We visit art museums regularly when we travel, from LA's Getty to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. The St Louis Art Museum has great collections, but desperately needs help with its cafe.
From the uninformed and poorly trained servers and bask waiters to a dull menu and uninspired preparation and presentation, you are better off eating elsewhere.
A manager came by and offered a coupon for our next visit. Since we are not locals, that had no meaning or value for us. He didn't seem to understand. We learned that a local chain operates the cafe. That may explain the experience.
We live in Denver. We highly recommend Kevin Taylor's at the DAM (Denver Art Museum). and the museum. Kevin Taylor has a small collection of restaurants with unique menus in Denver, also at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. We are never dissappointed.
The fine art of dining..
What You'll Find
Most museum cafes serve bad sandwiches, bottled water, bananas, and not much more. Not the St. Louis Art Museum. Overlooking the sculpture terrace, the cafe is a lovely spot for Sunday brunch (it's ranked as one of St. Louis' best) and offers a seasonal, multicultural menu that features salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Sunday brunch is $14.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids 5-10.
On selected Tuesdays, the cafe is part of SLAM's popular "Gourmet in the Galleries," featuring a guided tour of the featured exhibit along with a themed dinner and live entertainment (reservations are required, natch). To make reservations (or find out what's on the menu this week) call (314) 721-5325.
Purpose: To entertain out-of-town friends (board members of a Texas art museum) to a museum cafe
Result: Satisfied with several prior Sunday brunches, we tried Wednesday lunch. Reservations a MUST (we had 1:00pm). Staff was struggling with a full restaurant and waiting list. Service was excrutiatingly slow, not the fault of a pleasant server. Food was average to dull, soup was cold. Highlight became thin french fries....which had not been ordered.
Conclusion: Thank God the museum is there to entertain. As for food, we will stick to Sunday brunch at the Museum Cafe in the future.
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