Our Inspired Suggestions for the Name of the New Menil Cafe (and You Can Name It, Too)

The Futurist Cookbook is a totally not made-up thing.
3. Marinetti and Fillia
Back in 1930, John and Dominique de Menil hadn't yet amassed a world-class art collection, let alone bequeathed it to an immensely lucky Houston. In fact, when infamous Futurists Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Fillìa released their Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, the de Menils hadn't yet tied the knot. In a bit of edible-art-revisionist-history, I see a sumptuous wedding with all the delights of a futurist meal for the enjoyment of the guests. Perhaps an appetizer of atomized roses, sniffed under a flood of red light, and Chicken With Ball Bearings would have made a lovely centerpiece. Given how laughable and polarizing the Manifesto was at the time, and how similar it is in exploratory temperament to such temples of modern gastronomy as Grant Achatz's Next and Alinea, not to mention our own avant-garde outpost, The Pass, I think it only makes sense that a forward-thinking art collection borrow from an unexpectedly forward-thinking (if after the fact) pair of artist/chefs in branding its own forward-thinking cafe. For the grand opening, I suggest passed hors d'oeuvres of Polyrhythmic Salad.
Nicholas Hall

4. Mickey's or Mayenne
I would call it Mickey's at The Menil, because the de Menils strongly supported Mickey Leland, the first black congressman from Houston, or Mayenne, because "Menil" is also the name of a township in the French department of Mayenne.

Joanna O'Leary

5. The Renzo Piano Bar
It's what he would have wanted. The Italian architect became famous in Europe for his modern designs -- particularly his work on Paris's Centre Georges Pompidou. When he met Dominique de Menil, in 1980, the two decided to collaborate on his first American design. The main building of the Menil was designed by Piano to resemble a large house that just happened to hold a lot of art and have great natural lighting by which to view it. After the museum was completed, Piano posited that it needed a cafe, and the spot he suggested just so happens to be the exact spot where the new cafe will be built. Renzo Piano, always ahead of his time. Someone give that man a Piano bar!

Kaitlin Steinberg

Location Info


The Menil Collection

1515 Sul Ross, Houston, TX

Category: General

Menil Park

1533 Sul Ross St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Cafe Express - CLOSED

3200 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taco Milagro - CLOSED

2555 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Just call it The Menil Cafe. It is a name that is precise, unpretentious, has durability. Stupid, cutesy names have a short life and often curse the location. It would be like naming a bar, Mars. Cute for about 2 minutes.


All of these suggestions are terrible.  La Pensee in particular is really bad, as it sounds too much like penis and any sign bearing the word would be rightly vandalized.  I don't want to think about penises while I'm eating, thanks.

The best choice would be Munchies at the Menil.  It's whimsical!

paval topcommenter

Dominque & John's Piano Bar and Cafe

Menil's- Piano Bar and Cafe

D&J-Piano Cafe

definitely something honoring the legacy of Dominique and John Menil as well as Renzo Pianos influence on them and the buildings housing the collection. Playing with the architects last name allows for a lot of options. 

Of course a piano should be part of the inventory in the cafe as including RPs name would invoke the expectation of a piano in it. 

Josette Arvizu
Josette Arvizu

What kind of animal takes photos of artwork at a gallery?

Molly Martin
Molly Martin

It depends. If they pronounce it MenNILL, it could be the Menil Grill, but if they want people to pronounce it MenEEL, it could be Menil Meal. Either way, it would be a nice way to figure out how to pronounce it.

Christopher Alden
Christopher Alden

How about... "You Can't Take Pictures at Our Art Museum Cafe"


Cy & Muse

Which is what one does taking in the collection, with offhand references to Vance Muse, Menil's director of communications, and Cy Twombly. And of course the late Flora & Muse.


But, if they don't feature a Schlumburger on the menu, well...............

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