Visual Arts and Culinary Artistry Meet at Pane e Vino in Huntsville Museum of Art
Huntsville Museum of Art, located at 300 Church Street NW in Huntsville, Alabama, is the culmination of hard work combined with generous donors and the ongoing support of the Art Guild. The museum had several homes before the present facility was completed and opened to the public in 1998. A more recent expansion, The Davidson Center for the Arts, was added in late 2010. It is a source of pride for the City of Huntsville.
In addition to over 3000 objects in its permanent collection, Huntsville Museum of Art hosts several exhibitions each year. It also provides art classes for children and adults, a lecture series, and occasional musical presentations. There are rental spaces on the Gallery and Plaza Levels as well as in the Great Hall. The spaces are popular in Huntsville for weddings and special events. The Museum Store near the reception desk displays and sells local art, jewelry and craft items.
Upcoming exhibitions at Huntsville Museum of Art include works of Luigi Lucioni, an Italian American artist who drew inspiration from the beauty he found in Vermont. Also on exhibit will be photographs by Barry Goldwater, a five-term U.S. Senator from Arizona. Visitors can also anticipate the stunning display of silver sculptures by the Italian fine jewelry firm of Buccellati. Thanks to the generous bequest of Betty Grisham, Huntsville has the largest public collection of these magnificent pieces.
Stunning artwork is expected in an art museum. However, culinary wizardry is a delicious surprise on the Plaza Level of this impressive facility. Chef James Boyce is the highly respected owner of both Cotton Row and Commerce Kitchen in downtown Huntsville. Chef Boyce created a mouthwatering Italian menu and opened Pane e Vino in the choice location of Huntsville Museum of Art.
If you choose to eat indoors, you will be assailed with the heady aromas of basil, garlic, onions and fresh yeast breads. But, if you dine al fresco, you will be treated to the sights of Big Spring International Park and all of the natural beauty of this popular green space surrounding a large spring-fed lagoon.
Pane e Vino (Italian for “bread and wine”) offers lunch and dinner every day from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. The wines come from Italy, California and Argentina. On a recent summer day, a concoction known as a Dreamsicle was being promoted as either a drink or a dessert because of the scoop of ice cream. Who could resist?
The food menu at Pane e Vino consists of salads, antipasti, paninis, calzones, pastas, pizzas and sweets. As a fun tie-in with the location, the pizzas are named for different artists, such as Michelangelo, Picasso, Georgia O-Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Mona Lisa or the Clemenza. I tried to figure out why the Mona Lisa pizza had goat cheese, mushrooms, prosciutto, pears, pecans, and arugula. Or why the Picasso had mozzarella, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions and garlic. And I wracked my brain to try to remember any paintings by Jackson Pollock featuring chickens. None emerged.
But, there had to be a reason why certain pizzas were assigned their names. The server and the manager went in search of the answer. Chef James Boyce, of course, had the perfect explanation. He looked at the color schemes of certain paintings or ones representing different artists and did his best to match the palette to the ingredients in the pizza. With that bit of information, the names made perfect sense.
The salads are filled with fresh ingredients, and the desserts are decadent. Tiramisu, cannoli, cheesecake and chocolate cake appear on the menu regularly.
Pane e Vino is a great choice for dinner before one of the summertime Concerts in the Park. In the winter when the Museum sets up its ice skating rink or Big Spring Park decorates for the Tinsel Trail, it would be a wonderful place to go in, get warm, smell the mouthwatering aromas, and enjoy a delicious meal. It is also a very convenient dining location for those attending an event at the Von Braun Center and is a short walk from Embassy Suites Hotel.
Huntsville Museum of Art has a beautifully-conceived, hands-on, children’s education area. Why not take your children or grandchildren there for a discovery and creation time and then delight them with pizza for lunch all in one location?
A huge travel bloggers conference (TBEX) will be held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville in May of 2017. A pre-expo day has been planned at Huntsville Museum of Art. The attendees are in for a treat.
Many thanks to the Huntsville Museum of Art for hosting my lunch at Pane e Vino. Regardless of the museum’s generosity, readers receive my honest feedback as the opinions expressed are 100% my own.