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New Café Now Open At The Clark Art Institute

For Immediate Release

June 22, 2001

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, (June 22, 2001) - Visitors to the Clark Art Institute's summer exhibition Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890 also have the opportunity to sample the Clark's new café, operated by CulinArt Inc. of Lake Success, New York. CulinArt provides two dining options at the Clark. An à la carte counter, located in the introductory gallery to Impression, offers snacks, beverages, and "grab and go" sandwiches and salads during gallery hours, daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 7 p.m. Visitors choosing this option may eat indoors or take their selections outside for a picnic on the Clark's grounds which include picnic tables and a tented seating area. Those seeking a more formal dining experience may choose the Café, offering table service for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily throughout the summer. Both the café and à la carte are open to everyone, including visitors not planning on entering the galleries.

"I am pleased to welcome CulinArt and am confident that the variety of options available will suit our many visitors, tourists and local residents alike," said Clark director Michael Conforti. "With their many years of experience providing food service for museums and other institutions, CulinArt is a valuable addition to our expanded visitor services."

CulinArt provides food service at more than 100 locations in the Northeast, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. In addition to their museum facilities CulinArt has numerous business and industry, higher education, and amusement clients. Site manager at the Clark is John Rossi, who brings 15 years of experience running food service at country clubs on Long Island. Chef Drew Nicastro of Williamstown will head the kitchen at the Clark café; Nicastro has been chef at several local restaurants.

"I have so enjoyed working with the Clark to get the new café ready for the summer crowds," said Rossi. "In our first week we have already been quite busy and our patrons are very enthusiastic about the food and of course about the museum. I look forward to a successful season."

The Café menu features salads, such as chilled roast chicken breast with artichokes and nicoise olives over garden greens, and fresh North Atlantic salmon with shaved fennel bulbs and red bliss potatoes over mesclun greens. Sandwich selections include freshly roasted turkey with sharp cheddar and tart green apples and Mediterranean tuna salad with radishes and romaine hearts. Vegetarians may choose fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil on parmesan focaccia. The Café also serves a variety of desserts, soft drinks, and wine by the glass. Menu prices for entrées range from $9 to $13.

The "grab and go" menu includes Caesar salads, pan banat (tuna salad with capers and roasted red peppers on a crusty roll) and a black forest ham and brie wrap. Fruit, cookies, brownies, and hot and cold beverages are also available. Salad and sandwich prices range from $7 to $9.

The Clark Café will operate on its current schedule throughout the run of Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890, which is on view through September 9. CulinArt plans to provide some form of food service to Clark visitors year-round.

The Clark is the only North American venue for Impression, which features nearly 80 paintings by Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Sisley, Renoir, Degas, and Van Gogh. The exhibition explores those aspects of Impressionism-spontaneity and immediacy-that made the movement so radical in it's day. Admission to Impression is $10 for adults, free for children and students. Tickets are available at the Clark, by telephone at 1-866-THE CLARK (1-866-843-2527), or on-line at www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/paintingquickly/. Tickets for Impression include admission to the Clark's own collection of French Impressionist paintings, Old Master and American paintings, English silver, and more.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. Through September 9 the galleries, café, and museum shop are open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 7 p.m.

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