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10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts

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10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts

Tired of eating in the chains? Checking Yelp? Chasing down the Michelins?

Here are ten restaurants and cafés in some of the most interesting, creative and unexpected spaces and places from New York to London, D.C. to Miami. Venues range from high-end cafeteria to two Michelin star affairs, all drawing inspiration from their unique settings. Get ready to feed your body, mind and soul.

1. The United Nations Delegate Dining Room

1st Ave./46th St., New York

Nowhere else in the city can you dine alongside ambassadors, delegates and international dignitaries, enjoy stunning views up and down the East River, and take in the art collections and design of this iconic building. The United Nations prix-fixe luncheon is available Monday to Friday between 11:30AM and 2:30PM by advanced reservation only. Price is $39.99 per person, exclusive of beverages and tax. Lunch and guided tour reservations can be made online.

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
Spectacular views of the East River from the United Nations dining room

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts

2. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

11 W 53rd St., New York

The Modern

The Modern may overlook the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, but the view never threatens to overshadow the food. That would be pretty hard to do given The Modern’s list of awards and accolades: two Michelin stars, a three star New York Times review, four James Beards and a Grand Award from Wine Spectator. Go expecting greatness. It features a bright and airy setting and an evolving seasonal menu of note.

But if you prefer a more intimate dining experience, you can – literally – sit at The Kitchen Table, seating for four in the heart of the kitchen with a tasting menu tailored to your gastronomic pleasures. Website

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
Courtyard views of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden

3. MOMA PS1

M. Wells Dinette @ MOMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, New York

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. The M. Wells Dinette is embedded within this energetic space, plying a popular menu of Quebecois specialties. According to reviews, it’s well-worth the trip across the bridge. Website

4. The Museum of Arts and Design

2 Columbus Circle, New York

ROBERT 

As far as views go, we’re on a roll here. ROBERT offers a breathtaking view of Central Park and Broadway from its post atop The Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. Described as “elegant, sexy and romantic,” ROBERT celebrates design and beauty in its decor and culinary creativity. It’s a perfect respite from the city for lunch, dinner or drinks at sunset.

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
Room with a view at ROBERT at Columbus Circle

5. Mitsitan Native Food Cafe

On the National Mall at 4th St/Independence Ave. SW

Downstairs, in the basement of the Museum of the American Indian in D.C., is an unexpected gem of a restaurant. While the food is served cafeteria-style, it’s nothing like the usual cafeteria fare.

“Mitsitam” means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples and the menu is sourced from the indigenous cuisines of the Americas. Each of the five food stations depict regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. Buffalo and elk burgers and chicken mole soft tacos are two examples from the broad and exciting menu that offers a different kind of history lesson. Website

6. National Academy of Sciences

500 5th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organization of the country’s leading researchers.

The National Academy of Sciences building is identified by a 12-foot high sculpture of a seated Einstein in the garden and the exceptional beauty and symmetry of the building. Step inside and revel in a time warp and treasure chest of the finest art and craft available. It’s possible you could be the sole visitor.

The cafeteria opens to the public at 12:45 pm and closes at 1:30 pm. Like the hours of operation, the menu is restricted: two excellent daily features (salmon and chicken, for example) with fresh sides and a creative salad and sandwich bar. Website

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
Masterpieces of art, design and craft inside the National Academy of Sciences in Washington

7. V&A Cafe, South Kensington

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London

The V&A Cafe is billed as the world’s oldest museum restaurant. There are three opulent Victorian-era “refreshment rooms” plus the courtyard Garden cafe, a hidden oasis in the center of the museum. The rooms were by design superstars James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter with layers of opulent details befitting a Victorian museum of decorative arts. Even high tea service is period correct; food historian Natasha Marks recreated Queen Victoria’s afternoon tea, which is served on Sunday from 3:00pm until 5:00pm. Service is cafeteria-style so be prepared to hawkish about finding a table during busy times. Bonus: Admission to The V&A museum is always free. Website

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
VA Cafe, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
The William Morris Room, Victoria & Albert Museum, London Note: Photos do not do the rooms justice

8. Magazine Restaurant, Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Kensington Gardens, London

Forming part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, The Magazine was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. By all accounts the food is amazing, but the architecture steals the show. The Magazine dining room features a flowing membrane roof, and columns that flood natural light into the room. Stunning glass walls also give the impression of dining in the surrounding garden. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and weekend brunch. Website

9. Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London

Keeper’s House offers a restaurant, a café, a cocktail bar, a garden, and a place to encounter art at the Royal Academy. The Restaurant is a formal dining experience in jewel-colored rooms filled with dramatic decor. The Shenkman Bar offers cocktails and small bites and opens onto the Keeper’s Garden. The Keeper’s Garden is an art oasis, a gallery of sculptural work, open for dining during clement weather. The Courtyard Cafe is the perfect place to grab a quick bite or lounge through an extended lunch. Website

10. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

Jam-packed with art, famed street artist Shepard Fairey’s floor-to-ceiling mural dominates the bar area. Canvases by Christian Awe, futuristic paintings by Santiago Rubino and an 11-foot sculptured man by David Benjaman Sherry are just a few of the points of interest in this place to see and be seen. Food is latin-influenced global cuisine served with creative cocktails, artisanal beers and a reputable wine list. Serving up all ’round cool in Miami’s arts district. Website

10 Restaurants With Arts and Smarts
Wynwood Walls, Miami

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1. The United Nations Delegate Dining Room

1st Ave./46th St., New York

Nowhere else in the city can you dine alongside ambassadors, delegates and international dignitaries, enjoy stunning views up and down the East River, and take in the art collections and design of this iconic building. The United Nations prix-fixe luncheon is available Monday to Friday between 11:30AM and 2:30PM by advanced reservation only. Price is $39.99 per person, exclusive of beverages and tax. Lunch and guided tour reservations can be made online.

2. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

11 W 53rd St., New York

The Modern

The Modern may overlook the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, but the view never threatens to overshadow the food. That would be pretty hard to do given The Modern’s list of awards and accolades: two Michelin stars, a three star New York Times review, four James Beards and a Grand Award from Wine Spectator. Go expecting greatness. It features a bright and airy setting and an evolving seasonal menu of note.

But if you prefer a more intimate dining experience, you can – literally – sit at The Kitchen Table, seating for four in the heart of the kitchen with a tasting menu tailored to your gastronomic pleasures.

3. MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, New York

M. Wells Dinette @ MOMA PS1

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. The M. Wells Dinette is embedded within this energetic space, plying a popular menu of Quebecois specialties. According to reviews, it’s well-worth the trip across the bridge.

4. The Museum of Arts and Design

2 Columbus Circle, New York

ROBERT 

As far as views go, we’re on a roll here. ROBERT offers a breathtaking view of Central Park and Broadway from its post atop The Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. Described as “elegant, sexy and romantic,” ROBERT celebrates design and beauty in its decor and culinary creativity. It’s a perfect respite from the city for lunch, dinner or drinks at sunset.

5. Mitsitan Native Food Cafe

On the National Mall at 4th St/Independence Ave. SW

Downstairs, in the basement of the Museum of the American Indian in D.C., is an unexpected gem of a restaurant. While the food is served cafeteria-style, it’s nothing like the usual cafeteria fare.

“Mitsitam” means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples and the menu is sourced from the indigenous cuisines of the Americas. Each of the five food stations depict regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. Buffalo and elk burgers and chicken mole soft tacos are two examples from the broad and exciting menu that offers a different kind of history lesson.

6. National Academy of Sciences

500 5th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organization of the country’s leading researchers.

The National Academy of Sciences building is identified by a 12-foot high sculpture of a seated Einstein in the garden and the exceptional beauty and symmetry of the building. Step inside and revel in a time warp and treasure chest of the finest art and craft available. It’s possible you could be the sole visitor.

The cafeteria opens to the public at 12:45 pm and closes at 1:30 pm. Like the hours of operation, the menu is restricted: two excellent daily features (salmon and chicken, for example) with fresh sides and a creative salad and sandwich bar. Website

7. V&A Cafe, South Kensington

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London

The V&A Cafe is billed as the world’s oldest museum restaurant. There are three opulent Victorian-era “refreshment rooms” plus the courtyard Garden cafe, a hidden oasis in the center of the museum. The rooms were by design superstars James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter with layers of opulent details befitting a Victorian museum of decorative arts. Even high tea service is period correct; food historian Natasha Marks recreated Queen Victoria’s afternoon tea, which is served on Sunday from 3:00pm until 5:00pm. Service is cafeteria-style so be prepared to hawkish about finding a table during busy times. Bonus: Admission to The V&A museum is always free. Website

8. Magazine Restaurant, Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Kensington Gardens, London

Forming part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, The Magazine was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. By all accounts the food is amazing, but the architecture steals the show. The Magazine dining room features a flowing membrane roof, and columns that flood natural light into the room. Stunning glass walls also give the impression of dining in the surrounding garden. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and weekend brunch. Website

9. Keeper’s House, Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London

Keeper’s House offers a restaurant, a café, a cocktail bar, a garden, and a place to encounter art at the Royal Academy. The Restaurant is a formal dining experience in jewel-colored rooms filled with dramatic decor. The Shenkman Bar offers cocktails and small bites and opens onto the Keeper’s Garden. The Keeper’s Garden is an art oasis, a gallery of sculptural work, open for dining during clement weather. The Courtyard Cafe is the perfect place to grab a quick bite or lounge through an extended lunch. Website

10. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

Jam-packed with art, famed street artist Shepard Fairey’s floor-to-ceiling mural dominates the bar area. Canvases by Christian Awe, futuristic paintings by Santiago Rubino and an 11-foot sculptured man by David Benjaman Sherry are just a few of the points of interest in this place to see and be seen. Food is latin-influenced global cuisine served with creative cocktails, artisanal beers and a reputable wine list. Serving up all ’round cool in Miami’s arts district. Website

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