Iris is a sophisticated full-service restaurant featuring contemporary American cuisine with regional and international flavors in a distinctly modern setting. Specializing in seasonal fare using many locally sourced ingredients, the Museum restaurant, led by chefs Andy and Jennifer Hicks, features culinary works of art that showcase a complex culture of flavors.
Open, elegant, and filled with light, the restaurant is lined by floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the entry court and surrounding gardens. The opposite wall showcases a site-specific sculpture by Patrick Dougherty featuring branches and boughs from the surrounding area, further enhancing the dining experience by bringing the outdoors in.
Members are entitled to a 10% discount on meals at Iris in accordance with their membership level. A membership card must be presented at the time the bill is rendered.
11:30 am–2 pm
5:30–10 pm (last seating 8:30 pm)
10:30 am–2:30 pm
Reservations for Iris are encouraged. Call (919) 664-6838.
Named in honor of Museum benefactor Iris Cantor and evoking images of the exquisite flowers that bear the same name, the Museum restaurant is yet another expression of art and nature, a hallmark of the NCMA experience. Innovative cuisine served in a setting like no other—a meal at Iris is a feast for all the senses!
Sip coffee bar is the perfect stop for coffee, espresso-based drinks, tea, and cookies. Sip is adjacent to the Museum Store. Sip hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10 am–4:30 pm
Andy Hicks brings a straightforward approach to cooking, seasoned with an appreciation of the art and nature surrounding the four walls of the kitchen. Museum members, local regulars, international travelers, and food lovers from coast to coast have dined on his creations for over two decades.
Andy has made his most significant mark preparing dynamic menus and delicious meals for the Museum restaurant and events. His creations not only complement but are inspired by the Museum’s collection. His innovative exhibition menus give patrons a taste of regional cuisine as well as a glimpse of history and a connection with the art. Andy and his culinary team strive to give every guest an exceptional dining experience.
Andy isn’t content to create only with other gardeners’ products, so when he’s not in the kitchen, he’s growing his own provisions. His passion for growing heirloom vegetables, culinary herbs, and orchids frequently crosses over into his culinary career.
Jennifer Hicks puts the “art” in party and tart as the special event designer for the Museum and as executive pastry chef of Iris restaurant. Her training in surface design at N.C. State University's College of Design and in baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., has proven serendipitous for her career at the Museum. For more than 15 years she has been tempting patrons with her inventive desserts and now has the opportunity to entertain many of those visitors with her stunning designs for tabletop and event styling.
In the kitchen Jennifer is always investigating new cooking and baking techniques and working to incorporate innovations while maintaining the simplicity and straightforwardness of the food. She loves to combine local flavors but give them a modern twist. On the party floor, Jennifer tries to provide something unexpected in a familiar setting by featuring unusual local talents, beautiful linens, exciting décor, and, of course, exceptional food.