The Art of Eating

San Francisco’s museums are focusing time and talent on wine and food.



Forget about that cheeseburger and iceberg lettuce salad when plotting your next art outing; museum cafés have gone upscale in San Francisco. “The city’s museums now are culinary destinations, offering visitors world-class menus along with their collections,” says Tanya Houseman, media manager for the San Francisco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Celebrity chefs are collaborating with museum kitchens to reinvent menus. Among them, Charles Phan of The Slanted Door offers his spring rolls and steamed buns at the California Academy of Sciences Academy Café, the less formal of that museum’s three restaurants. Wolfgang Puck, whose Postrio restaurant helped usher in San Francisco’s modern era of California cuisine, oversees the fare at the new Walt Disney Family Museum, in the Presidio National Park.

Often, dishes are crafted to reflect the museums’ ever-changing exhibits. When the de Young Museum had its King Tut show, the team at the soughtafter McCalls Catering and Events crafted Middle Eastern fare. At the Museum of Modern Art’s Caffé Museo, specialty Mexican food was the focus during the Frida Kahlo show. Pastry chef Caitlin Freeman’s whimsical desserts pay homage to artists in the permanent collection there, too, such as the Jeff Koons white hot chocolate with gold leaf (inspired by Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture), the Wayne Thiebaud cake and Richard Diebenkorn trifle.

Museum wine lists also reflect the increasing quality of the food. At the de Young, Clos du Val created a limited edition 2007 Pinot Noir to serve during the current Impressionism exhibit and a Post-Impressionism show slated for Fall. The Moss Room’s wine list offers prestige bottlings: ‘95 Heidsieck “Diamant Bleu,” Failla Viognier, Peter Michael “Les Pavots.”At the Boudin Sourdough Museum’s Bistro Boudin—a sort of restaurant within a museum, or vice versa—the wine list is wide-ranging and upscale, to wash down fancy comfort food, like fish tacos, filet mignon and beef stew, in this fun attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf. In most cases, paid admission to the museum is not required to dine, and not all museum restaurants are open for dinner seven nights a week.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Related Articles

Upgrade Your Barbecue: The South African Braai

Ditch your tired barbecue routine for a traditional South African braai, where fire-cooked meats, delicious wines and amazing company reign supreme.

The Perfect Summer Wine and Salad Pairing

Supremely versatile, this salad is great for last-minute entertaining, paired with whatever wine you have on hand.

How to Buy, Prepare and Pair Seafood with Wine

How to make it—and pair it—like a pro.

The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Sauce

Serve up this traditional Mexican sauce with your favorite Cinco de Mayo fare.
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles