TASTE at the Seattle Art Museum recently revised their menu to match the current paired exhibits: Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, and European Masters: The Treasures of Seattle.
ART just feels very modern. It’s an open space, with wine on the walls and the bar taking over the far corner, all light tones and blues. I love their choice to have the space with floor to ceiling windows on one side; the light in there is wonderful, even on a cloudy day.
To start, I had the mocktail version of their still life sour ($10) and their house made blood orange soda ($5). The cocktail, made with tanqueray, crème de violette, lime juice, egg white & hiver amer bitters, comes with a pansy, and is incredibly floral and delicate. The orange soda is rather intense, and strong enough that I think adults would like it as much as kids.
My favorite dish, of all things, was their sweet potato soup ($7). Smooth and fragrant, topped with fried potato pieces and scallions, it was pure, mellow comfort. It was the soup of the day when I visited, but I hope it returns.
Next I tried the bangers & mash ($14), one of their new dishes inspired by the exhibit. The house-made sausage is soft with a bit of give, tasting of spices and home. The yukon potato puree, topped with roasted cauliflower and onions, came with a pat of sea salt butter, so you could blend each bite to taste. Plated formally, it’s probably the closest thing I’ve seen recently to pub fare done on high. (I really need to try that deconstructed pork pie.)I’m also now a huge fan of their tabouleh salad ($12), a huge bowl of fragrant grainy goodness with strips of grilled pita. It smells of mint, though I didn’t taste much of it in the dish. The farro pops in the mouth, working with the pickled red onion, lemon, endive, and parsley towards something awesome. (As an aside, this tastes just as great the next day for lunch.)
Lastly, the molasses steamed pudding ($7), with a soft, tender center, and just the right moistness on the outside. If you love a warm dessert with caramelized pears, and ginger ice cream, it will wake you up, or at least make you wish for a few more days of slightly chilly weather.
After that fantastic meal, I moved up to the Seattle Art Museum to see what inspired all that delicious food. The exhibit hall reminds me strongly of the layout style favored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with portraits dominating the space. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think both exhibits deserve time to browse, and I wasn’t the only one entranced by the still lifes.
Open until May 19, you still have another two months to experience both types of masterpieces in person.
TASTE at SAM/Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101