Country + City
For Chef Wylie Dufresne's launch of his second restaurant in NYC, Alder, we were tasked with creating a brand that evoked his New England roots, the global terroir of New York City, and the casual feel of an American public house.
Drawing inspiration from the New York City skyline, Bryan Nash Gill's wood prints, and antique silhouettes we created a look that feels both hand crafted and modern. All of the wood used in the project, from the wood we used to create our wood print for the logo, to the menu boards, to the ceiling of the restaurant, came from co-owner Stephen Daniel's New England farm.
In addition to all branding and graphic design (including menus), we shot all of the interior, food and portrait photography for the restaurant's launch, and built their website on the Squarespace platform.
Rubber + Wood
Pre-printed menu paper with the restaurant's logo make it easy to update and reprint the menu with a standard office printer. The menus live on wood from the co-owner's New England farm, and use rubber band fasteners inspired by the restaurants rubber tabletops.
Red + White
Easily re-printed and folded wine menu on legal size paper that fits in a standard office printer.
Letterpress coasters printed by Sesame Letterpress in DUMBO.
Alder + WD~50
Hidden inside the folds of the wine menu lives a map of the Lower East Side and East Village, showing Chef Wylie's daily bicycle journey between his two restaurants Alder and WD~50.
Filter + Fizz
The restaurant serves house-made tap, filtered and seltzer water in plain reusable glass bottles, and needed a way of identifying the water types that would be easy for the servers to swap out and could be taken off when washed.
We continued the rubber band theme (inspired by the rubber table tops) as a playful way of identifying the water bottles, and at a price point that didn't break the bank when people "accidentally" found them on their wrists on their way home.
Pastrami + Pasta
Instead of trying to shoot imagery of finished menu items that were likely to change often, we focused our efforts on shooting high resolution video of the creation of Alder's take on the classic pastrami on rye, from the point of view of Chef Wylie.
This approach made it possible for us to create both a background video for the website, as well as individual still imagery for the website and press (below). The dish has since become a classic and is their most popular menu item, and the photographic style was the inspiration for our later work with Squarespace.
The Making of Rye Pasta
Shot at WD~50 on a prototype of Alder's rubber tables before the restaurant's opening, we worked with Chef Wylie and Sous Chef (now Chef de Cuisine) Ryan Henderson to film the various stages of this well-loved creation.
Architect Jennifer Carpenter turned a former pizza parlor into a warm yet minimal environment, lining the ceiling with rows of reclaimed wood and adding a beautiful bronze bar. We insisted on finding a way to shoot the space in the evening, in order show the organic and intimate feel the space has in spite of being located on bustling 2nd avenue.
Shooting with a classic lighting style void of any background detail, our aim was to keep the focus on these unique and exceptional contributors.