While most upscale chefs and restaurant owners either shuddered or struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, chef David Burke opened four new restaurants in New Jersey. The latest, Red Horse by David Burke, is set to open March 24 in an elegant Victorian structure that was once home to Fromagerie, where Burke kick-started his career. An avid contemporary art collector, Burke found an enigmatic oil painting of a red horse by Vietnamese artist Tuan Tran, and became so taken with it that he bought it on the spot and named his restaurant after it. Plus, his father’s nickname is Big Red, and the restaurant is in New Jersey’s horse country, so the name Red Horse seemed fitting.
A modern American steakhouse with an undeniable Asian influence, Red Horse is bringing sexy back: The sprawling space will feature a full-service lounge with enough seating for 40 people, a main dining room, and a loft on the second level that will host glamorous weekly theme nights. What’s more, he invited Santangelo to curate all of the art, and she did not disappoint. The whole first level features captivating equine photography by Monica Stevenson, sculptural mouth-blown glass installations that were a collective effort between local gallery Hot Sand and Burke himself, and, of course, the painting of the red horse that started it all.
Santangelo adds, “When it comes to a restaurant’s art, I think of flavor—literally. I ask myself, What’s the local flavor and what’s the flavor of the restaurant? It’s about placemaking. I let myself be inspired by the interior design, the menu, and the guests.”
Home to the historic Lyric Theatre and Knight Beat Club where such luminaries as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, and Aretha Franklin have performed, Miami’s Overtown neighborhood is just as happening as ever. Just a short drive from South Beach, chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster serves upscale comfort food in a vibrant and colorful space.
Curated by Derek Fleming and Michael Simkins, the impressive art collection is as eclectic as the menu, with works from American artists including Rashid Johnson, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Pope L., and Hank Willis Thomas. The goal? To inspire conversation and celebrate the abundant African American influence on the visual arts.