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Release Date: September 17, 2009

American Café Highlights Cuisine of the East Coast in Honor of The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works

Washington, DC—UPDATE: The Garden Café will be closed for renovations January 4–19, 2010. It will reopen on Wednesday, January 20, as Garden Café Français—featuring a menu of French cuisine developed by award-winning chef Michel Richard in honor of From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection

Signature dish Maryland Crab Cakes, created by Chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates for American Café at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, November 2, 2009–January 27, 2010. Photo by Rob Shelley © 2009 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Continuing its popular themed menus inspired by exhibitions, the Garden Café at the National Gallery of Art will be transformed into the American Café, in honor of the exhibition The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works (on view October 1, 2009–May 2, 2010). The American Café and the celebrated contemporary American masterpieces presented in the Meyerhoff exhibition together showcase America’s rich and varied tradition in both the visual and culinary arts.

Created by Chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates at the National Gallery of Art, the new menu features regional American cooking throughout the East Coast, from New England to Florida, in honor of the regions that the collectors and many of the major artists whose work they have collected called home. Local ingredients call attention to the range of delicacies in this diverse region, including artisanal cheeses from Georgia, Vermont, and Maryland and traditional Smithfield ham made in Virginia. Other highlights of the menu include fresh-baked Boston brown bread, Maryland crab cakes, and chocolate bundt cake.

The buffet and à la carte menu in the American Café will be available from November 2, 2009, to January 27, 2010, in one of the most distinctive dining spots in the nation’s capital. The Garden Café is beautifully situated around a fountain displaying Herbert Adams’ sculpture Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928), near the West Building entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

American Café

The lunch buffet, priced at a value-conscious $19.25 per person, includes New England Clam Chowder, Virginia Smithfield Ham, a Southern Style Sweet Potato Casserole made with locally grown potatoes, American Chopped Salad, Waldorf Salad, and spice-rubbed and roasted South Carolina Low Country Chicken. Along with a selection of breads, artisanal cheeses offered are clothbound cheddar from Cabot Creamery, Vermont; Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert from Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., New York; and “Bayley Hazen Blue” from Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont. Boston Cream Pie provides a sweet ending.

In addition to the buffet, an à la carte menu offers other American selections. Maryland Crab Cakes are made from blue crab and accompanied by remoulade and mustard sauces ($14.00). North Carolina–inspired BBQ is served with a tart, slightly spicy sauce in the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11.00). The Braised Beef Brisket is slow-cooked in red wine and fresh herbs and served with roasted garlic whipped potatoes ($12.00). À la carte desserts, priced at $6.50 each, include such traditional American treats as Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Bundt Cake, and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

The American Café is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A special dessert and beverage menu is served from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate visitors who attend the free Sunday evening concerts in the West Garden Court. To reserve for groups of eight or more, please contact the café manager at (202) 714-7454.

For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, please visit

The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works

Ten themes—Scrape, Drip, Gesture, Concentricity, Line, Monochrome, Stripe to Zip, Figure or Ground, Picture the Frame, and Art on Art—will illuminate some 126 works in the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection. The resulting juxtapositions, often surprising and provocative, provide a new way to tell the story of postwar American art and of a great collection. Through their remarkable acuity, in-depth study, and close relationships with the artists, the Meyerhoffs amassed one of the most distinguished collections of modern art with an emphasis on six American masters: Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella, in addition to important works by leading abstract expressionists and younger artists.

All the works in the exhibition are promised to the National Gallery of Art or have been donated. Since 1986, 47 works from the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection have been given to the National Gallery, and the generous gifts continue to shape the Gallery's modern and contemporary collection.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

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