New York's revered galleries have stepped up with fine diners as artful as any Pollock or Abramović.
An artful dining space in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new modern and contemporary art building is the latest in a series of creative gallery-restaurant collaborations in New York. Due to open in the northern autumn, the as-yet unnamed project is being overseen by chef Ignacio Mattos and beverage director Thomas Carter, the team behind the hit downtown restaurant Estela. Their latest eatery is taking shape at The Met Breuer, the landmark Upper East Side building formerly home to the Whitney Museum of American Art and now named in honour of its Bauhaus-trained architect, Marcel Breuer.
Meanwhile, the new Whitney, which moved last year to a Renzo Piano designed building in the Meatpacking District, has its own stylish, seasonally focused restaurant, Untitled, as well as the more casual Studio Cafe. The Whitney's eateries are the second museum project by consummate New York restaurateur Danny Meyer; his first, The Modern at the Museum of Modern Art, opened in 2005 and recently gained its second Michelin star.
The refuelling options for NYC gallery-goers have been steadily improving. The three-year-old Center for Italian Modern Art in Soho offers a complimentary espresso before its guided tours, while other, more elaborate, artistic-culinary ventures include the old-world Viennese Café Sabarsky in the beautiful Neue Galerie; the decidedly new-world Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design, with views over Central Park; the elegant Caffè Storico in the New York Historical Society; and M Wells Dinette at MoMA PS1, where chef Hugue Dufour's innovative approach to classic dishes seems the perfect fit for the old canteen of this former public school in the outer borough of Queens.
Earlier this year the Maman team created a more modern iteration of their charming French bakery-bistro for the new Bowery location of the International Center of Photography, and the Lower East Side stalwart Russ & Daughters opened an all-kosher restaurant and deli counter at the uptown Jewish Museum. Along with take-out smoked fish and bialys, those who visit before 5 February next year can take home a free artwork from the interactive exhibition Take Me (I'm Yours), which includes the works of more than 40 contemporary artists, such as Gilbert and George, Yoko Ono, and Lawrence Weiner.