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Release Date: January 6, 2010

Chef Michel Richard Creates Garden Café Français in Honor of Chester Dale Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art
New Menu Starts January 26

Washington, DC (Updated September 17, 2010)— Award-winning Washington-based chef Michel Richard and chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates will present Garden Café Français in celebration of the exhibition From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection (January 31, 2010–January 2, 2012) at the National Gallery of Art. Continuing the Gallery's popular themed menus inspired by exhibitions, the buffet and à la carte menu will be available January 26, 2010, to February 10, 2011, in the West Building Garden Café.

Garden Café Français

Chef Richard developed the Garden Café Français menu to consist primarily of classic French dishes, such as Provençal-style beef stew and ratatouille, which were popular in the 19th century and continue to be served on many French tables to this day. More contemporary items include Richard's signature short ribs in red wine sauce and chicken "faux gras."

The à la carte menu features Terrine de saumon fumé, salade verte (smoked salmon terrine with green salad, $15.00); Plat de côtes rôtis 72 heures, sauce bordelaise, purée de pommes de terre (72-hour short ribs, served with mashed potatoes and bordelaise sauce, $16.00); and Ravioles de fromage au basilic (cheese ravioli in basil sauce, $14.00). French desserts—a specialty of Richard's—are also available: Crêpes Suzette ($7.00) and Genoise moelleuse (orange-infused sponge cake with strawberries, $7.50).

Chef Richard's buffet—a bargain at $19.75—presents an array of customary French dishes, beginning with country bread, brioche, savory gruyère cream puffs, split-pea soup, spinach salad, and salade de cervelas (salad with sausage, gruyere cheese, red onion, and radish). A selection of French charcuterie includes saucisson sec, jambon de Bayonne, and "faux gras"—Richard's chicken liver mousse—alongside a cheese assortment featuring Camembert from the Normandy region and Roquefort, a sheep's milk blue cheese from southern France. For main courses, the buffet offers a spinach and cheese quiche and a Provençal-style beef stew. The final touch is Richard's signature Mousse au chocolat.

White, red, and sparkling French wines have been carefully selected to complement the menu, along with beer (Kronenbourg 1664, Brasseries Kronenbourg, Strasbourg, France) and two signature drinks (Kir and Kir Royale). Juice, soda, and bottled water are also available, as are coffee, tea, cappuccino, and espresso. Recipe cards for selected dishes are offered to guests free of charge.

Garden Café Français is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 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. One of the most distinctive dining spots in the nation's capital, the Garden Café features a fountain with Herbert Adams' sculpture Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928) near the West Building entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. To make reservations for groups of eight or more, please contact the café manager at (202) 712-7454.

For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, visit

Michel Richard

Michel Richard was born in Brittany, France, and apprenticed under the renowned Gaston Lenotre in Paris, where he quickly grew to the top position in Lenotre's patisserie. In 1974 he moved to the United States and began his love affair with American cuisine, which has continued for more than 30 years. After opening and running numerous restaurants, he made Washington, DC, the home of his flagship restaurant, Michel Richard Citronelle, as well as his newest creation, just steps from the National Gallery of Art, Central Michel Richard.

An avid art enthusiast, Richard drew inspiration for this French menu from the many masterpieces of French impressionism in the exhibition. The Gallery is a preferred destination for Richard, with the French impressionists being among the highlights. The exhibition contains works by many of his favorite painters, including Eugène Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh.

From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection
January 31, 2010–January 2, 2012

The 1962 bequest of Wall Street investor Chester Dale made the National Gallery of Art one of the leading repositories in North America of French art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From Impressionism to Modernism brings together 83 of the finest European and American paintings that Dale and his wife Maud, an artist and critic, assembled from 1919 through the 1950s.

The exhibition and its accompanying book explore the Dales' passion and talent for acquiring great art. Many of the works in the show are among the most renowned masterpieces in the history of art, but due to a stipulation in the bequest, they may be seen only at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition is made possible by United Technologies Corporation.

In-kind promotional support is provided by Chef Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central, Washington, DC.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Chef Michel Richard Creates Garden Café Français in Honor of Chester Dale Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art Greets Spring with New Dishes by Michel Richard and Cherry-Inspired Treats in Espresso Bar and Garden Café Français

Biography: Chef Michel Richard