Move to Miami

Tihany Design makes a splash with Novikov, the first foray into the arty Florida hotspot for both the designer and the restaurateur.

It’s quite the cosmopolitan affair: Novikov, the Moscow-based restaurant group with popular destinations in London and Dubai, as well as venues throughout Russia, chose the vibrant, captivating vibe and a world class art scene of downtown Miami to launch its Chinese-Japanese culinary concept in the U.S., which debuted May 2018. New York-based Adam Tihany’s design nous proved the perfect tool for fusing these influences into a seamless epicurean experience, with the studio working as a design consultant to Peacock + Lewis in the development of the Novikov Miami, Tihany Design’s first project in the city.

It helped that Tihany had an in-house Miami expert: his wife, Marnie. Not only was she born and raised in Miami Beach, but the couple’s frequent trips back to the city, and her family’s involvement in the restaurant business, gave them a lot of insider understanding. That’s especially important in a market that, for all its globalization, has such a unique atmosphere that it’s often proved challenging for outside hospitality operators to capture it in their venues. For Tihany, though, it was clear how Moscow-based restaurant maverick Arkady Novikov’s work could slot seamlessly into the city. “Novikov venues have a palpable energy that exemplifies the theater of dining,” he says, “which is perfect for Miami where people like to celebrate when they go out.”

Novikov’s interactive concept facilitated that sense of food as experience. Tihany capitalized on that, and pulled in the energy of an open Asian marketplace by making the raw ingredients focal points for both design and dining. In the buzzing open kitchen with Peking duck and meat hung in display cases, chefs prepare gourmet delights from seasonal ingredients handpicked by diners from the daily-changing “Market.” Glass vitrines in the 10-seat sushi bar hold the fresh fish of the day—the stone and live-edge wood countertop is just the bar’s chic topper.

The traffic patterns help guide diners through the space so that they can experience each element fully. Directing attention toward the excitement, wavelike ceiling fins emanate from the open kitchen and lead to the shaded outdoor terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay. Novikov’s layout radiates diagonally from the Market to provide guests with a range of views and, in turn, the impression of different zones so they enjoy a sense of intimacy despite the open space and highly reflective surfaces.

Next to the entry, a backlit, semi-transparent resin bar sparks curiosity from passersby wanting to check out the hive of activity – and the artworks. It was a no-brainer for Tihany that a curated art collection had to be a prominent element in Novikov, just as it is in the locale. He also points out that it’s the interplay of culture and cuisine that makes the perfect night out. “Add in the creative dishes, fresh ingredients and Asian inspired design elements,” he says, “and you have all the fixings for the ultimate Miami hotspot.”