Philadelphia, PA

Barnes Foundation selects Executive Chef Michael O'Meara to lead Garden Restaurant

Marilyn Johnson

Michael O’Meara will lead the Garden Restaurant at the Barnes Foundation as Executive Chef. The destination restaurant within The Barnes Foundation on Benjamin Franklin Parkway is one of Philadelphia’s most beloved cultural institutions and is managed by Constellation Culinary Group.
Chef Michael O’Meara has been selected as the new Executive Chef at The Barnes Foundation.(Courtesy of Constellation Culinary)

Chef O’Meara has made his mark on the culinary scene within the Mid-Atlantic region, having owned his own critically acclaimed restaurant Sweet Vidalia in Beach Haven, NJ, and with additional experience cooking and consulting for restaurants including Sabrina’s Café and JG Domestic in Philadelphia, PA, as well as Tomatoes restaurant in Margate, NJ.
The Garden Restaurant at The Barnes Foundation Welcomes New Executive Chef Michael O’Meara.(Courtesy of Constellation Culinary)

A graduate of Philadelphia’s esteemed Restaurant School, Michael has also taught culinary training and restaurant development classes at South Philadelphia’s JNA Culinary Institute and served as Executive Chef of Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia, Chef de Cuisine at Jose Garces’ JG Domestic, and an independent restaurant consultant for several high-end hospitality providers across Philadelphia and central/southern NJ. Michael O’Meara now serves as Executive Chef at Garden Restaurant at the Barnes Foundation.
Chef Michael O’Meara brings new life to the seasonally inspired menu at The Garden Restaurant.(Courtesy of Constellation Culinary)

With O’Meara at the helm, The Garden Restaurant’s revamped menu will feature locally sourced, seasonally inspired American dishes. The menu will also offer creative vegan and vegetarian options.

Menu highlights include:

  • BABA GHANOUSH - labneh, hazelnut, dhuka, mint, pomegranate, grilled pita
  • SEMPLICE- butter lettuce, grapefruit supreme, pistachio, ricotta salata, saffron lemon vinaigrette
  • JUMBO LUMP CRAB & AVOCADO TOAST - pickled pearl onion, “everything” spice, sherry vinegar reduction, grilled sourdough
  • CRISPY PORK BELLY - yuzu bbq sauce, napa cabbage, watermelon radish, scallion, cilantro
  • FOREST MUSHROOM ORZO - shallot, garlic, fine herb, mascarpone, parmigiano reggiano

In addition to elevated yet approachable food and beverage offerings, the restaurant features one of Philadelphia’s most beautiful indoor and outdoor dining setups, presenting sliding glass walls with scaping views of the lush outdoor garden and a full outdoor patio.

Launched in 2008 and reimagined in 2018, Constellation Culinary Group is dedicated to providing best-in-class dining experiences for one-of-a-kind events, cultural centers, professional settings, restaurants, and cafes. With over nineteen locations in eight cities, including internationally renowned cultural institutions Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, Clark Art Institute, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, we bring culinary visions to life. We consistently create unforgettable experiences with the help of our skilled and thoughtful people, who believe in Constellation’s company mission and philosophy that good food connects us.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. Email Marilyn at with food and travel news.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email for Philly area news; for travel tips and opportunities.

Philadelphia, PA

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