Thought-provoking art and conversation-facilitating restaurants go hand in hand. When we have the opportunity to introspect over what we are seeing and then express that to our companions over a meal, we truly experience the inspirational nature of art.

St. Louis Art Museum, host to world-class exhibits year round, currently has Harper’s Pictorial History of The Civil War (Annotated) by Kara Walker on display. Visitors will review an “… exhibition [that] places two prints from Walker's 2005 portfolio in dialogue with a selection of 19th-century wood engravings that are contemporaneous with the original 1866 Harper's publication.” Heavy and compelling, the exhibit is sure to prompt discussion about race and gender.

Follow your museum visit with a lovely, casual meal at Tavolo V. A recently opened eatery in The Loop, Tavolo V offers uncomplicated fare that is sure to please. An ideal spring/summer starter is the Portabella, a thick, meaty mushroom grilled to perfection, drizzled ever so lightly with a balsamic glaze and accompanied by fresh asparagus spears.

Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are menu highlight. Certainly shareable, the Tavolo V pizza is a work of art in its own right. The delicate crust is rubbed with olive oil and topped with fresh mozzarella. Spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and artichokes are layered on, and goat cheese dots the top. Every bit is loaded with flavor and texture. The only downfall, if you can call it one: it's a challenge to get all that great conversation in between bites.

THE DINNER

Tavolo V, 6118 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.721.4333, tavolov.com

THE SHOW

Harper’s Pictorial History of The Civil War (Annotated) by Kara Walker, now through Sun., Aug. 26, Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park, slam.org


Amy Burdge writes Eat It, St. Louis!, a blog dedicated to the pure love of food, the artistry and passion of those who create it and the sheer experience it provides.

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