Culture / Restaurants

Artful Dining

Top Houston Museum to Open a New Restaurant to Replace Shuttered Cafe Express

BY // 08.03.15

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), will soon boast more than just works of art. Plans are underway for the new MFACafe, a restaurant that will stand in the former Cafe Express space on the lower level of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. Work on the namesake eatery is in full swing after the closure of Cafe Express on August 1.

The cafe, which will open this fall, will be run by co-creators Paolo Fronza and Matteo Alessandri (Fellini Caffè) and showcase northern Italian-inspired fare as well as a European-style coffee bar. The menu will feature sweet and savory breakfast items, salads, pastas, soups and freshly pressed panini, while the coffee bar will serve gourmet drinks including espresso, cappuccinos, flat whites, lattes, smoothies and frappes. Need some art with that frappe? The MFACafe will also display works of art from the museum’s collection that embody Italian art and culture.

MFAH director Gary Tinterow says, “We are excited about this collaboration and the elegant new look of our restaurant. I look forward to enjoying the fresh, healthy and delicious offerings that I have enjoyed at Caffè Fellini in Rice Village, augmented with an expanded menu that will offer something for everyone.”

Beginning Tuesday, August 4, the museum will open a temporary pop-up cafe in the lobby of the Beck Building to service guests until the opening of MFACafe. The pop-up will operate Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm, and Sunday, 12:15 to 3 pm. Similar to Cafe Express, the menu will offer an array of sandwiches and salads. Box lunches will also be available for kids.

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