Step Into the Precision-Guided Kitchen at The Musket Room

[Photographs: Eunice Choi]

At Matt Lambert's Kiwi-inspired Musket Room, there's a navy-themed vestibule but also exposed brick and sleek servingware. Caught between New York modernism and New Zealander culture, Lambert puts his French training to work for a menu full of local ingredients, seasonal sensibility, and a sense of refinement that goes beyond the restaurant's seemingly casual setting. Flowers adorn many plates here, and dishes bear descriptions like "flavors of gin."

Though the Musket Room offers an a la carte menu, most diners go for one of the three tastings: a six-course, a ten-course, or a vegetarian six-course. So in the underground kitchen, cooking follows a measured, relatively even pace. Front and back of house staff work together to keep new plates coming in a timely manner—meal tickets list delivery times for each course.

Lambert keeps track of diners alongside his servers, all while joking with his staff and snapping shots on his iPhone for his Instagram feed. We stepped into the kitchen before and during dinner service to see how the operation runs; see it all in the slideshow.