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Renovated Speed Museum to include café

Once, way back when, the Speed Museum had a café right off the sculpture court, run by several different operators over the years. But when the Speed closed for renovation three years ago, food service had long been gone.

But when the museum opens again starting March 12, with a slam-bang opening party, there will once again be a place to eat inside. The new café, Wiltshire at the Speed, will be operated by Susan Hershberg’s Wiltshire Pantry organization, which caters all around town, and runs Wiltshire on Market and Wiltshire Bakery as well.

Chef Coby Ming will be at the helm in the café’s kitchen, having returned to the Wiltshire group after a long stint at Harvest (she had been chef at Wiltshire on Market when it first opened).

According to a story in the Courier-Journal,  the café will be as light and airy as the design of the new museum itself.  Ming’s food will be artful and thoughtfully composed, as well as flavorful.

The menu will feature mainstays of polite lunches – salads, sandwiches, soups – that will follow seasonal availability. There will also be daily and weekly entree specials featuring ingredients available from local growers. Look for things like a shaved celery salad with roasted pears, arugula, toasted hazelnuts and aged Gouda with a sherry vinaigrette dressing. Or a soba noodle salad with Loch Etive salmon with kale, sesame ginger vinaigrette, and sorghum soy glaze. There is likely to be a grilled cheese sandwich available, but made with oatmeal honey wheat bread with Gruyere and Taleggio and a sweet potato hazelnut romesco sauce. Sandwiches will be served with a side quinoa salad.

Sunday brunch is planned, and after the restaurant closes daily lunch service at 3 p.m., there will be a grab and go counter offering box lunches, snacks, pastries and a gourmet coffee bar. The café’s grab-and-go should be open when the museum opens Saturday; the café will open soon after.