With spring (school) break this week, I took some days off to be with girls and thought it would be fun to do some New York things that one usually doesn’t have time to do. So after packing some snacks, a couple of books and readying ourselves for hoards of tourists, the girls and I decided to spend a day at the MoMA. The subway ride was not as bad, and the girls loved walking around midtown and looking at the big buildings. They were not so happy to walk among that many people, though.
As usual, the MoMA was packed, even if it was a Monday morning. We got our tickets and proceeded to walk around the museum. Our first stop was the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series, which I had already seen long time ago and that is was as poignant as I remember it, specially with all the racial issues that have occurred lately.
After this exhibit, we proceeded to the fifth floor to enjoy paintings from Seurat (whose pointillist technique amazed Little Sous-Chef), Monet, van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso (a fellow Malagueño and whose Three Musicians had been explained to Little Sous Chef in her Kindergarden art class. She recognized the painting and was excited to tell her art teacher about it). La Petite Wasabi was more interested in wandering about and really fascinated with the beautiful garden.
We walked a bit more and we got to that point every parent knows: when kids begin getting antsy and they either need to eat or get out before you face an epic meltdown or you risk some type of mass destruction. So we took the escalators (an exciting thing, as I noticed) to the 2nd floor and headed towards the Café.
The lines seemed to be long, but they moved pretty fast. We were greeted by our hostess, who told us there was a 5 minute wait and asked us if we needed a high chair. Le Petite Wasabi insisted on having one of the colorful Stokke high chairs, which they had ready for us in one of the long communal tables where we were sat shortly after. The menu is simple but complete and they do have a kids menu with a couple of options: pasta with either tomato sauce or butter (the latter being La Petite Wasabi’s choice) and the Kid’s lunch platter: 2 different types of panini, one with peanut butter, Nutella and banana and the second choice being the equivalent of a grilled (mozzarella) cheese sandwich that comes along with some hummus and crudités (Little-Sous Chef’s choice). The kids dishes do not include drinks but they do come with a choice of dessert: the healthy one, fresh fruit, and the not as healty but more fun one, chocolate chip cookies (which were delicious, by the way).
The options for the grown-ups are ample and I remember having had a great date with Dad Vivant with the Signature Italian Picnic for Two, a great deal that for $40 includes a choice of 2 antipasti, a choice of 6 Italian cured meats and 2 glasses of wine. As I didn’t have an adult to share the picnic with, I went with the Salumi and Cheese Tasting and, of course, ordered a nice Primitivo to go with it. The Tasting dish came with a choice of 3 artisanal cheeses and 3 cured meats, along with a very nice chutney, olives and flatbread and the wine was served in a quartino, which is basically 2 glasses. Great offering to unwind after a long walk in the museum making sure that the girls didn’t touch anything they shouldn’t and didn’t get lost with so many visitors. As expected, La Petite Wasabi decided to play with her pasta and devoured half, if not all, of my cured meats and cheeses.
Service was impeccable and very friendly. They accommodated the girls and the food came relatively fast. You can feel that this is a very well oiled machine.
Restrooms are outside the restaurant and they do have a changing table. They are the standard museum restrooms: ample, bright, with a decent number of stalls and long lines of people.
To be honest, I would definitely come here more often, both with and without the girls, if we didn’t have to deal with as many visitors. The fact that you have to pay the $25 to get in is a bit of a turn off as well, because it makes this rather affordable restaurant a bit more expensive than needed. But then, after having a lovely lunch, surrounded by art, you can spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the work of famous artists, which makes New York the place (almost) everyone wants to be.
11 West 53rd Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: 11:00am – 7:30pm
Saturday – Sunday:11:00am – 5:00pm