tree cup

by erin thursby
Café Nola, inside the MOCA gets its fair share of press, but did you know that you can now enjoy a pleasurable meal inside the Cummer?
If you haven’t been to the Cummer Museum’s café in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. They used to just serve smoothies, teas and coffee drinks, but since the fabulous Chef’s Garden took over, they’re offering all that and more.
At the Tree Cup you’ll find fresh, pretty salads, gorgeously plated sandwiches, small appetizer plates, hearty soup and decadent desserts all at reasonable prices. Their Baby Blue Salad ($5.95) sounded especially intriguing. Florida strawberries and mandarin oranges share a plate with gorgonzola cheese and baby lettuces.
The Virginia Ham Panini ($6.95) is a favorite, served on herb-crusted ciabatta with warm melted havarti cheese. All of their sandwiches are served with chips, seasonal fruit or pasta salad.
They serve soup every day. It’s well worth $3.50 for a cup or $4.95 for a bowl. If you love asparagus, their truffled asparagus soup is a must eat!
The teas they offer are excellent, particularly their mellow but flavorful lose leaf Earl Grey.
All of the food is provided by the Chef’s Garden, a catering company that runs their kitchen and caters Cummer events. If you have an event coming up that needs catering, you can come taste test the food that the in-demand Chef’s Garden can produce.
Always check their boards for a special. I sampled the fennel grilled chicken, which was served on a bed of fresh green beans, spring greens and surrounded by thinly sliced cucumber tossed in a vinaigrette and topped with finely minced tomato.
Those that want to stop in for a meal don’t have to pay to get into the museum. Just let the person at the front desk know that you’re going to the café. It’s a great place to catch lunch if you happen to work in Riverside. On Tuesdays they’re open later, so you can grab a dinner bite until 9 pm.

tree cup at the cummer
Barnett Concourse- Cummer Museum, 829 Riverside Ave. 556-6857 ext 6275
Hours: Tues. 10 am- 9 pm; Wed.- Fri. 10 am- 4 pm; Sa.t 10 am- 5 pm;
Sun. noon- 5 pm