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Eats Beat: Shorter menu, but more to see for the Buffet at the Kimbell

Posted 7:23am on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Finally, the Buffet Restaurant at the Kimbell Art Museum is getting its due.

For the next six weeks, at least, chef Shelby Schafer’s light soups, salads and Friday-night dinners will be showcased like masterpieces.

For crowds coming to the museum’s new Renzo Piano Pavilion beginning next week, the Buffet Restaurant will expand into an adjoining portrait gallery in the original Kahn Building.

That adds 60 seats for chicken-salad sandwiches or tomato-basil soup, although the selection will be more limited than usual to handle the traffic.

If you want to bring the family and friends, consider coming Friday nights for the full menu. The Kimbell serves every Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Until mid-February, the buffet’s lunch menu will be limited to $10-$11 combos with a choice of chicken-salad sandwiches, quinoa veggie salad, slaw or Caesar salad (or, sometimes tortellini). For dessert, there’s Schafer’s coconut cake or mocha brownies.

But at dinner Fridays, Schafer will roll out her familiar menu with $6-$12 entrees, quiches, sandwiches, pastas, a torte, more soups, desserts and espresssos.

And mark Nov. 29 on the calendar. That’s the first Friday the Piano Pavilion will be open, and that night Schafer’s menu will feature her first-rate chili.

The Buffet Restaurant — yes, it used to be just “the Buffet” — is open daily except Monday for lunch and Fridays only for dinner.

A new second restaurant, the Cafe, will open in the Piano Pavilion on Feb. 18, serving salads, sandwiches and coffee.

The restaurants are inside the Kimbell at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-332-8451, ext. 277; https://www.kimbellart . org/visit/dining.

• For a broader menu, try Café Modern across Van Cliburn Way, inside the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Café Modern serves lunch or brunch daily except Monday and dinner on Fridays until 8:30 p.m., with drinks until 9:30.

Chef Dena Pederson’s dinner menu features entrees such as Moroccan short ribs with almond couscous (about $25), halibut escabeche, pork tenderloin with a fig-port sauce and desserts such as a pumpkin tres leches cake or Mexican-chocolate pots de crème. 817-738-9215; http://www.themodern .org/cafe

• When the Food Network’s On the Rocks features the Science Lab Grille & Bar in Fort Worth on Dec. 8, one guest will be familiar.

A certain noted local hamburger chef will help the Science Lab revive the old XII Whiskey bar on West Berry Street for a new cafe.

(I can’t say who, but it wasn’t his first Rodeo.)

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats

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