Lower East Side, New York City
7,800 square feet
Rayuela, a stylish Latin American restaurant in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, brings an innovative sensory design experience to Latin cuisine. Rayuela is Spanish for “hopscotch” and the title of the novel by South American writer Julio Cortázar. This restaurant introduces Estilo Libre Latino (Freestyle Latino) cuisine, which respects yet redefines traditional Latin American and Spanish dishes. Crème worked with restauranteur Hector Sanz to create a playful, interactive space that reflects the whimsy of its name and the inventiveness of its cooking. In the center of the bi-level restaurant is a live olive tree, which grows upward above a calming pool and solid oak staircase. These natural elements connect the lounge-like first floor to the second floor loft where a ceviche bar, outdoor terrace, and banquettes separated by sheer curtains create private environments for small parties. Subtle allusions to hopscotch include a patchwork of natural fabrics and glass textures, mix-and-match sofas to accommodate different group sizes, and slate chalkboards to present daily specials. Mesh, cage-like partitions hold smooth grey pebbles on the exterior and throughout the interior as well. All of the furniture, fixtures and design accessories at Rayuela are crafted with natural materials like rustic oak, organic cottons and slate.