Vegan food has always been met with questioning eyes and suspicious stomachs. However, some chef’s have cracked the code and are now bringing animal-free food to the masses. After a triumphant vegan victory on the Food Network’s The Cupcake Wars, chef Chloe Coscarelli brought her tasty talents to NYC and opened her restaurant By Chloe. The food is delicious and the atmosphere it’s served in is just as delightful. But, could this delightful atmosphere be serving more to the public than just food?
The West Village location sits on the corner with big windows and overflowing planters. Clean, metal tables and chairs frame the outside of the building. The building is white with a black and white striped overhang that shades the patio. Checkered tile that spells out ‘By Chloe’ covers the front steps. Inside are large slabbed hardwood floors and old faded brick walls. The decor follows the same white-and-black uniform. Simple metal chairs sit at one giant smooth cement table in the center of the room. Small plants decorate every table and the bookshelf on the left side of the room. The order counter sits at the back. Here you can see the entire kitchen. Again, the area is clean and sharp.
Sounds picturesque, right? However, the denotative signifiers listed above tell more than just their surface story. From the exterior, the white paint, whimsical stripped overhang, and big open windows suggest this is more of a home than a restaurant. The checkered tile porch acts as a welcome mat upon entering the very busy dinning hall. The long stone table looks like a family dining room at Thanksgiving- packed with different people. This suggest a gathering, or coming together to enjoy something in common: good food! The bookshelves that line the walls again add to the home feel. The old brick walls, wood floors, and natural lighting suggest going green and the importance of recycling products. The visual kitchen makes it feel more like Grandma’s house than a local fast food joint. This also suggests that their food has no secrets and is homemade everyday. The plants obviously suggest the importance of a plant based diet and the role they play in maintaining this clean and sharp lifestyle.
The signifiers overall signify the importance of a clean lifestyle that can easily be translated into our daily lives and homes. Vegan doesn’t mean starving or eating cardboard. It can be cool, trendy, and delicious.