Monday, September 28, 2009

The SFMOMA's Rooftop Garden Coffeebar

The rooftop garden cafe at SF MOMA

So, San Francisco is still there, I'm happy to report. As difficult and delightful as ever. Over the next few days I'll be sharing some highlights from my trip to the City to attend the 1st annual BlogHer Food - a gathering of food bloggers that took place on Saturday.

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I posted a bit about pastry power couple Caitlin Williams and James Freeman in San Francisco - she is a former Miette Patisserie owner, and he is the CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee. As the Design Sponge piece that inspired the post mentioned, she left Miette to create art-inspired pastries for the newly opened rooftop garden Blue Bottle Coffee Bar at the SF MOMA. It just so happened that I was at the museum on Friday to see the Avedon exhibit while in town, so I was lucky enough to see it for myself in person.

SF MOMA Rooftop Coffeebar Sweets

It was even cooler than I expected - with a chic display of the whimsical desserts, and a full Blue Bottle Coffee bar. I ordered a cappuccino and asked for it "dry." They told me they don't really make their drinks dry, but I could order a different drink that had very little milk - so I did. It was just right, but I can't remember what they called it.
Blue Bottle Espresso at the Cafe at SF MOMA
The rooftop sculpture garden itself is a lovely space with a large open breezeway, and two outdoor areas on either side. It's a perfect spot on a sunny day, which was exactly what we had on Friday.
SF MOMA rooftop garden

Inspired by the weather I ordered an "Ellsworth Kelly" fudgsicle, which was cold, wonderfully dark and rich, and molded into the perfect shape.
The Best Fudgsicle Ever

We also sampled the lovely bee box - made of cardamom and white chocolate and filled with a dense honey and pistachio mousse.
Bee Box dessert at SF MOMA coffeebar

The Thiebaud cake was also tempting....
Thiebaud Cake

As was the ice cream sundae - made with Humphry Slocombe "Secret Breakfast" ice cream, chocolate sauce and vanilla saffron cookies. What is "Secret Breakfast" you ask? Why bourbon and cornflakes, as it turns out.
Ice Cream Sundae

The desserts are not only pretty to look at, but affordable, delightful and thoughtful as well.

The only catch - if you view it as such - is that you have to buy admission to the museum to visit. It's $15. for regular admission, and $20. including the Avedon exhibit (which I highly recommend.) If I lived in the area, I'd probably have to go ahead and become a member. Otherwise, I could definitely see some $20. fudgsicles in my future!


  1. This is definitely on our itinerary for our trip! I'd like to see the Avedon exhibit, and don't think I won't stop by this place to ogle and perhaps eat something!

  2. So delightful, Alice! Looking forward to our lunch!

  3. Lovely post, looking forward to reading about the rest of the weekend. I've read many of the post conference blog posts from attendees and yours is one of the few that focused on food. San Francisco is one of the best food cities and you know how to tackle it.

  4. Beautiful shots, and great post. Was that drink a macchiato? Love the bee box, and love the new overall look of your site, if I haven't mentioned that.

  5. Steph - oh you should, you will like it! When are you going and where else are you going??

    Heidi - Aw, thanks! Me too!

    Pamela - thanks! I am just trying to keep it simple, still gelling my thoughts on the conference. Besides, as you mentioned, so many others are saying it better than I probably could.

    Kettcatt - thanks! It was like a macchiato, but that's not what they called it (unless I misheard him) I do like a good macchiato.

  6. Oh I've never seen a Wayne Thibaud cake before...sigh
    How wonderful!
    The East coast stinks :(

  7. We're going on the 15th or so for a long weekend. So far I know I'm spending much time at the ferry marketplace, and we're having lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe. Chris has never been, so we need to do a lot of walking/sightseeing, and we might hit up Alcatraz.

  8. I wish I was going to be in San Fran for longer in Nov because I would LOVE to visit SFMOMA! The bee box is beautiful!


  9. oh this is amazing...definitely need to go next time i'm in SF!

  10. I really enjoyed meeting you on our early morning trek!

    Thanks for posting this! I didn't get the chance to visit SFMoMA while in the city last weekend, but your post reads as if I were also in the cafe tasting the pale yellow bee cube and the ellsworth kelly fudgesicle.

  11. that fudgesicle looks so insanely yummy! i want it now.

  12. I love the SFMOMA! Visited there this past summer, but didn't get the chance to try their Rooftop Garden Coffeebar; although their jam-filled scone at the cafe downstairs was AMAZING!