The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City has unveiled a redesigned Morgan Cafe, the first renewal since the Cafe opened in 2006. It features red accents throughout that take their cue from the reds that architects Charles McKim and Renzo Piano used in their celebrated work at the Morgan. The Cafe furniture dramatically changed as well with the introduction of stylish square tables and walnut chairs.
A revamped menu, developed in collaboration with Restaurant Associates, features traditional Morgan dishes along with a variety of new food and beverage selections. Among them are the popular Morgan Tea, a cocktail inspired by literature, and special entrees associated with the museum's exhibitions. Newly designed menu cards are highlighted with the names of artists, writers, historical figures and composers whose works are found in the Morgan's renowned collections.
"Lunch or afternoon tea at the Cafe is one of the true joys of a visit to the Morgan," says Museum Director William Griswold. "The Cafe's new look thematically connects to the Morgan's notable architecture and its menu links patrons to the Gilded Age and to the museum's exhibition program. Since its opening, the Cafe has grown in popularity every year. We feel the redesign will make it even more integral to the museum experience."
This summer, the Cafe will introduce several new food items and specialty drinks, including a luncheon called A Walk in the Park, a nod to a new summer drawings exhibition titled A Dialogue with Nature. With overtones of picnic-like fare, it will include chilled minted pea soup, a roast beef baguette with arugula, roasted tomato, stilton aioli and rose wine.
Another summer exhibition celebrates modern American literature, and the Cafe will introduce a contemporary version of the brandy-based classic Jack Rose, a favorite of the author John Steinbeck and a drink memorably consumed by the protagonist Jake Barnes in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.
New offerings will also pay homage to Pierpont Morgan, the museum's founder. A cocktail called Onward & Upward—the Morgan family motto—will include premium Bluecoat American gin and Argueso manzanilla sherry. Morgan often enjoyed a drink with close associates and friends at the end of the day, and this custom will be commemorated with a new cocktail called A Gilded Manhattan, featuring a choice of Angel's Envy rye or bourbon with Balaton cherries and 23 karat gold dust.
The relaunch of the Cafe coincides with the opening of the Morgan's summer exhibition season. In addition to Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection, which opens on May 20, and A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany, opening May 30, the museum will present a show of Renaissance illuminated manuscripts (which also debuts on May 30) and a selection of some of the world's greatest works of art, literature, and music from Oxford University's famous Bodleian Library. Opening June 6, the show is titled Marks of Genius.