Located in the atrium of the Corcoran Gallery of Art is a casual café that is owned and operated by celebrated chef Todd Gray, who is better known for the elegant and composed meals that he serves up at his flagship restaurant, Equinox, than creating earthy health food.
Todd Gray’s Muse at the Corcoran is a daily lunch and Sunday brunch café featuring market-sourced produce and local ingredients in soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. What’s unusual about the menu is that a lot of it focuses on vegetarian as well as vegan dishes. In fact, once a month, the Sunday brunch is totally vegan.
I am a die-hard omnivore, and even I love going to Muse for lunch. My perennial warm-weather favorite is the grilled cheese (pressed to order) sandwich served up with a cup of tomato soup and a salad of baby arugula and carrot. The soup is simple, but delicious—a thick puree of sun ripened tomatoes that is well seasoned with an ever so slight hint of fresh ginger. Though this is café food, it is definitely very upscale—don’t let the recyclable bowls and compostable corn cutlery fool you into believing anything otherwise!
You place your order at the counter and they give you a small blackboard plaque to place on your table; your food will be brought to you when it’s ready.
The Corcoran Gallery is just around the corner from the White House, so Muse is a convenient spot to grab a healthy bite for lunch.