Release Date: September 27, 2012
Chef Cathal Armstrong Creates Garden Café Americana at the National Gallery of Art in Honor of Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830
Washington, DC—Inspired by Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830, opening in the West Building on October 7, 2012, award-winning Chef Cathal Armstrong transforms the menu of the Gallery's Garden Café with signature American dishes. Chef Armstrong is chef and owner of Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, as well as Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper, PX, The Majestic, Virtue Feed & Grain, Society Fair, and Bar TNT. The Garden Café Americana is immediately adjacent to the display of the Kaufman Collection.
The new Garden Café Americana menu, available October 2, is presented in partnership with Restaurant Associates and Executive Chef David Rogers at the National Gallery of Art.
Garden Café Americana
Chef Armstrong's inspiration for this American menu was drawn in part from his love of classical wooden furniture. As a child, Armstrong worked with his uncle, a master cabinetmaker in London, and was enthralled by the beautiful works of art that took shape in his workshop. "I enjoyed working with my hands, learning the craft of handmade furniture, while developing a passion for classic furniture construction. It is through this appreciation that I am honored to work with the National Gallery of Art and celebrate a craft that I truly love," says Armstrong.
Chef Armstrong also developed the Garden Café Americana menu to showcase seasonal ingredients from America's farmland, including classic ingredients and dishes like pot roast, buttermilk biscuits, turkey pot pie, root vegetables, and the quintessentially American apple pie, which have long been enjoyed on family dinner tables and in restaurants throughout the country.
Chef Armstrong's buffet ($20.75) incorporates a variety of traditional dishes with hearty seasonal ingredients, including Parker House rolls; gourmet American cheeses (Pleasant Ridge Reserve, cow's milk, Wisconsin and Dry Monterey Jack, cow's milk, California); candied walnuts and grapes; heirloom beet salad with shaved shallots, goat cheese, and arugula; roasted butternut squash salad with red onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro; glazed root vegetable salad with rosemary and toasted garlic vinaigrette; mixed field greens with radish, egg, and sherry vinaigrette; pot roast (braised shoulder of beef with aromatic vegetables and potatoes); and turkey pot pie (turkey in rich broth with carrots, peas, and a buttermilk biscuit), and Georgia pecan pie with caramel sauce for dessert. The turkey pot pie ($14.50), pot roast ($14.50), and mixed field greens salad ($12.00) entrees are also available á la carte, as well as warm apple pie á la mode and Georgia pecan pie with caramel sauce. Recipe cards for selected dishes are offered to guests free of charge.
White, red, and sparkling wines from American vineyards complement the menu. A selection of local and regional beers is available (Virginia's Port City Optimal Wit, Texas' Shiner Bock, Boston's Sam Adams Octoberfest, and Pennsylvania's Yuengling Lager), along with specialty cocktails including bourbon milk punch (bourbon, milk, sugar, vanilla) and gin rickey (gin, lime, simple syrup, soda). Juice, soda, and bottled water are available, as are coffee, espresso, and tea.
Garden Café Americana is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A preconcert menu of light fare, desserts, and beverages is offered 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 delightful 19th-century French marble sculpture after Jacopo Sansovino, Bacchus and a Faun, and a fountain with Herbert Adams' bronze Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928).
The Garden Café is located in the West Building near the 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 www.nga.gov/dining.
Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830
The unveiling of the Kaufman Collection at the National Gallery of Art on the ground floor of the West Building is a landmark moment for the nation's capital, which until this time has had no major presentation of early American furniture and related decorative arts on permanent public view. The new installation highlights nearly one hundred examples from the distinguished collection of George M. and Linda H. Kaufman. One of the largest and most refined collections of early American furniture and decorative arts in private hands, it was acquired by the Kaufmans over the course of five decades and promised to the National Gallery of Art. The installation includes American, Chinese, and European porcelains and French floral watercolors by Pierre Joseph Redouté from the Kaufman Collection, as well as paintings by celebrated American artists such as Gilbert Stuart in the Gallery's collection. The Kaufman gift dramatically complements the National Gallery's fine holdings of European decorative arts with equally important American works of art.
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