Museums are the new
culinary hot spots
nBY LARRY OLMSTED
New York City is famous for its food.
Ithasoneofthe world” ’sgreatculinary
scenesandishometoscoresofexcel-lentrestaurants. Yet, onlyatinyportion
New York Times. Even rarer is a three-star eatery located in a museum. In fact,
there is only one—The Modern.
When The Modern opened nearly four
years ago, it was an innovation. Today,
it is an inspiration, and it has sparked
a trend that can only be called museum
fine dining. In retrospect, it is surprising
it took so long before anyone made the
obvious connection between the passion
of food lovers and that of art lovers.
“I think it is a symbiotic relationship,”
says David Swinghamer, who oversees
brand growth for star chef Danny Meyer’s
Union Square Hospitality Group, owner
of Union Square Café and Gramercy
Tavern, among other award-winning
restaurants. Swinghamer was instrumental in creating The Modern, working in
tandem with directors of the Museum of
Modern Art, where it is located.
“Art and food are both respites from
the everyday grind,” he says. “They give
you renewed energy, put you in touch
with life. It is no coincidence that many of
the best restaurants also display fine art.”
The Michelin-starred Modern definitely has the highest profile of all the museum restaurants, with its rave reviews,
celebrity chef operator and $85 prix fixe
dinner. A true fine-dining restaurant, it