Brooklyn-based design firm Studio Tack have completed Tsukimi Japanese restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, which offers a modern take on the traditional multi-course ‘kaiseki’ dinner. The name translates to ‘moon viewing’, referring to a mid-autumn harvest festival honouring the moon at its fullest and brightest, underpinned by themes of contemplation, gratitude, and togetherness; all of which are broader articulations of the owner’s ambitions for Tsukimi. In Japanese tradition, both ‘tsukimi’ and ‘kaiseki’ support ideas of ritual, ceremony, and sequence regarding seasonality and change. While certainly inspired by Japanese interiors, Studio Tack reinterpreted such principles in an elegant design that avoids indulgence in any clichés. Set below street level, the space is cosy and humble but not austere, simple but not lacking. Taking cues from the process and sequence of the menu, the design aims to slow diners’ minds down, creating a focused visual field from sequenced patterns and movement in the material. Everything was designed with purpose, from the menu to the seating to the way that staff circulate the room. Diners sit in framed seats precisely arranged along a central counter, symbolising concepts of permanence and place. Arch and circular motifs add a contemporary edge, while retained elements of the previous interior include a tiled mosaic floor and timeless, metal-framed exterior façade. High quality materials are treated in a way that accentuates their natural features, such as hand-rendered plaster and unlacquered brass that will age gracefully. The lighting is designed to reflect the Japanese approach to moon viewing during Tsukimi, which is indirectly, by looking at its reflection in water or its diffusion of light across the landscape. Studio Tack use brass-edged wall and suspension lights to create an interior glow, filtered to the street through hanging dried Pampas Grass, a traditional Tsukimi harvest plant. Corduroy glass street-facing windows create an alluring sense of mystique to beckon passersby.