Painters throughout history have famously paid for their meals by using their artworks as currency, leaving restaurants like Provence's La Colombe d'Or—where Picasso and Matisse once dined—with art collections as drool-worthy as the food. The six stateside restaurants below lay claim to impressive collections of their own, and take the art on their walls as seriously as they do the stunning food on your plate.
Casa Lever, New York City
As you dig into the classic Milanese cuisine at this design-savvy Manhattan spot, from the team behind the sceney Sant Ambroeus restaurants in the city, check out the original works by pop art icon Andy Warhol. The private collection includes 32 rotating silk-screen portraits of such notables as Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland and Dolly Parton. Photo courtesy of Casa Lever.
Picasso at Bellagio, Las Vegas
Two-Michelin-starred restaurant Picasso at the Bellagio in Las Vegas claims bragging rights not only to exquisite Mediterranean food by two-time James Beard Award-winning chef Julian Serrano, but also to around 20 masterpieces by the restaurant's namesake, Pablo Picasso. The paintings include Picasso's “Woman With Beret" and "Seated Man," along with ceramics, tiles and sculptures all created by the artist and incorporated into the décor. Fun fact: Claude Picasso, the son of Pablo, designed the carpet and the furniture for the restaurant. Photo courtesy of Instagram/@ateawiththequeen
Mr Chow, Los Angeles
Mr Chow Beverly Hills is big on presentation—and we don't just mean in signature dishes like the Fiery Beef, Mr Chow Noodles and Peking Duck. The restaurant's spectacular art gallery, curated by restaurateur and art collector Michael Chow, displays original works from famed artists like Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, Dan Colen and Antonio Lopez. And the art connection hits even closer to home: The English pop artist Sir Peter Thomas Blake, who co-designed the album cover for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, designed the artwork on the bottles for Mr Chow's tasty sauces (Fiery, Hoisin and Chile). Photo courtesy of Mr Chow.
Restaurant Cinq at La Colombe d’Or Hotel, Houston
Houston's Restaurant Cinq, housed in a historic mansion that was once a private residence and is now La Colombe d’Or Hotel, pairs modern European cuisine with an extensive art collection curated by owner, Steve Zimmerman. There you'll find an impressive range of works by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dali, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and more. Photo courtesy of Barett Henry at Civic Photos.
Meddlesome Moth, Dallas
This gastropub in Dallas's Design District is known for its modern-American food, extensive roster of craft-brewed beers, and jaw-dropping interior filled with striking works of art, courtesy of owner and restaurateur Shannon Wynne. Enter to find a 250-pound bronze sculpture by James Surls over the door. Overhead, you'll find three enormous stained-glass windows, deemed "The Trinity," and depicting Elvis, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. Photo by Raynor Bearden.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Miami
This visually striking restaurant presents artwork by talented artists from the city's urban street-art scene to go along with its innovative small plates by chef Miguel Aguilar, formerly of Alma de Cuba. The Arts District hotspot's exterior is swathed in murals by twin Brazilian artists Os Gemeos. Other works include pieces by American collaborative Dearraindrop, well-known artist Kenny Scharf, and acclaimed graffiti artist Shepard Fairey. As for the dining room, it holds panoramic 20-foot abstract art canvases by German artist Christian Awe; meanwhile, diners sitting outside look straight at the Wynwood Walls art park, with its 15 murals by international artists. Photo by Andrew Meade.
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