Here are a number of pieces on two great downtown Manhattan restaurants: Florent and Odeon. Florent has been closed for a number of years. But Odeon lives on, happily. What I love about both restaurants is how the embodied that era and how they both set a stage. You can see that in the pieces below about them. Florent in particular was a radical place that was like no other, right down to their menus and promotional material (like the one above).
When they both opened the lower part of Manhattan had nothing like them. There was no gentrification down there like there is now. They were an oasis of good food, good design, and good times.
To really get a sense of that, read Restaurant Florent Takes Its Final Bows – The New York Times.
For more on the design ideas around Florent, see: Restaurant Florent | Restaurant Design in New York, NY — Memo Productions
A short history of the space Florent occupied is written about here: What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant | Ephemeral New York
Lastly, here is it’s Wikipedia write-up: Florent (restaurant). It’s a good source of other links on the place.
Before I forget, this is a fun piece on The Odeon: A Retro Haven That Defined New York 1980s Nightlife | Vanity Fair.
Also worth reading. Now go and eat at The Odeon.