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Jun
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6.16.13 … Museum restaurants … I’ve been to two … One I love, Charlotte’s Halcyon; the other, not so much …

America’s Best Museum Restaurants, Halcyon Mint Museum Charlotte NC, Terzo Piano and Piano Terra The Art Institute of Chicago, Travel + Leisure:

The latest museum restaurants have embraced haute cuisine, artist-themed menus, and farm-to-table freshness. Far from relying on travelers as a captive audience for business or sticking to packaged fast foods, restaurants such as Ray’s and Stark at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hold their own with the city’s trendiest tables—and inspire both travelers and locals to make advance reservations.

“We attract an international crowd as well as Chicagoans,” points out Tony Mantuano, executive chef of Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Both groups of diners are always on the lookout for the cutting edge.” At Terzo Piano, that means bold flavors like a pork belly appetizer with brown sugar–aleppo pepper crust, plus a preference for the organic.

The strongest trend we noted among such museum restaurants is a commitment to locally sourced food made from scratch. Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO), which operates restaurants at more than a dozen museums and specialty venues, now offers crate-free pork, cage-free eggs, and humane ground beef.

“Museum food used to be an afterthought,” admits Fedele Bauccio, CEO and cofounder of BAMCO. “We’ve worked to extend the reach of the museum into the restaurant. Our chefs like to challenge themselves with special menus that enhance the guests’ experience of an exhibit,” he says, citing an example of highly stylized, black-and-white dishes prepared to complement an exhibit of Herb Ritts’s black-and-white fashion photography.

via America’s Best Museum Restaurants – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

America's Best Museum Restaurants: Halcyon, Mint Museum

Halcyon, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC

The restaurant’s tagline is “flavors from the earth,” so don’t be surprised if your server shares exactly which farm provided the ingredients for the day’s menu specialties. Halcyon’s design brings the outside in with lovely touches like a chandelier made from twigs and a trickling stone fountain. Adventurous eaters can add crispy pig ears to salads and pasta or enjoy a tour de force spice-lacquered duck breast with truffled cauliflower and turnip purée, smoked and fried cabbage, and glazed beets. halcyonflavors.com

via America’s Best Museum Restaurants – Articles | Travel + Leisure.

Terzo Piano and Piano Terra, The Art Institute of Chicago

Chef Tony Mantuano, whose Spiaggia is one of the country’s best Italian restaurants, is also behind Terzo Piano, a beautifully minimalist dining room flooded with natural light that overlooks the city skyline, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan. Diners are in for bold (and organic) flavors like a pork belly appetizer with brown sugar–aleppo pepper crust and a crispy chicken breast with butternut squash, pine nuts, and currants. terzopianochicago.com

via America’s Best Museum Restaurants – Articles | Travel + Leisure.


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