To celebrate the exhibitions Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life (May 17August 23, 2009) and The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain (June 28November 1, 2009) at the National Gallery of Art
, award-winning Washington-based chef José Andrés and chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates present Garden Café España. Chef Andréshost of PBS-TVs cooking series José: Made in Spain, author of the companion cookbook, culinary director of the recently opened SLS Hotel and The Bazaar by José Andrés restaurant in Los Angeles, and chef/owner of THINKfoodGROUP (responsible for the Washington restaurants Jaleo, Café Atlantico, Zaytinya, Oyamel, and minibar by josé andrés)has created a menu of signature Spanish dishes inspired by the exhibitions, to be served in the Gallerys West Building Garden Café, renamed Garden Café España.
The buffet and à la carte menu in Garden Café España will be available May 4 to September 17, 2009, in one of the most distinctive dining spots in the nations capital, featuring a fountain with Herbert Adams sculpture Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928) near the West Building entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.
Garden Café España
The Garden Café Españas à la carte menu features aceitunas aliñadas al aceite de oliva naranja y tomillo (olives marinated in orange- and thyme-infused olive oil), ajo blanco con camarones, uvas y almendras (cold almond and garlic soup with shrimp, grapes, and marcona almonds), cebolla asada con queso picón (roasted vidalia onion with picón cheese, oranges, frisée, and walnuts), sandia con queso de cabra (watermelon salad with goat cheese, pine nuts, and tomatoes), and costillas con pimientos del piquillo confitados (braised shortribs with potato puree and piquillo pepper confit). Traditional Spanish desserts round out the menu.
Chef Andrés buffet selections include customary Spanish dishes, such as boquerones (marinated white anchovies), a selection of Spanish cheeses and cured meats, pollo con lentejas (chicken with smoked bacon and lentil stew), escalivada catalana (roasted red peppers, eggplant, and sweet onions drizzled with sherry dressing), gazpacho estilo algeciras (classic chilled Spanish soup made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and bread and sharpened with sherry vinegar), albóndigas con ciruelas (meatballs with plums) piston manchego con flores de calabacín (Castilian-style zucchini and its blossoms, with peppers, eggplant, and tomato), and flan al estilo de mi madre (Spanish flan in my mothers style). Upon the opening of The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain, the menu will change to reflect Spanish dishes from the Renaissance and baroque periods.
Sangria, beer, Spanish wine, juice, soda, and bottled water are available, as well as coffee, tea, cappuccino, and espresso. Suggested beverage pairings are provided for the entrées. The price of the full buffet is $19.25; à la carte items are priced accordingly. Recipe cards for selected dishes are available free of charge.
Garden Café España is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A special dessert and beverage menu is served from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate visitors who attend the free Sunday evening concerts in the West Garden Court. To reserve for groups of eight or more, please contact the café manager at (202) 714-7454.