Hello! Happy Friday!
I’m having a blast eating my way through the nation’s capital. Our schedule has been jam-packed since we arrived on Wednesday morning, but I’m glad we’ve had the opportunity to see and do (and eat) so much in such a short amount of time.
Our foodie tour kicked off with a visit to the National Gallery of Art for lunch at the Garden CafÃ© Italia. (I love that admission to DC museums is free!)
In honor of the current exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art (Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals and Italian Master Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection, 1525-1835), Chef Fabio Trabocchi created a special Italian-themed menu for the Garden CafÃ©.
The menu includes signature Italian cuisine, including a buffet as well as Ã la carte dishes. The menu at the Garden CafÃ© changes about every 9 months or so depending on the featured art exhibits.
We all decided to have the buffet for lunch””mostly because it looked and smelled delicious.
The buffet was really expensive ($19.75 per person), but it was worth it, especially if you’re looking for quality food and not the sub-par fare that you often find at museum cafÃ©s.
The buffet included a selection of Italian breads (focaccia, pane pugliese, and grissini) and gourmet Italian cured meats (prosciutto, San Daniele, and sopressata).
Gourmet Italian cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Marinated olives, Pollo in potacchio (chicken with rosemary, garlic, and tomato sauce), Buccatini e pancetta (pasta with pancetta and Parmigiano-Reggiano), Melanzane all Parmigiana (baked eggplant with tomato, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella), and L’Anguria (watermelon salad with Pecorino Romano cheese and a white balsamic dressing).
For dessert, I enjoyed some Lattarolo (vanilla and honey custard), which was absolutely outstanding. Holy yum times million. (Click on the Lattarolo link for the recipe!)
If you did the whole tourist thing””visited DC and toured a bunch of museums in one day””the Garden CafÃ© would be a perfect place to relax, recharge, and eat a nice meal.
After lunch, we headed to the National Museum of American History to see Julia Child’s kitchen.
In 2001, when Julia Child left her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts to return to her native California, she gave her kitchen to the National Museum of American History. Her husband, Paul, designed the kitchen for her in 1961, and there she cooked for herself, for family and friends, for professional colleagues — and for the entire country. For seven years the kitchen was a set for her popular public-television series. She also gave cooking lessons and tested recipes for her cookbooks in her kitchen.
It was really neat to see in person.
While at the museum, which also got to see the only Leonardo Da Vinci piece in the US. Very cool.
There she is!
Stay tuned! More to come!