Boston Hospitals Tempting Patients with Fine Food, Fab Art, and Posh Digs

Are these hospitals or hotels?

boston hospital food

In recent years, hospital food has gone gourmet. / Photograph by Sarah Fisher

A Catered Affair
Boston Children’s Hospital

With a recently renovated lobby, Children’s leadership decided to turn an outdated cafeteria into an 11,000-square-foot gastronomy temple with a signature “Chef’s Playground” station featuring customizable meals like Cuban mojo pork (pictured), with locally sourced ingredients. Special events include visits from luminaries such as Ming Tsai, and a monthly “night out” for parents featuring white tablecloths and candles.

Feast for the Eyes
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

When Ruth Berlin’s daughter, Ellen, underwent treatment for a brain tumor at Dana-Farber, their walks meant everything. The pair often stopped to admire pieces from the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care’s 500-piece contemporary-art collection, which includes works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Chihuly, overseen by a dedicated committee, an art consultant, and a staff curator. “It’s an investment the institution is making in the environment and the building,” committee chairwoman Jane Mayer says.

For many donors, there’s a deep connection. When her daughter succumbed to the tumor, Berlin remembered those walks. And she donated several of her own pieces. Infinity #8, by Renzo Palmerini, sat in the Berlins’ front hallway when Ellen was little. Now the 2-foot marble sculpture is on display in Dana-Farber’s Longwood Center lobby.

“To me,” Berlin says, “that meant everything.”


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