Cafe NOMA (482-1264; www.cafenoma.com) at the New Orleans Museum of Art (City Park, 1 Collins Diboll Circle; www.noma.org) may become a favorite lunch spot for those days when I need something light but filling as well as some time out of the office and comfortably (read: air-conditioned) among nature.
The Ralph Brennan Group held a special party last night to introduce the Ralph Brennan restaurant at the museum, which chef Chris Montero says has been operating quietly for a number of months, partly due to other Brennan projects including the recently opened Cafe B (2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 934-4700; www.cafeb.com).
The spot and the menu are good fits for the museum. The restaurant is walled in glass on three sides, offering views of a patio where you can dine when the weather is right, the inside of the museum, and the park (for people who want to sit on a couch and have drinks). The fourth wall houses a bar/serving area and a banquette with dining tables.
The kitchen offers house-made mozzarella, smoked salmon and charcuterie in dishes such as bruschetta with salmon, cucumber, red onion, capers and cream cheese. Other offerings include flatbread pizzas, salads, prosciutto and Gruyere panini with Mediterranean olives on ciabatta bread, soups (bacon, potato and leek or tomato basil), chicken or portobello mushroom sliders, a roasted Gulf shrimp and panzanella salad and more. The menu is enhanced by a variety of pastries, wines and beers.
The cafe is open during regular museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. There’s also a $10 Eat, Drink & Play special before Where Y’Art Fridays or theater performances at NOMA.
More photos after the jump.