Le Turtle is a French new-wave restaurant founded by Taavo Somer of Freemans and Carlos Quirarte of The Smile. Blanca alum Greg Proechel steers the menu along with wines curated by Jessie Keifer from all corners of France.
Sitting cool on the corner of Chrystie and Rivington streets, the 18-table restaurant is bathed in neon lights, draped in pink velvet and Horween leather, and set to a soundtrack of French hip-hop. The waitstaff is costumed in baggy, steel-gray prison jumpsuits which weave back and forth behind the two-way mirrors and travertine bar.
Taking notes from psychedelic symbology and the visual occult, we sighted references such as The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the paintings of Victor Vasarely, the architectural notes of Carlo Scarpa, and Sol Lewitt in order to help us realize our vision for Le Turtle. We put a strong emphasis on raw materials as well as angles and curves to create a distinct brand language for the restaurant. We developed a bespoke typeface for Le Turtle to use on all printed materials as well as an iconography set for web and print.
Made with my creative and life partner