Night at the Museum
The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism features selections from William S. Paley, the late founder and guiding spirit of CBS. The exhibition features more than 60 works of art, including paintings, drawings and sculpture, some of the most striking by French modern masters. Highlights include works by Paul Gauguin, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, and Edgar Degas, most created between 1880 and 1940, at the height of French Modernism, as well as Pablo Picasso’s Boy Leading a Horse. (from crystalbridges.org)
But - before I took in the art, I wanted to take in some food at the museum's restaurant, Eleven - "where the menu is inspired by the artworks and natural surroundings of Crystal Bridges." I've been to Eleven for lunch (I had an amazing burger served with the oh-so-colorful Terra vegetable chips), but have never been for dinner.
I started with the Eleven Bruschetta. A traditional bruschetta is served on artisan bread and topped with tomatoes, among other things. Eleven puts a sweet twist on theirs by using figs, walnuts, Gorgonzola and clover honey. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I ate 3 of the 4, LARGE pieces! It was SO good. I couldn't get enough of the cheese-fig-clover honey combination and will definitely be knocking off this recipe in the near future. I would have eaten the 4th piece but knew I needed to save room for my entree!
Speaking of the entree. I decided to try the Pan-Seared Local Chicken. It is served on top of butternut squash, candied pecans, a cranberry-bourbon reduction and topped with white baby spinach. Oh Em Gee. The flavor was amazing. I love trying new food and especially love when the food exceeds my expectations. I was even somewhat skeptical about the cranberry-bourbon reduction, but it was perfect. Run, do not walk to Crystal Bridges and try this now. You will not be disappointed.
I decided to pass on dessert so I would not be waddling through the exhibit. I finished my wine and made my way to the gallery. I was excited to see unique pieces outside of what you typically see and associate with artists like Picasso and Matisse. Below are some of my favorites.
The night was a perfect combination of great food and art. I enjoyed dinner and the exhibit alone and If you've never tried this before, you should. It's a very calming and enjoyable experience.
Cheers! - Jonathan