Tony’s Restaurant

Houston, Texas
Client: Tony Vallone

Located at a strategic intersection at the western edge of the dynamic Greenway Plaza business complex, Tony’s Restaurant stands as the premiere landmark – a contemporary structure flanked by majestic oak trees. The old Maxim’s restaurant was razed to make way for the new 12,000-foot structure. The design takes restaurant design in Houston to new heights. From the moment guests arrive at the curved water wall entrance, the feeling is one of contemporary grandeur. Vertical currents of water shimmer down glass walls creating a kinetic element at play both outdoors and inside. The curved exterior wall is echoed in the crescent-shaped restaurant interior where ceilings soar to 24 feet and where linear skylights fan out across the main dining area. To accommodate the varying needs of Houston’s most illustrious dining crowds, the restaurant offers a variety of dining venues. The wine room accommodates 60 seated diners, the San Remo room seats 110 and the intimate wine library seats 10 at a circular table surrounded by the proprietor’s most expensive labels. Versatility is assured by the upholstered folding wall that opens the San Remo room to the main dining room which then can serve 290 diners. The bar provides an intimate, informal setting for both diners and for those seeking the camaraderie of a lively social scene. Design elements such as the gas fireplace, contemporary artwork and the undulating fabric canopy contribute to the rich feel of the space. The restaurant is designed with active focal points at every perspective. Robert Rauschenberg paintings, a towering granite sculpture commissioned by Jesus Moroles, the window providing a view to the kitchen action and the water wall as viewed from the interior provide every seat in the house with a special panorama. The mood of the restaurant evolves throughout the day as light from the overhead skylights waxes and wanes with sun and clouds and diffuses as the day softens into night.