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Patricia Chang

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In Situ Has Built a Sleek Shrine to the World's Most Iconic Dishes

It's a museum within a museum

In Situ has opened, offering diners and patrons of the newly-reopened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a curated exploration of iconic dishes from some of the world's most renowned chefs.

Chef Corey Lee, whose three Michelin-starred Benu is focused on a tasting menu, has taken a different approach at In Situ, with rotating á la carte menus featuring dishes from the likes of Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Wylie Dufresne and more. Along with executive chef Brandon Rodgers, Lee has tested and tweaked the menu, which reads like a compilation of the best restaurants in Michelin and the World's 50 Best rankings. Local chefs include Anthony Myint (The Perennial, Mission Chinese), and Cecilia Chang (The Mandarin).

Lee envisions it as an extension of the museum's mission, offering diners the opportunity to interact with culinary art that might not normally be accessible. While dinner at In Situ will unquestionably cost diners way less than jetsetting around the globe, eating at the world's best restaurants, Lee has worked closely with featured chefs to recreate their dishes exactly (or in some cases, dishes created specially for In Situ).

The restaurant is embedded in the redesigned SFMOMA, which reopened to the public in May, featuring a 60 seat dining room, and lounge accommodating 70 people in communal seating. The space was designed by Aidlin Darling Design, featuring a wood ceiling canopy above dark walls, light wood and furniture designed by Herman Miller, Mattiazzi and Manifesto Design.

In Situ

The wood tables were designed in collaboration with Bay Area artist Evan Shively. The branding and identity details are from Andrea Lenardin of a l m project, including details from the wait staff's uniforms to the particular fold of the menu.

In Situ

Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Break This Heart, 2016

A mural from local artist Rosana Castrillo Díaz was commissioned for the lounge area, while colorful framed pieces from artist Tucker Nichols are the backdrop for the communal table.

In Situ

Tucker Nichols, Specials, 2016

In Situ

Overall, the effect is warmer than the the halls of a museum, but just as focused; the carefully curated menu (see in full here) will stand out against the muted color palette, and up to the critical gaze of the public.

At opening, the restaurant will be open for lunch from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with dinner service to come. Reservations can be made here.

In Situ

SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (415) 941-6050 Visit Website

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