RESTAURANTS

Mitsitam Cafe Offers Take Home Menu

Left to Right: Sweet Potato doughnuts, Mitsitam Cafe's executive chef, Richard Hetzler, and the NMAI exterior. Photos by Michael Woestehoff.

Washington, DC (November 7, 2011) – During the holiday season, many reputable restaurants are now offering fall take home menus for your family get togethers. As we are looking for the best option, there is one place that may be overlooked. Inside the National Museum of the American Indian, is the Zagat rated Mitsitam Cafe. “Mitsitam” means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. The Cafe features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains. This wonderful restaurant is headed by executive chef, Richard Hetzler.

A graduate of Baltimore Culinary College, Chef Hetzler worked at several fine-dining restaurants in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore area before joining Restaurant Associates at the Smithsonian museums.  Chef Hetzler was on the team that researched and developed the groundbreaking concept for the Mitsitam Cafe.  As executive chef, he continues to create and refine seasonal menus that showcase the Americas’ native bounty.

What he offers on the 2011 Holiday_Menu (link will open a pdf menu) will be memorable cuisine. There is the maple brine turkey.  This centerpiece on the dinner table is a free range turkey brined for three days in maple, smoked and slow roasted with maple butter, served with cranberry marmalade. Another option is the all natural venison leg stuffed and smoked with dried berries , spicebush red wine reduction.

If for nothing else, please head in the National Museum of the American Indian and try something different but almost guaranteed delicious. The house ground buffalo and duck burger (cooked ala carte with chili spiced fries) roasted pepper dijonaise, smoked tomatoes, and aged cheddar cheese. There are also sweet potato doughnuts that are not to be missed.

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