August 14, 2012
Roundup: Plan A Summer Outing With Our Top Picks For Restaurants At Museums And Other Arts Institutions In Philadelphia
It’s easy to forget your appetite when you’re walking through a Philadelphia museum’s many captivating galleries and displays.
But after spending some time at the city’s many iconic museums or other arts venues, you may find yourself hungry. Very hungry.
Luckily, Philadelphia’s galleries and institutions understand the sentiment completely and have provided you plenty of top-notch dining options for your visit.
Check out our top picks for restaurants inside Philadelphia’s many museums, performing arts venues and other institutions, below.
• Garden Restaurant: The Barnes Foundation’s new Philadelphia location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway offers a light-filled sit-down restaurant with a seasonal à la carte menu of hot and cold entrées, salads and desserts, as well as a wine list featuring an array of local, domestic and international wines, plus specialty cocktails. On Friday nights light fare and a special martini menu are offered. Bonus: courtyard dining is available seasonally. The Barnes also has a coffee bar with a casual, on-the-go menu. It’s located on the Lower Level adjacent to the three-story, open-air interior garden.
• Granite Hill: Inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Stephen Starr’s contemporary French eatery Granite Hill dishes up museum-quality plates of olive oil-poached tuna with a white bean purée and marinated grape tomatoes, and roasted branzino meunière with capers and lemon brown butter. The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, for dinner on Friday and for brunch on Sunday.
• Gallery Café: Across the street from the main building, the Art Museum’s Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building houses the Gallery Café, manned by Starr alum Chef J.C. Nuñez. Before exploring the costume, textile, photography and modern design holdings, visitors can grab one of the 70 seats inside, or take their meal alfresco at the outdoor terrace. The contemporary menu complements the Art Deco museum and features items such as hearty sandwiches, fresh salads, artisan chocolates and house-made beverages.
• Brandywine River Museum Restaurant: Wyeth family paintings are the stars at the Brandywine River Museum, but the cafeteria-style dining area in this former gristmill offers its own striking view of the rushing waters below, a beautiful setting for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
• Museum Cafe: Operated by the prestigious Jeffrey A. Miller Catering company, the Museum Cafe at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown offers a changing selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Patrons can eat in the indoor area or, weather permitting, in the outdoor courtyard.
• Franklin Foodworks: The Franklin Institute’s Franklin Foodworks was recently updated with a Kitchen Science exhibit that demonstrates the whys and hows behind cooking, and the casual restaurant cooks up its own delicious exhibits of Angus burgers, salads, creative sandwiches and cupcakes.
• Pomegranates Café: Serving kosher fare, including dairy snacks from DiBruno Bros, light meals, Old City Coffee and other beverages and baked goods from LeBus, the National Museum of American Jewish History’s Pomegranates Café is a welcoming place to refuel before or after a visit to the museum.
Keep reading, below.
• Pepper Mill Café: Viewing mummies and ancient artifacts can work up an appetite, and the upscale cafeteria-style Pepper Mill Café in the Penn Museum obliges with a mix of soups, salads and hot meals, along with occasional special menus of exhibit-inspired dishes.
• PECO Bar: With Garces Catering newly at the helm, visitors to the Kimmel Center can enjoy casual fare at the PECO Bar with dishes such as a BBQ chicken pizza, turkey and gouda sandwiches on brioche and many more. Plus, Garces is set to open a restaurant on the ground floor of the center later this year.
• Crescendo: Wolfgang Puck is also behind Crescendo, the restaurant at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. The summertime eatery for concertgoers delivers seasonally inspired selections such as pan-seared salmon with mango-cucumber salsa and strawberry panna cotta.
• 1906: A Certified Green Restaurant, 1906 at Longwood Gardens offers visitors a full-service dining experience with a view of the Conservatory. The eco-minded menu might include locally sourced mushroom soup, braised short ribs with Chester County root vegetables and wine from a nearby vineyard.