FOOD: Museum Cafe

 

Written by Melanie Phillips Clemens in the October 2011 Issue

Museum Cafe, located on the ground floor of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, is more than a Cafe: It’s an international fine-dining restaurant in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. According to Ahmad Farnia, general manager, they’re cafe in name but not in style. “When we opened in February of 2003, the original decor of the restaurant was cafe-style with wicker chairs and a line to order and pick up food. Our main purpose was to provide a place for lunch for museum visitors.”


After numerous requests from Civic Center patrons, the restaurant extended hours to accommodate the demand. “By August of 2003, we’d become the restaurant we are today,” said Farnia. White tablecloths, elegant decor and servers in formal attire create an air of sophistication suitable for a restaurant devoted to art history. In artistic fashion, the restaurant offers rare services for those looking for an exceptional dining experience.


Cocktails on the Skyline presents an exquisite view of Oklahoma City amidst a casual atmosphere. Each Thursday evening from May to October, live bands, a tasteful Roof Terrace menu and full bar delivers a New York City flair with no reservations required. Museum Cafe can also make this incredible venue available for wedding receptions and private parties.


In the tradition of English high tea, Museum Cafe features four delightful teas paired with chef’s choice scones, dark chocolate truffles, berry tartlets or assorted finger sandwiches with select packages. “We have patrons who look forward to this occasion,” said Farnia. Tea Time is offered 3-5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and reservation is required at least 24 hours in advance.


Film lovers attending screenings at the Noble Theatre may choose the Dinner & Movie Package complete with a Prix-Fixe two-course menu. The menu, with or without the movie, is designed to enhance your dining experience with minimal waiting. It is available by reservation only.


Head Chef Gayland Toriello and his team use only the highest-quality ingredients to create every delectable item on the menu. Farnia explained, “I have my eye on everything that leaves the kitchen. Also, dealing with the same food companies for 25 years builds a relationship of trust. They know me and that I quality check every box and train our employees to do the same.” Enticing items such as lobster bisque, sweet and sour fig salad and pan-seared, pepper crusted tilapia are just a few of the delicious selections adorning lunch and dinner menus.


Farnia shared “Our staff is like a family and we treat our customers the same. Most of our servers know our guests and what they prefer. If the customer drinks wine, they know to bring them a glass of wine when they seat them. We’re very attentive to detail. About 80 percent of our business is return customers. That’s amazing because it’s difficult to get that kind of following in the restaurant business.”


Museum Cafe is located at 415 Couch Drive. Call 235-6262 for reservations. For more information, visit okcmoa.com/eat or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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