The Art of the Luncheon.

Le Café Marly at the Louvre by Beau Wade

Le Café Marly by Beau Wade

(Image: flickr/© Beau Wade)

It’s Tuesday. Why don’t you have lunch at the museum?

Many museums offer an elegantly appointed spot for dining. Here in Richmond, the VMFA had a wonderful dining room in which to have a drink and dinner before a show. When the theatre closed, you could still get a simply delicious light luncheon with a glass of wine for a reasonable price and then head downstairs to tour an exhibit. Now with the extensive renovations and improvements, I’m not sure if the restaurant is open, but the atrium coffee and dessert spot in all its marble and soaring ceiling glory is…

When we are in Washington, D.C., Mrs. E. and I enjoy visiting the National Gallery of Art for an exhibit and luncheon in the Garden Café on the ground floor of the West building. The menu is always tied to the featured exhibit. During concert season, they serve coffee and desserts instead of the full menu. This month, brings us delicacies like Tataki Mashawa (seared tuna and bean salad) and Kebab Degi (lamb chops with onion, and mint in celebration of the Afghan Gold exhibit. It may be a bit pricey, but the atmosphere can’t be beat with the ficus trees, marble and art so nearby.

What’s that you say? You can’t possibly get to a museum, eat and get back to your desk in the time you have alloted for lunch? Close your door, or get away somewhere quiet and take a virtual exhibit tour or download their video podcasts via iTunes to watch later, while you brown bag it.

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