Soak up the food, and the art, at these museum restaurants

Caffe Storico Provided
Caffe Storico at the New York Historical Society.
Credit: Provided

New York City is dotted with museums, but walking around them for hours can be exhausting for an art lover. Sometimes after – or before – a long afternoon of perusing art, you just need a good meal. Fortunately, New York’s food scene is here to help. After speaking with Ali Loukzada, executive chef at the Rubin Museum of Art, we were inspired to craft a list of the best ways to grab some grub in city art spots.

The Robert Restaurant on top of the Museum of Arts and Design does justice to its funky museum setting, with purple-backed seating, amber yellow lighting and neon pink chair covers. The food is just as dynamic – choose a few things to share, maybe a tuna carpaccio piazza made with caviar, or order seared halibut in a sunchoke puree with snow peas. During the meal, soak in the views of Central Park.

After browsing through 20th-century German and Austrian art at the Neue Galerie, stop in for a special experience at the museum’s Café Sabarsky. The cafe’s decor is curated, too – the lighting fixtures are by designer Josef Hoffmann, and the furniture is by Austrian architect Adolf Loos. Sit on banquettes upholstered with an Otto Wagner fabric from 1912. The restaurant also hosts classical and cabaret performances. The food includes salmon and crepes and, of course, some regional fare, with a Bavarian ham and cheese plate on the menu as well as wiener schnitzel and goulash.

The New York Historical Society aims to bring the nation’s history alive, and its restaurant, Caffe Storico, provides an elegant setting to discuss what you learned. Plates line the walls, and chandeliers hang from the ceilings. Dishes go by the small-plate tradition, but you can also order pastas. Pair with a glass from the wine list, which only features Italian wines. Or, this is not on the menu, but you can order their summer drink, The Juniper Julep, inspired by the 1930s-themed summer exhibit “Swing Time.” It combines gin, lemon and honey from the Bee’s Knees and mint from the Julep classic to create a mix of gin, brandy and benedectine, lemon juice and honey syrup.

For many, the Morgan Library and Museum is a hidden gem in the city, a gorgeous building with enchanting ceilings and painted walls. Add the Morgan Dining Room to its special status. Offering brunch, lunch and cocktails, the menu harks back to early 20th-century cuisine in the city, and guests eat in the original Morgan family dining room. Brunch includes breakfast classics like eggs with smoked salmon, or stop by for a filet of fluke or lobster salad for a lavish lunch.

At the Whitney Museum of American Art, Untitled has raked up raves for its fare, another Danny Meyer inspiration. Their seasonal farm-to-table menu ranges from a chicken chorizo burger to cedar-roasted salmon with mango, snow peas and quinoa pilaf. Stop by to fuel up before or after a trip to, perhaps, see the Edward Hopper exhibit through Oct. 6.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison


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