Chefs Henry Boudreaux and Gayland A. Toriello
Credit: Shannon Cornman

 The tastes, scents and flavors found here can be as enrapturing as the art that lines the buildings’ web of walls.

It’s not just local diners loving the artistry spilling out of the Museum Cafe kitchen; OpenTable recently deemed it one of the best brunch spots in the country.

“[The cafe is] right here in the middle of the art district, with a nice patio,” cafe general manager Ahmad Farnia said. “The ambience is so good, and people just love having brunch here with this wonderful menu.”

Patron favorites are classic brunch plates with unique flourishes, like the orange brioche French toast or the eggs Benedict three ways: Canadian bacon, smoked salmon or spinach.

To keep pace with current downtown revamping, the restaurant has done some renovating of its own, as well as suited the servers with new attire, leaving everything refreshed.

Quality options aren’t limited to the popular Sunday brunch plates. The chefs in the kitchen are constantly reinventing the lunch and dinner menus to reflect food trends and seasonal flavors.

The current dinner menu is anchored by hearty comfort dishes like lamb shank and mashed potatoes or mussels served with a saffron butter sauce, but will give way to a new menu set for debut in late June or early July.

“It’s extremely summery, really light with a lot of vinaigrettes and citrus notes and no heavy cream sauces,” said sous chef Henry Boudreaux. “The dishes are very refreshing.”

Boudreaux recently finished constructing the new menu with those ideas in mind. Select dishes include a seared duck breast with a blackberry gastrique, English pea risotto, grilled quail with an orange tarragon glaze served alongside black quinoa and a citrus crème brûlée. For lunch, there’s

the coriander spiced ahi tuna salad with jicama and a sesame-lime vinaigrette. The meals showcase local and seasonal products, something Boudreaux also focused on throughout the process.

“I like to get whatever is in season.

A lot of the herbs come from the garden at my house,” he said. “I can get great fresh peaches and heirloom tomatoes right now. We like to change seasonally, not only for the different flavor combinations that work in each one, but also the produce that we want to showcase.”

The beginning of summer also marks the return of the museum’s beloved Cocktails on the Skyline soirees at 5 p.m. each Thursday night through October. The parties are hosted on the museum’s lovely rooftop terrace, overlooking the bustling city streets and amidst the mirrored glass of nearby skyscrapers. Each evening features a live music lineup that includes local favorites Born in November, New Shoes and Allie Lauren.

Farnia said standard mixed drinks, imported and domestic beers and wine are available, as well as the occasional specialty cocktail. Complimentary chips and salsa are provided. The galleries are open until 9 p.m. with the roof terrace closing at 10:30 p.m.

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