You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Gardner’s new Cafe G gets personal

The museum is getting a culinary makeover to match its unique vision.

david l. ryan/globe staff

THE ISABELLA STEWART Gardner Museum is unique, eclectic, and highly personal. Now it’s getting a culinary makeover to match. With chef Peter Crowley at the helm, the new Cafe G opens Jan. 19.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Kitchen staff work in the new cafe kitchen.

Crowley has been at the museum for a decade, but until now, his efforts were curtailed by the kitchen’s limitations: a few small electric burners and one electric convection oven. With new facilities in the Renzo Piano-designed expansion, “it’s like a cloud nine situation every day,’’ he says.

Continue reading below

The cafe is enclosed by three glass walls, allowing patrons to look out at the garden. There is also a patio set among lush plantings.

As for the menu, there will be small plates such as deviled eggs with Old Bay; apple salad with lychee, bacon, and sriracha dressing; and the cheesy, creamy French potato dish called tartiflette. Main dishes might include a grilled Comte cheese sandwich with frisee, fennel, and pear salad; caramelized sea scallops with butternut squash puree and salsa verde; or braised pork shoulder with shiitake mushrooms, rutabaga, and pearl onions.

For dessert, there’s caramelized hazelnut meringue with blood orange and hibiscus, banana bread pudding with spiced rum caramel, and warm cinnamon doughnuts with Champagne creme anglaise - a nod to the museum’s history. It is said that when it opened on Jan. 1, 1903, Isabella Stewart Gardner served guests champagne and doughnuts.

Continue reading it below

Cafe G serves beer and wine, with off-the-list wine selections offered on chalkboards in the dining room, “priced for value,’’ says Crowley.

The restaurant will regularly offer special menus inspired by its history, collection, special exhibits, and horticulture. In the first, Crowley has reinterpreted a Christmas meal Gardner once served, handwritten in the recipe book her mother gave her as a wedding present. Cafe G’s version includes Cape Cod oyster stew, rosemary roasted Vermont quail with kumquat glaze and red wine sauce, and, of course, the cinnamon doughnuts.

“I try to describe this experience as being more personalized,’’ Crowley says, “a level of hospitality and service uncommon in a museum setting. We want to try to really take it to another level.’’

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.