We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Really hits the spot”

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Garden Cafe Ballets Russes
Ranked #1,537 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Restaurant details
Ajax, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Really hits the spot”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2013

Inside the National Art Gallery, you wouldn't expect great food to be available. But its is...
We had the lunch buffet. At $20 per person, we had caviar on blinis (blinis were a bit rough), a cold soup (don't remember the name, celery root salad, beef stroghanoff, and a strawberry dessert... after a long day of walking in the museum... it was perfect

Visited August 2013
Thank Norbert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

6 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Menomonie, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
143 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Superb buffet.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2013

Located in the basement of the National Gallery of Art, this superb gourmet buffet is well worth the $20, dessert included. Forget the food trucks, sit down and enjoy!!

Visited August 2013
Thank widad11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Oasis of calm”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

Although the museum cafeterias all along the Mall have improved in quality, offering a variety of foods now, it's nice to find a place that's not just carrying trays and bustling with large groups.

Treat yourself to an oasis of calm in the West Wing of the National Gallery. This year, in concert with the fabulous show Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes show (through October 4, 2013), the Garden Café has a delightful menu inspired by the Imperial Russian - Parisian connection.
You pay $20 for the prix-fixe buffet, which has an updated, streamlined version of the old borscht soup for starters. The main-course fare is an excellently prepared salmon in a puff pastry crust. On the side are a lentil pilaf, a nice celery root salad, and roasted vegetables. Dessert is the old European standby, fresh strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream.
For an extra charge, you can order beer or wine by the glass, soft drinks, coffee, even a good cup of espresso. It's a good value. Of course, you can also order a la carte.

Overall, it's just a quiet, serene space, illuminated by the skylight, with all the sounds softened by a gentle water fountain with a classical-themed bronze statue. You feel a bit old-fashioned, and the scene is hushed -- a welcome respite from the crowds in the gallery. Linger, catch your breath, and then, refreshed, delve into the museum shop or into the next exciting galleries and art collections.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Chrisjazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Garden Cafe Ballets Russes also viewed

Washington DC, DC
Washington DC, DC

Been to Garden Cafe Ballets Russes? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing