There are few more lulling spots to graze in than the Garden Cafe, an airy dining area in the belly of the National Gallery of Art, where a gentle fountain provides the sole background music and trellised walls offer the illusion of dining alfresco. The marble table tops are cool to the touch; a statue of Bacchus toasts the lively midday crowd from an alcove perch. Through Aug. 12, the gallery hosts an exhibit of the work of the celebrated Catalan modern artist Joan Miro. To complement the show, “Ladder of Escape,” the cafe is serving food designed by chef Jose Andres of ThinkFoodGroup, the restaurant collection that includes Jaleo, the popular Spanish tapas destination. While the cafe offers a handful of entrees on its menu, the Catalan-inspired buffet, displayed on a center table, is where you want to focus. The spread looks like a picnic sans grass -- and it feels like one, sans the summertime heat. Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-289-3360. www.nga.gov/ginfo/cafes.shtm#garden. Catalan menu continues through mid-September. Cafe hours, Monday–Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sunday, noon–4 p.m.
The Washington Post