Now open: Half Pint

Credit: Michelle Bruch

Kids can mix their own sour cherry soda, grab a cookie jar, or try a tiny sandwich in Lunchables-style trays at the new Half Pint restaurant at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

“I see a mom and child share a lunch at the coffee bar every day,” said Food Director Sam Kanson-Benanav.

The food counter is tucked toward the back of the lobby, across the hall from a revamped kids’ room with arty books and large blocks.

The Stock and Badge team of Parka, Rustica Bakery and Dogwood Coffee Co. created the menu and the dairy-themed counter.

“Half Pint’s been a blast for all of us,” said Dan Anderson of Dogwood Coffee. “I’ve got three boys. … We wanted to start capturing and engaging their imaginations with food.”

Meal options include roast beef, white fish and ham sandwiches (ham brined in-house), black bean dip, and pear cardamom fruit leather. Rustica created new kid-sized baguettes for the lunch trays.

They’re planning to bring in food vendors later this spring, such as beekeepers from Ames Farm near Watertown, Minn.

“We want [kids] to grow up understanding where their food comes from,” Anderson said.

Stock and Badge also opened Grain Stack on the MIA’s mezzanine level. One of the best-selling plates is the squash panzanella with local baby kale, roast butternut squash, sage croutons made from Rustica bread, and wild rice from the Red Lake Indian Reservation — they’re buying broken food bits from the end of the growing season, giving the entrée a nutty flavor.

The restaurants are open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. most weekdays, until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and late on Thursdays until 8:30 p.m.