The much anticipated renovations unveiled at the Columbus Museum of Art about two months ago are transformative. Check out the new Margaret M. Walter Wing; the stunning 50,000-square-foot add-on, which structurally resembles a huge View-Master toy made with glass and patinated copper, helps create a fresh dialogue between the museum's interior and exterior, its past and future.

The much anticipated renovations unveiled at the Columbus Museum of Art about two months ago are transformative. Check out the new Margaret M. Walter Wing; the stunning 50,000-square-foot add-on, which structurally resembles a huge View-Master toy made with glass and patinated copper, helps create a fresh dialogue between the museum's interior and exterior, its past and future.

This is accomplished via the Walter Wing's abundant windows, airy verticality, gallery space for edgier art and walkways bridging the modern wing to the old limestone main structure. Another element of this design refreshment for the markedly less stodgy museum is a worthy new restaurant near the retooled, light-filled entrance - Schokko Art Cafe, operated by Cameron Mitchell Premier Events (the restaurant company's catering branch).

The cafe takes its name from a painting with a palette unlikely to incite many appetites: a German expressionist-style portrait of a woman with an acid green face and garish red hat. But when you realize that "Schokko with Red Hat" by Alexej Jawlensky is a prized artwork from the museum's important Sirak collection - and that Schokko is a nickname referring to the painted woman's love of hot chocolate - I suppose the cafe's title is as viable as any other.

Schokko (the cafe) is bright, but its lighting doesn't register as glumly institutional. The modest room's walls are as white as the walls in a traditional art gallery - so are its tables, except for a large wooden one in the center. The eatery's best features are windows onto the revamped sculpture garden and a charming glass case with small sculptural works ranging from ancient to modern, several appropriately alluding to food and water.

To get your own food and water, head to Schokko's counter, where you can also order a cool and texturally smooth nitro coffee on tap (from Hubbard, an Indianapolis company) or a few placating wines for $7 a glass, which include a sparkler (Piper Sonoma Brut), light red (Matua pinot noir) and a reliable sauvignon blanc from New Zealand (Kim Crawford).

If seeking a snack, the Soft Pretzel with a tangy cheese sauce ($7) is bready and filling. Root Chips ($6) - mine were a bit hard - come with a thick and addictive French onion yogurt dip with a livening lemon accent. And the well-developed, relatively lean Roasted Creole Tomato Soup ($6) has a nice acidic kick.

Acid from vinegar and citrus, plus proficiency with salads, peps up dishes that taste more interesting than they read on Schokko's health-minded menu. For instance, the Thai Steak & Noodle Salad ($15) pairs lean, tender, seared and juicy beef strips with an appealing, multi-textured jumble - red and Napa cabbages, halved grape tomatoes, diced mango, roasted red peppers, mint and cucumbers, plus a few inconsequential noodles - tossed in a bright sesame-lime vinaigrette.

The Grilled Salmon entree ($18) similarly matched a moderate portion of adroitly seared protein (a crisp yet juicy skinned fillet) with a lively salad: thin radish and cucumber discs, white raisins and toasted almonds sprinkled with couscous, invigorated by Schokko's citrus vinaigrette.

The same dressing aided a dry-ish white meat Roasted Chicken quarter ($15) with a better-than-it-sounds kale and quinoa salad. Ricotta cheese mingled with pickled onion and a grilled portobello cap contribute interest and heft.

Refreshing mesclun salads accompany Schokko's small lineup of sandwiches (e.g. turkey and Swiss, burger, black bean burger, Italian grinder, $9 to $12) as well as a breakfast-appropriate item available all day: the buttery, flaky and serious deep-dish Quiche ($13) packed with spinach and cheese.

You shouldn't leave without sampling the eponymous Schokko Parfait ($5). Its rich dark chocolate and smooth salted caramel puddings plus intense brownie-like "croutons" provide yet another reason to visit this strikingly revivified museum.