PROJECT:    Ella Dining Room and Bar
LOCATION:  Sacremento, California, U.S.A.
DATE:            2007
PHOTO:         Mathijs Wessing

The Selzim Restaurant Group commissioned UXUS to create a world class environment for their new restaurant, Ella Dining Room & Bar, located in the heart of Sacramento California, two blocks away from the State Capitol Building. The restaurant is named after the granddaughter of executive Chef Randell Selland, of the Kitchen Restaurant and Selland’s Market-Café. The 4 million dollar project has a capacity for 250 diners and serves “Modern American Bistro” cuisine. The owners wanted the restaurant to become “Sacramento’s living room,” an urban oasis where lawmakers and other diners can go and unwind after a long day’s work.

With the principles of “Rustic Luxury” in mind, UXUS designed a dining space that celebrates the essential beauty and goodness contained in simple things, a principle that is similarly reflected in Ella’s menu, which promotes local growers, seasonal ingredients and pure, simple dishes. “Rustic Luxury” synchronizes simplicity and complexity, the traditional and the contemporary, to define an elegant, relaxed lifestyle and the pleasure and sensuality of real materials.

In keeping with these principles, UXUS beautifully intertwines the old and the new. 500 salvaged antique Hungarian shutters line the walls and ceiling, enveloping diners in rustic textures and colors, whilst billowing white curtains punctuate and soften the space. Plush, luxurious ottomans and a light, contemporary palette balance reclaimed wood stools and traditional country tables. Simple white pendants dramatically sweep through the space; their gold interior complementing the custom LED gilded steel discs on the wall.

Rustic Luxury, as defined by Ella’s, offers its guests an experience that combines the simple and natural pleasures of dining at a dear friend’s home, at their table d’hôte or host’s table. The “Host’s Table” is a French tradition of eating in the kitchen while the chef is preparing dinner. It is a very welcoming and intimate experience, usually reserved for honored guests and close friends. The owners of Ella wanted to create that level of intimacy at their restaurant. UXUS cleverly opened the kitchen to the dining area with two large communal tables forming the table d’hôte area. Diners can experience the thrill of watching the chefs at work, and taste the results of their culinary efforts.
Next to the table d’hôte, ensconced within the 4-meter high white pantry, a glass door leads to the private dining area: a luxurious yet whimsical space lined with hand-screened wallpaper by English designer Tracy Kendall, where guests dine amongst images of giant golden knives, forks and spoons. In line with the restaurant’s mood, the private room provides a feeling of elegance and relaxed intimacy.

All of these elements come together at Ella Dining Room & Bar to form an intimate and convivial dining experience, the embodiment of “Rustic Luxury” right at the heart of California’s State Capital.



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