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Release Date: February 21, 2008

Garden Café: Fontainebleau at National Gallery of Art Offers French Country Cuisine by DC-Area Chefs

Washington, DC—Visitors may enjoy French country-inspired cuisine, including signature dishes from local chefs, when the National Gallery of Art transforms its West Building Garden Café into Garden Café: Fontainebleau in conjunction with In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet. The exhibition will be on view in the Gallery’s East Building, March 2 through June 8, 2008.

The complete buffet and à la carte menu in Garden Café: Fontainebleau will be available February 26 through May 18, 2008. One of the most distinctive dining spots in the nation’s capital, the café is situated around a fountain near the West Building entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. The East Building Terrace Café and the Cascade Café on the Concourse also will offer French country-inspired items.

Garden Café: Fontainebleau and Public Tasting with Chefs on February 26

The Garden Café: Fontainebleau’s à la carte menu will feature crab rémoulade by Scott Chambers of La Ferme in Chevy Chase, MD; boeuf bourguignonne by Patrick Orange of La Chaumière in Washington, DC; and chocolate mousse by Jean-Claude Le Lan of Le Refuge in Alexandria, VA. The chefs worked with executive chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates at the National Gallery of Art, who developed the additional à la carte and buffet items.

The chefs will be present for a free public tasting of their signature dishes from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26, in the Garden Café: Fontainebleau. They will be available to answer questions and sign recipe cards.

Menu selections will include such specialties as terrine de foie de volaille; olive tapeanade tartine; quiche lorraine; smoked trout salad with watercress, pickled red onions, and champagne vinaigrette; classic tuna niçoise; chicken fricasseé with wild mushrooms and leeks; ratatouille; provençal Lola Rosa lettuce with marinated beets, Chèvre, hazelnuts, arugula, and sherry vinaigrette; roast fingerling potato and black truffle salad with sel de guerande; and Anjou pears poached in port wine.

Also offered are a selection of French artisanal cheeses, including Brie de Meaux, Roquefort Papillon, Saint André, and Petite Basque, along with grapes, candied walnuts, quince paste, and breads such as pain levain, fougasse, and tomato baguette. There will be a selection of French wines, beer, juice, bottled water, and soda, as well as cappuccino and espresso. The price of the full buffet is $18.95; à la carte items are priced accordingly.

Garden Café: Fontainebleau 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. to accommodate visitors who attend the free Sunday evening concerts in the West Garden Court of the National Gallery of Art.

Cascade and Terrace Cafés

The Cascade Café, located on the Concourse between the East and West Buildings, with a view of the picturesque waterfall, will feature a rotation of French country-themed dishes, such as chicken fricasseé, coq au vin, cabernet beef stew, boudin blanc, and seafood crepes. The Cascade Café is open Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The adjacent Espresso & Gelato Bar is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

On the weekends only, the Terrace Café, located on the Upper Level in the East Building overlooking the monumental mobile by Alexander Calder, will offer prepackaged light fare, including a cheese plate with baguette, salad niçoise, chicken caesar salad, classic ham & cheese on Briochee, curry chicken salad on French country bread, and grilled vegetable wrap. Desserts will include cherry clafouti, fruit tart, and chocolate mud pie. The Terrace Café is open Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. through September 7, 2008.

For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, visit

The Exhibition: In the Forest of Fontainebleau:
Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet

Visitors to the exhibition may imagine themselves as 19th-century tourists in the Forest of Fontainebleau, some 35 miles southeast of Paris. Formerly a royal hunting ground of kings and emperors, it became a magnet for artists and tourists in the 1800s and was known for the informal artists’ colony centered in the village of Barbizon. By decree of Emperor Napoleon III, Fontainebleau became the world’s first nature preserve in 1861. In addition to paintings, pastels, and photographs, the exhibition includes period guidebooks, maps, and souvenirs that reflect the forest’s history as a tourist destination.