On May 6, the French-Cajun cafe helmed by chef Sarah McIntosh, announced via release the opening of its latest edition. The mini outpost, located near the entrance, and across from the museum gift shop, is a more casual version of the Hancock flagship, subbing a traditional dining room for the beautiful grounds of the museum.
Ordering is done at a walk-up window inside a sleek new pavilion designed by New Orleans firm Trahan Architects. Though a few tables are scattered in the pavilion in case of rain, guests are welcome to enjoy their meal on one of two shaded terraces or stage an impromptu picnic in the sculpture park.
In keeping with the format, the menu sticks to portable fare, doing away with the flagship Epicerie’s larger plates. Sandwiches like muffalettas, cured salmon bagels, and avocado toast anchor the menu, but there are plenty of other choices including quiche, salads, soups, a cheese plate, and crudités.
"In building a menu for Épicerie at The Contemporary, I've thought a lot about the sculpture park's visitors and the students of the Art School at Laguna Gloria who attend classes over and over again. I was an art major in college, so this really does come full circle for me," McIntosh said in an earlier release. "A light bite, a cup of coffee, or a bottle of wine split by two is the perfect accompaniment to a day strolling the sculpture park grounds."
There are also plenty of treats, making the spot ideal for a post-Mother’s Day outing. Sweets include sprinkle, salted chocolate chip, and chocolate pecan chunk cookies; shortbread; kolache; and bostock — an almond-flavored pastry similar to French toast.
Although the grounds open at 8 am daily, Epicerie is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Austinites can check out both during Laguna Gloria’s grand opening May 11 from 11 am to 3 pm.