April 13, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Artifact delivers a tour of worldwide cuisines at Mingei Global Museum

For 44 a long time, the Mingei Global Museum has taken its website visitors on a entire world tour by using its assortment 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 having diners on a global culinary expedition at its new cafe, Artifact.

Artifact debuted in December in the foyer of Mingei’s Balboa Park location, which reopened final summer time after a three-yr, $55 million renovation. The smooth and present day bistro and bar is operate by Tracy Borkum’s Urban Kitchen Team (UKG), greatest regarded for her well known Cucina Urbana and Cucina Enoteca dining places. UKG also has a robust catering organization, with operations at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, the recently acquired Waters Fine Foods 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 reveals in the lobby of the Mingei Worldwide Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

More than the previous four months, Artifact has been serving a globally encouraged lunch-only menu made by UKG chef de delicacies Jeff Armstrong and executive chef Tim Kolanko. But on March 3, the restaurant launched evening meal support from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, the two days of the week when the museum is open up till 8 p.m.

During the dinner hrs, diners can possibly buy from an abbreviated menu of lunch products, or they can choose a $75 prix-fixe themed supper solution, which I hugely endorse. Just about every month, the Artifact culinary crew will make a new prix-fixe menu symbolizing a diverse global cuisine, encouraged by the objects in Mingei’s long-lasting assortment. The inaugural menu in March showcased dishes from Maghreb, the region of Northwest Africa that features Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and several other international locations. April’s menu will emphasis on the delicacies of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Kolanko said he and the other UKG cooks are obtaining pleasurable developing their very own new can take on regional ethnic dishes. The goal is to re-build the flavors and design of regular dishes with out currently being locked into old-planet 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 restaurant at Mingei International Museum.

(Ron Kerner/Mingei International Museum)

The three-class menu is served family members model, with all customers of the eating get together sharing dishes communally. Really don’t be concerned about likely dwelling hungry, it’s a considerable food. A few dishes designed up the to start with course of the Maghreb meal, four dishes have been in the 2nd and a dessert and beverage in the 3rd training course. All of the dishes in just about every training course get there at the desk together, generating for an entertaining mixing and sharing working experience.

The first program included a heat 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 area 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 appears like a bizarre combination but it was a effectively-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 clean-baked entire wheat cilantro flatbread served all through the Maghreb dinner at Artifact restaurant at Mingei Intercontinental Museum in Balboa Park.

(Ron Kerner/Mingei Global Museum)

The 2nd system had two principal dishes. The most effective was a luscious chermoula-spiced lamb loin, served on a mattress of labneh, a Lebanese yogurt distribute, with a side of crunchy, acidic slim-sliced fennel, pickled with preserved lemons. There was also a hearty and properly cooked dish of Tunisian-design and 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 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 observe-up dinners planned on April 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. Between the several showcased 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 chicken with mole negro coconut flan and Oaxacan darkish chocolate cookies.

In future months, exclusive prix-fixe menus may also be produced to pair with specific artwork exhibits. The restaurant’s bar gives an international selection of wines, some of which can be paired with the a few-course foods for an further $30.


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

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

On the web: mingei.org/go to/artifact

Artifact restaurant at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

Artifact cafe at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)