Museums and Dining Go Hand in Hand in Atlanta
By one count, there are more than 40 galleries, museums, and gardens in the city of Atlanta, and all that exploration of art, culture, and history can leave one downright famished. No problem. Many of Atlanta's most popular museums are surrounded by or connected to great places to eat while others offer one-of-a-kind special food and culture pairings. Here are a few:
The High Museum of Art, with its revered collection of classic and contemporary art, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dining. Table 1280 is a restaurant and lounge on the Woodruff Art Center’s campus, where the High Museum, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Alliance Theatre share generous space. Located in one of the complex’s ultra-contemporary white structures, Table 1280 offers diners and those stopping for drinks a stunning view of the museum’s piazza through floor-to-ceiling windows.
While the restaurant has been here for almost 10 years, it’s now operated by Sterling Spoon, which took over in April and now serves lunch and dinner with a local farm-to-fork emphasis.
The menu was designed with art, music, and theater-goers in mind. Selections are generally not heavy, portion sizes are not overly generous, and dishes are served efficiently with the curtain call in mind.
Dishes highlight produce that’s in season. Both the smooth, light, and bursting with flavor carrot ginger soup and the roasted golden and red beets demonstrated the difference fresh, locally sourced produce can make. Steak frites with au poivre sauce, fries, and a Parmesan arugula salad with coriander dressing were flavorful with a perfect serving of sauce. Other dishes include the Woodruff burger with a tomato bacon jam, and the grilled Atlantic salmon with table greens, and house-made kettle chips.
To finish off the meal, try the molten chocolate cake served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you're lucky enough to visit during peach season, try the peach bourbon bread pudding.
With the June 23 opening of an exhibit of 35 Dutch masterworks including Johannes Vermeer’s iconic "Girl with a Pearl Earring" painting, Table 1280 is an ideal spot to enjoy a feast for the belly before the feast for the eyes.
Swan Coach House
The history of the Atlanta region is told at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.
The 33-acre site is home to the Atlanta History Museum, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Smith Family Farm, six historic gardens, and the Kenan Research Center. All are part of revealing how the Atlanta region has grown from its early settler days to its current prominence as an international city.
To satisfy an appetite, head to the Swan Coach House, an Atlanta institution since 1965, conveniently located on the grounds.
Indulge in such signature offerings as chicken salad in handmade timbales with a creamy frozen fruit salad and cheese straws, spinach quiche, fried green tomato sandwich, chicken curry, or crabcakes, to name a few. Four desserts are available, including a French silk swan.