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Breakfast with the Arts

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Soft jazz accompanies the murmur of quiet conversation in the Museum Restaurant, located in the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art. At Winterthur, guests appreciate sweeping vistas of the world famous gardens, while equally pleasing views of the buffet tempt their palate. Weekday noshers can enjoy the beauty of nature enhanced by sculpture at the Thronson Café, at the Delaware Museum of Art.

Three different museums offer decidedly different atmospheres, and an exciting array of breakfast and brunch options in which to nourish the mind, body and soul.

The statue of Rocky Balboa in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Wikipedia: Luigi Novi

The statue of Rocky Balboa in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Wikipedia: Luigi Novi   

Fine Music, Art and Food 

Bright, calming and airy, Granite Hill is the museum’s pinnacle eatery. Here, you’ll find an approachable French bistro menu filled with seasonal appetizers, entrée salads, omelets, and the freshest fish, as well as specialty cocktails and wines. The classic yet comfortable atmosphere encourages diners to relax and savor the seasonal offerings selected to appeal to all of the senses.

Sunday Brunch is available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art provide an equally tasteful way to start the week with a contemplation and mediation of the arts. The Medieval and Asian Art Galleries make particularly appealing oases of contemplation in the bustling city.  Grand architectural spaces, including a Medieval cloister from the Abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines and a portal from the Abbey Church of Saint-Laurent in France, provide the setting for individual works of art including illuminated manuscripts; sculptures and reliquaries; stained glass

This opportunity for introspection can also be found in the adjacent Asian collection, with its unique example of Indian stonework. The 16th-century shrine devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu provides a chance to experience the serenity of the elaborate carvings. The symbolism of these carvings (for example the use of the lotus flowers, an enduring symbol of rebirth) would have been understood by worshipers in a largely illiterate society.

The elaborate Indian shrine contrasts dramatically with the ascetic beauty of the Buddhist shrine, where tea often played an important component to worship.

When visiting the Philadelphia Museum, be sure to pick up a copy of “Today at the Museum” for a schedule of the day’s programs and tours.

Granite Hill Restaurant

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street

Philadelphia, PA

(215) 763-8100

This story was first published in the News Journal in 2008, under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All copyrights reserved.

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