Café Modern

Café Modern at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is a great setting for lunch, brunch, or even dinner if you visit on one of the museum’s First Friday evenings when both the galleries and the cafe stay open into the evening (see the related post in “Going Out/Fort Worth”). While Café Modern is not a place for vegetarians who expect a lot of meatless choices, chef Dena Peterson always has at least one entrée that’s designated as a “Vegetarian Preparation” on the menu (shown with a small green symbol), which means you don’t have to ask a lot of fussy questions to determine if something is, indeed, vegetarian. The limited selections aside, this spot is also worth a visit because the vegetarian fare isn’t your run-of-the-mill pasta primavera or grilled portobello sandwich; Peterson's meatless entrées are much more inventive and appealing than is typical. From last night’s First Friday menu, I had the only vegetarian choice, a Grano Risotto with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and Meyer lemon, topped with a crisp Parmesan-Pine Nut round ($19), which was hearty and delicious—indeed, my husband said it was better than his scallops entrée. The more reasonably priced winter lunch menu includes a Vegetable Samosa served with warm chickpea salad ($11), and Spaghetti Squash with quinoa, Thai peanut curry cream, Swiss chard, and roasted vegetables ($11), which both sound great.I especially like the café for parties of two, which are more likely to be seated at one of the small tables set along the restaurant’s rounded wall, which overlooks the museum’s reflecting pool. Call ahead for reservations—and to make sure you like the day’s meatless selections.