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VMFA Restaurants Attract Food Enthusiasts

Special events feature seasonal ingredients for “locavores”

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ two restaurants are expanding food and wine offerings to Richmond’s ever-growing “foodie” scene. From engaging local purveyors to featuring local artisanal cheeses and spirits, VMFA is serving something new this spring.

A locavore is one who primarily eats foods from his local or regional foodshed. By eating locally, most locavores hope to create a greater connection between themselves and their food sources, resist industrialized and processed foods and support their local economy. VMFA’s goal is to procure much of its food, wine and spirits from regional farmers, growers, and sellers.

New menus premier at Amuse the first Friday of every month. In addition, Amuse is offering prix fixe dinners from 5-6 p.m. every Thursday and Friday evening for $28 per person. Guests will have choices of appetizers, entrees, and home-made desserts, with seafood and vegetarian options available. VMFA members continue to enjoy a 10 percent discount. Drink specials also occur every Thursday and Friday that include VMFA private-label wines by Michael Shaps, a Virginia/French wine maker based in Charlottesville.

For the first time Amuse is participating in Richmond Restaurant Week 2012, April 25-April 27 from 5-8:30 p.m. Restaurant week offers a citywide sampling of Richmond’s leading restaurants presenting special prix fixe menus featuring three course meals for $25.12. A contribution from every dinner will be donated to FeedMore food bank. “Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to expand Amuse’s dinner hours and allow a larger audience to come see what we’re all about and also donate to a worthy local cause,” notes VMFA chef Greg Haley. For Restaurant Week, Amuse will be open Wednesday night as well as the usual Thursday and Friday nights. For more information, visit

Upcoming events
The museum’s first wine dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12. It will feature five courses with wines by winemaker Michael Shaps. He and Chef Greg Haley will be available to talk about the food and wine selections. Reservations are limited to 70 people. Cocktail hour (cash bar) starts at 6:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 7:15 p.m. VMFA members will receive their discount.

July will introduce a monthly “Meet Up With Art” night the fourth Friday of every month. Drink specials will be available at Best Café and dining specials will be available at both museum restaurants. The open patio overlooking the sculpture garden will provide additional seating.

Amuse also plans to host the second annual Beer Dinner to coincide with Richmond Beer
Week during the second week in November.

Local food purveyors include: Ayrshire Farms, Upperville; Caromont Farms, Esmont; Homestead Creamery, Burnt Chimney; Afton Mountain, Afton; Edwards’ Ham, Surry County; SausageCraft, Richmond; Twin Oaks Tofu, Louisa; and Rappahannock Oyster Co., Rappahannock River.

Local breweries are: Legend Brewing, Richmond; Star Hill, Charlottesville; Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton; Tupper’s, Bethesda, Md.; and St. George Brewing Co., Hampton.

Additionally, regional artisanal spirits include: Wasmund’s Single Malt Whiskey, Sperryville; Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin, Loudon County; John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Fredericksburg; Cirrus Vodka, Richmond; and Chesapeake Bay Distillery and Blue Ridge Vodka, Virginia Beach.

About Amuse Restaurant

Guests can make reservations online or call 804.340.1580. VMFA members enjoy a 10 percent discount.
Lunch (daily) 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Tapas(daily) 2:30- 4:30 p.m.
Dinner (Thurs + Fri) 5-8:30 p.m.

About Best Café

Refreshments and wine bar (daily) 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Lunch (daily) 11 a .m.-2 p.m.
Dinner (Thurs + Fri) 5-8:30 p.m.


About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
With a collection of art that spans the globe and more than 5,000 years, plus a wide array of special exhibitions, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is recognized as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s permanent collection encompasses more than 23,000 works of art, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside Russia and one of the nation’s finest collections of American Art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. VMFA is home to acclaimed collections of English Silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British Sporting and Modern & Contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 75-year history. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit