Seattle Art Museum’s Restaurant, TASTE

The restaurant offers menus inspired by the museum's exhibits

Croque Madame

Sometimes a city’s best destinations are right under our noses and simply need to be rediscovered to quickly climb to the top of the list. Such is the case with the Seattle Art Museum and its accompanying restaurant TASTE, located in the heart of downtown Seattle.

The Seattle Art Museum, which underwent a significant expansion at its downtown facility and reopened in 2007, is currently offering a brand-new exhibit titled "Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London."  The show, which features 50 masterpieces, includes Rembrandt’s late "Portrait of the Artist" (ca. 1665), which has never before been seen outside of Europe. The Kenwood House Exhibit will be running until May 19, 2013.

No trip to the Seattle Art Museum, however, would be complete without a stop in at TASTE, the restaurant attached to the museum, but which thanks to the culinary delights of chef Craig Hetherington is a worthy destination in and of itself.

With a locally sourced, seasonally changing menu that is also inspired by the current exhibit (the latest menu includes London pub fare such as bangers and mash), there is truly something for everyone, ranging from the lunchtime "Louie Louie" salad, a stalwart of the TASTE menu with avocado, Oregon pink shrimp, and deviled egg, to the wild mushroom stroganoff, a vegetarian riff on the classic dish made here with foraged mushrooms, crème fraîche, and Walla Walla sweet onions.

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If you’re seeking a cultural experience that delights the senses, look no further. While the Seattle Art Museum’s current show is undeniably a collection of the European Masters, the dishes from TASTE are works of art all on their own.