Alma Cocina Latina Team Opening Cielo Verde at American Visionary Art Museum

| February 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) has a new tenant for its restaurant space as Cielo Verde, a concept from Alma Cocina Latina and Alkimia owner Irena Stein, will open in the coming weeks. Cielo Verde will fill a third-story space previously occupied by Encantada, which closed in January 2019.

Cielo Verde will be open to the public and museum visitors Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 3pm serving lunch and brunch. It will function as a private event space in the evening and on Mondays.

Stein noted with museum being closed at night, a restaurant serving dinner is not necessarily what is needed for the space. But, with two successful event venues currently at AVAM, Stein and the AVAM team look forward to Cielo Verde being the third popular event space at the three-building Federal Hill campus. Cielo Verde can host events for 62 to 100 people inside the space. It also has a terrace overlooking Federal Hill Park which will be used in the warmer months.

Stein said Cielo Verde will host rehearsal dinners for bigger weddings at AVAM, as well as smaller weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, happy hours, and corporate events. “We have so many requests for events already,” Stein said.

Stein and her team will be the exclusive caterer at Cielo Verde, but can also use its facility to cater larger events at the other two wedding venues.

Once a month, Cielo Verde will do themed dinner pop-ups which will be open to the public. These will likely be on Wednesdays and will be in partnership with local chefs.

Stein grew up in Venezuela and France which has influenced her menus at her restaurants. The menu at Cielo Verde will have Latin American and Mediterranean influences, and everything on the menu will be either made in house or sourced from local vendors.

Weekday lunch at Cielo Verde will be casual with order-at-the-counter service. The menu will feature coffee from Philadelphia’s Elixr Coffee Roasters and quick counter items including quiches, empanadas, pastries and muffins from Hawthorne, macarons and sweets from Sacre Sucre, Middle Eastern sweets from Mera Kitchen, and sweets from Bramble Bakes Co.

Cielo Verde will have a salad menu offering a variety of greens and toppings, and hot sandwiches that include grilled chicken, prosciutto, avocado toast, grilled cheeses, and a vegan banh mi.

“You can come and just have a cup of coffee or eat lightly,” said Stein.

Menu items will be marked if they are vegan or gluten free.

The weekend brunch will offer empanadas; tequenos, which are a crispy pastry dough; cachapas, which are a Venezuelan corn pancake; eggs benedict; breakfast platters; quinoa bowls; granola; a chicken sandwich; and more.

Stein said weekend brunch will likely have servers as opposed to the order-at-the-counter setup during the week.

Cielo Verde will offer local beers, wine from small wineries, and artisan spirits.

The space has been redesigned with warm colors and lots of plants, taking after its name of Cielo Verde which means green sky in Spanish.

“Irena’s café vision is a perfect complement to our ‘Secret Life of Earth’ exhibition, and its opening beautifully coincides with the 50th anniversary celebration of Earth Day and its noblest ideals,” said AVAM Founder and Director Rebecca Hoffberger in a press release.

Photos courtesy of Cielo Verde

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