Artifact delivers a tour of worldwide cuisines at Mingei Global Museum


For 44 several years, the Mingei Worldwide Museum has taken its site visitors on a entire world tour by using its collection of tribal masks from the Congo, Ainu prayer sticks from Japan, fiber necklaces from Oman, children’s toys from Germany, maracas from Cuba and hat containers from China.

Now, it’s getting diners on a worldwide culinary expedition at its new cafe, Artifact.

Artifact debuted in December in the foyer of Mingei’s Balboa Park place, which reopened final summertime just after a a few-year, $55 million renovation. The modern and fashionable bistro and bar is run by Tracy Borkum’s City Kitchen area Team (UKG), finest regarded for her common Cucina Urbana and Cucina Enoteca places to eat. UKG also has a strong catering small business, with functions at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, the not long ago acquired Waters High-quality Foods on Morena Boulevard and the Mingei museum.

Artifact restaurant is surrounded by exhibits in the lobby of the Mingei Intercontinental Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

About the earlier four months, Artifact has been serving a globally influenced lunch-only menu designed by UKG chef de delicacies Jeff Armstrong and govt chef Tim Kolanko. But on March 3, the cafe introduced supper service from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, the two days of the week when the museum is open until 8 p.m.

During the evening meal hrs, diners can possibly order from an abbreviated menu of lunch products, or they can pick a $75 prix-fixe themed dinner option, which I highly advocate. Each individual month, the Artifact culinary staff will create a new prix-fixe menu representing a various worldwide delicacies, inspired by the objects in Mingei’s lasting collection. The inaugural menu in March featured dishes from Maghreb, the location of Northwest Africa that includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and various other countries. April’s menu will concentration on the cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Kolanko claimed he and the other UKG cooks are acquiring enjoyable producing their individual new can take on regional ethnic dishes. The aim is to re-generate the flavors and style of standard dishes devoid of becoming locked into old-earth preparations and elements.

Tunisian braised bass dish at Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum.

Tunisian braised bass was a person of the dishes on the Maghreb menu served in March at Artifact, the new cafe at Mingei Global Museum.

(Ron Kerner/Mingei Intercontinental Museum)

The three-program menu is served household fashion, with all associates of the dining celebration sharing dishes communally. Do not stress about going household hungry, it is a substantial food. A few dishes built up the initial class of the Maghreb food, 4 dishes have been in the next and a dessert and beverage in the third course. All of the dishes in every system get there at the table collectively, producing for an entertaining mixing and sharing practical experience.

The initially program bundled a warm entire wheat cilantro flatbread for two, served with a bowl of muhamarra, a creamy and taste-packed Lebanese roasted pink pepper dip topped with toasted walnuts and tangy pomegranate molasses. A crudo dish of community yellowtail amberjack was delicately accented with threads of floral saffron, a squeeze of citrus, chili shavings and fresh herbs. And a spring salad of blood and Valencia orange supremes topped with cinnamon, orange blossom drinking water and Manzanilla olives sounds like a peculiar blend but it was a well-balanced mix of saltiness, sweetness, spice and acidity.

Muhamarra spread with fresh-baked whole wheat cilantro flatbread at Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum.

Muhamarra unfold with fresh new-baked complete wheat cilantro flatbread served through the Maghreb dinner at Artifact restaurant at Mingei Worldwide Museum in Balboa Park.

(Ron Kerner/Mingei Worldwide Museum)

The 2nd program had two primary dishes. The greatest was a luscious chermoula-spiced lamb loin, served on a mattress of labneh, a Lebanese yogurt spread, with a facet of crunchy, acidic slender-sliced fennel, pickled with preserved lemons. There was also a hearty and correctly cooked dish of Tunisian-fashion seabass braised in a sauce of crushed tomatoes, chili powder and cumin topped with parsley, mint, dill and olive oil. The two entrees have been served with two sides, a featherlight couscous scented with Tunisian tabil spice and studded with sweet nuggets of tender apricot, and harira, a Moroccan dish of lentils, fava beans, roasted cauliflower and lemon.

The dessert program of petite Tunisian, Moroccan and Turkish pastries was served with a mug of Moroccan mint tea sweetened with honey and brown sugar.

The new Oaxacan prix-fixe menu kicks off on tonight, with adhere to-up dinners planned on April 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. Amid the a lot of featured dishes are spot prawn aguachile with finger limes, cucumber and avocado jicama and chayote salad with grilled nopales and cactus pear chile vinaigrette huitlacoche tamale with golden chanterelles and shaved black truffles achiote Duroc pork cooked in banana leaves Mary’s rooster with mole negro coconut flan and Oaxacan dark chocolate cookies.

In upcoming months, one of a kind prix-fixe menus might also be made to pair with particular artwork reveals. The restaurant’s bar provides an intercontinental collection of wines, some of which can be paired with the 3-course meals for an supplemental $30.


Meal hours: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays

The place: Minge International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park


Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

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