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Former Art Curator Brings Healthy Dishes to Montrose

Kelly Barnhart tapped a chef from Portland to develop the creative menu

From left, Kelly Barnhart and Chef Alison Wu
Kelly Barnhart/Instagram

Vibrant is the name of a new health-conscious eatery from the hands of a former curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

PaperCity reports that Kelly Barnhart’s new restaurant will be debuting in April at 1931 Fairview in Montrose. The eatery’s new location had to transform from the former dry cleaners that operated in the space to a chic eatery, which included creating an indoor-outdoor dining room. The outdoor space will feature a covered patio and a vegetable garden which will supply some of the restaurant’s ingredients.

Barnhart told PaperCity that she’s attempting to change the paradigm of healthy eating, that it should feel good, taste good, and not be restrictive. It took her no less than three years to find a chef who shared her vision, and she found hers while browsing food blogs. Portland’s Alison Wu has garnered a following of over 150,000 people on Instagram after starting her blog Wu Haus. She’ll be developing the menu of “nourishing, fresh, and inherently healthy” fare and flying to Houston several times a year to oversee the restaurant’s progress.

Some standout dishes include carrot ginger soup, sugar-free walnut cardamom “bliss balls”, gluten-free bread topped with cashew butter, and cauliflower chicken salad with apple. As far as drinks are concerned, Barnhart has dreamt up a couple of “potions” with anti-inflammatory or energy-giving properties. Coffee, a natural wine selection, and cocktails will also be on offer with fresh squeezed juices as mixers. One interesting option: the wheatgrass margarita.

“[‘Vibrant’] is succinct, but it encapsulates your whole body and spirit,” Barnhart told the magazine. “Vibrant is meant to honor ourselves...To be better to each other.”