Artifact offers a tour of international cuisines at Mingei International Museum


For 44 a long time, the Mingei International Museum has taken its website visitors on a globe tour by way of its selection 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 bins from China.

Now, it’s having diners on a world-wide culinary expedition at its new restaurant, Artifact.

Artifact debuted in December in the foyer of Mingei’s Balboa Park area, which reopened last summer season just after a a few-calendar year, $55 million renovation. The smooth and modern-day bistro and bar is operate by Tracy Borkum’s Urban Kitchen Team (UKG), most effective known for her well-known Cucina Urbana and Cucina Enoteca places to eat. UKG also has a strong catering company, with functions at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, the not long ago acquired Waters Fantastic Meals on Morena Boulevard and the Mingei museum.

Artifact restaurant in the lobby of the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Artifact restaurant is surrounded by displays in the foyer of the Mingei Worldwide Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

In excess of the previous four months, Artifact has been serving a globally motivated lunch-only menu designed by UKG chef de delicacies Jeff Armstrong and executive chef Tim Kolanko. But on March 3, the cafe released supper provider from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, the two times of the 7 days when the museum is open right up until 8 p.m.

Through the dinner hrs, diners can both buy from an abbreviated menu of lunch products, or they can select a $75 prix-fixe themed dinner alternative, which I really suggest. Each and every thirty day period, the Artifact culinary crew will generate a new prix-fixe menu symbolizing a distinct intercontinental cuisine, motivated by the objects in Mingei’s permanent assortment. The inaugural menu in March featured dishes from Maghreb, the area of Northwest Africa that involves Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and numerous other countries. April’s menu will concentration on the delicacies of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Kolanko claimed he and the other UKG cooks are having exciting creating their personal new requires on regional ethnic dishes. The aim is to re-produce the flavors and design and style of standard dishes with out getting locked into previous-world preparations and components.

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

Tunisian braised bass was just one 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 3-study course menu is served loved ones design, with all associates of the dining celebration sharing dishes communally. Never fret about heading home hungry, it’s a sizeable food. 3 dishes produced up the initial class of the Maghreb food, 4 dishes have been in the next and a dessert and beverage in the 3rd study course. All of the dishes in each and every training course arrive at the table collectively, generating for an entertaining mixing and sharing working experience.

The to start with training course included a heat complete wheat cilantro flatbread for two, served with a bowl of muhamarra, a creamy and flavor-packed Lebanese roasted crimson pepper dip topped with toasted walnuts and tangy pomegranate molasses. A crudo dish of neighborhood 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 water and Manzanilla olives seems like a odd blend but it was a nicely-well balanced blend of saltiness, sweetness, spice and acidity.

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

Muhamarra distribute with contemporary-baked whole wheat cilantro flatbread served for the duration of the Maghreb supper at Artifact cafe at Mingei Worldwide Museum in Balboa Park.

(Ron Kerner/Mingei Global Museum)

The next training course had two main dishes. The finest was a luscious chermoula-spiced lamb loin, served on a mattress of labneh, a Lebanese yogurt spread, with a side of crunchy, acidic skinny-sliced fennel, pickled with preserved lemons. There was also a hearty and properly cooked dish of Tunisian-style seabass braised in a sauce of crushed tomatoes, chili powder and cumin topped with parsley, mint, dill and olive oil. The two entrees had 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 study course 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 comply with-up dinners planned on April 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. Among the the quite a few 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 long run months, exclusive prix-fixe menus may possibly also be made to pair with precise artwork exhibits. The restaurant’s bar features an worldwide choice of wines, some of which can be paired with the three-training course foods for an additional $30.


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

Where: Minge Worldwide Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park

On line:

Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Artifact cafe at Mingei Intercontinental Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

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