there) and the massive hall (at 590’ or 180 m, it’s twice the length of a standard football pitch) is filled with every current BMW imaginable.

At Intersect by Lexus, nary a hubcap is to be seen.

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On the ground floor, diners first see a bar shaped like a wheel, a café, and a magnificent staircase (all temples to the automobile have one of these) that, in this case, leads to the dining room.

Lexus took a very different approach with Intersect.  In the space designed by Masamichi Katayama, founder of Wonderwall, visitors interact with the brand in a space devoid of automobiles but nonetheless is all about the automobile.  The automaker hosts special events here and the public is welcome to experience the brand and also the café on the ground floor but the real gem is what’s upstairs.

Managed by well-known restaurateur Danny Meyer and his company, Union Square Hospitality, Intersect introduces a new global chef-in-residence every four to six months. The second and current chef is Sergio Barroso, who helms the highly regarded Restaurante 040 in Santiago, Chile, who followed Gregory Marchant of Frenchie, which has locations in both London and Paris.

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