I’ll admit it. I’m in love. Passport to Paris, the DAM’s fall exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through 300 years of French art and culture, has rekindled my love for all things Parisian. Lucky for me, Le Central, on 8th Avenue, has created another outlet for my affections.
They’ve created a weekly prix fixe menu as well as a monthly communal table that pairs food and painters. Diners will get an experience as authentic as possible, as most of the painters were passionate about food and left detailed recipes and menus.
Through their exploration of French cuisine, Le Central will answer some of these burning culinary and artistic questions:
- Did the cooking of Pissaro’s wife, previously his mother’s maid, influence his paintings?
- Were Seurat and Signac’s favorite dishes as scientific, time consuming, and laborious as their painting?
- Was Cézanne’s preferred dish potatoes and Provence olive oil reflective of his art?
- Was Monet really more of a gourmet than Manet?
- Did the northerners' Van Gogh and Matisse discovery of the sunny Provencal food change their art?
- Have you ever wondered if Boucher’s meals were as voluptuous and erotic as his models?
- Did Toulouse–Lautrec’s table reflect his aristocratic upbringing or his brothel patronage?
Robert Tournier of Le Central also tells me that all these painters were also fierce drinkers. Perhaps you can feel closer to your favorite artist featured in Passport to Paris as you sip on their choice of drink, recreated by Le Central.
Image credit: Louis-Rolland Trinquesse, An Interior with a Lady, her Maid, and a Gentleman, 1776. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund.