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Release Date: September 17, 2014

Chef Michel Richard Debuts New Fall Menu in Garden Café Français at the National Gallery of Art in Honor of Degas's Little Dancer

Michel Richard. Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Bisque de citrouille (pumpkin bisque with toasted pepitas), one of the new fall dishes created by Chef Michel Richard for Garden Café Français at the National Gallery of Art.  Photo by Rob Shelley © National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC—Inspired by Degas's Little Dancer, on view in the West Building from October 5, 2014, through February 8, 2015, award-winning Chef Michel Richard will offer a new menu of classic French dishes in the Gallery's Garden Café Français. Chef Richard is chef and owner of Central Michel Richard in Washington.

Degas's Little Dancer is presented in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' world-premiere musical Little Dancer, which runs from October 25 through November 30, 2014. The musical is inspired by Edgar Degas's renowned original wax statuette of a young ballerina, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881), one of the most popular works of art in the Gallery's collection. 

The new Garden Café Français menu, available October 5, is presented in partnership with Restaurant Associates and Executive Chef Pierre Cummings at the National Gallery of Art.

Garden Café Français

Chef Richard's buffet ($20.75) incorporates a variety of traditional French dishes featuring hearty seasonal ingredients, including Fougasse (olive bread); Comté et Chèvre fromages (Comté and herb-crusted goat cheeses with honey-candied walnuts and red grapes); Fenouil rôti avec poire (roasted fennel and pears with dried cranberries); Arugula et betterave rôtie (arugula with roasted beets, apples, toasted pecans, and champagne vinaigrette); Courge rôtie, choux de Bruxelles (roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and red onion with maple-cider vinaigrette); Rôti petit poulet (braised Cornish game hen with roasted lemons and savory herbs); Bisque de citrouille (pumpkin bisque with toasted pepitas); and Crème brûlée aux fruits des bois (crème brûlée with fresh berries). Recipe cards for selected dishes will be offered to guests free of charge.

White, red, and sparkling wines from French vineyards, as well as beer from France, complement the menu. Non-alcoholic beverages include juice, soda, bottled water, coffee, espresso, and tea.

Garden Café Français 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 performance Sundays to accommodate visitors who attend free Sunday evening concerts, which take place on the second and fourth Sundays of every month from October through May at 6:30 p.m. in the West Garden Court. Sunday evening concerts take place on the second and fourth Sundays of every month from October through May at 6:30 p.m. in the West Building, 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

History of Themed Garden Cafés at the National Gallery of Art

Themed Garden Cafés in the West Building began in 2004 during the early planning for the 2006 exhibition Cézanne in Provence, when the Gallery was approached by staff from the Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles, who offered to bring eight chefs to Washington, DC, as part of a larger effort to cross-promote the exhibition and the region of Provence that Paul Cézanne loved and celebrated in his art. In recent years, the dining scene in the nation's capital has risen to such heights that the Gallery is able to invite local chefs with international reputations who have familiarity with the Gallery to transform the Garden Café menu thematically with selected major exhibitions.

Degas's Little Dancer

National Gallery of Art, West Building
October 5, 2014–February 8, 2015

The Gallery's Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881) takes center stage in a focus exhibition presented in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' world-premiere musical Little Dancer. The musical is inspired by the renowned original wax statuette of a young ballerina, which caused a sensation when it was first shown at the 1881 impressionist exhibition in Paris. It is also one of the most popular works of art in the Gallery's collection. Little Dancer Aged Fourteen will appear amid a select group of works by Degas with ballet themes from the Gallery's collections, in media including sculpture, oil painting, drawing, pastel, and monotype.

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

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
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