Story: ADAM HUNT | Photography: Chris Redd
When you hear the name Picasso’s Palette, it becomes easy to draw the connections between the words “life, love and art.” Those three words seem to be infused into the very heart and soul of owner and founder Karen DePasquale. She and her staff have created an environment that promotes creativity and tons family fun.
Picasso’s Palette’s Mission Statement reflects the unique and innovative mind of DePasquale. It reads, “Our passion is to create a memorable art experience for our customers. We want to help every guest create their own personal masterpiece by helping them find their inner artist. We strive to offer an environment that is calm and serene, yet fun, for all ages to enjoy and create memories that will last a lifetime.” DePasquale and her staff have adorned the walls of the art studio with much of the artwork created by their customers. Every inch is covered by an individually crafted piece of artistic flare.
Picasso’s Palette gives host to a number of activities, classes, and workshops to feed your artistic hunger and need for expression. For the casual artist who walks in and picks a brush, there are activities like painting pottery, glass fusing, wine glass painting, mosaics, and canvas painting. For the novice there are instructor lead mediums like clay hand building, culinary, pottery with special techniques, and multi-media.
Picasso’s Palette also hosts a special event every month that brings together both family and friends. Some of the events featured each month are Girls Night Out, Parents Night Out, Toddler Story Time, and Mommy and Me Tea. If you like the pitter patter of tiny feet, bring your little ones to the Sweet Feet event where a complimentary six inch impression tile of your child’s feet will be made, to capture those fleeting memories of childhood. Picasso’s Palette also supports corporate team building by offering its services to local businesses in order to promote motivation and collaboration among its workforce. Picasso’s Palette is the perfect place to host a birthday party, where you and your guests can create momentoes that will last a lifetime.
Picasso’s Palette is not shy about its love for the culinary arts, having just opened its very own café, serving lunch from 11am to 2pm. The dishes presented for your tasting pleasure are prepared by Chef Bruce Foster. He has put together a collection of well crafted sandwiches, soups, salads, and Quiche. Some of the sandwiches on the menu are the BLT – a classic bacon lettuce and tomato masterpiece canvased between your choice of bread. The crab and lobster spread is a sandwich made from a seafood mixture of crab and lobster meats just waiting to pinch your taste buds. Their chicken salad sandwich is another fan-favorite – so delicious that every bite warrants your immediate attention.
The Quiches on the menu are very tasty. My favorite was the Bacon-Feta- Spinach quiche, a light and fluffy egg based pie enchanted with pieces of crispy bacon and creamy feta, lined with fresh spinach. Another quiche creation is the Three Cheese – a co-op of Feta, Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses bound together by an egg mixture, resting on a flaky crust.
Picasso’s Palette also offers a selection of soups and salads. The Black Bean Chipotle is tangy and spicy brew of hardy black beans and well-seasoned tomato broth soup. Then there is the Lobster Bisque. This specialty is a highly seasoned, creamy soup with a smoky strained lobster based broth and generous bits of fresh lobster. You can also take your pick from the classic and house-made Cheddar and Broccoli soup, Potato soup or the Chicken Noodle soup. But Picasso’s Palette artistic take on food doesn’t end here. So what’s for dessert?
Jess McMillan is the Rembrandt cupcake confectioner at Picasso’s Palette. McMillan is the resident cupcake artist who has crafted a number of eye popping treats with delicious tasting flavors, like the Mexican-inspired Chocolate Churro cupcake, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Then there are the “Better Than Anything” cupcakes – PG-13 if you please. This deliciously moist, sweet treat is full of creamy sweetened condensed milk, topped with lightly whipped cream and drizzled to perfection with caramel and fudge sauce. If you like walnuts, cranberries, and oranges, why not eat them all at once in one unique flavor combination of the “Cranberry Walnut Orange cupcakes?” You will experience the sweet and tangy surprise of the orange and cranberries, while chomping down on the nutty crunchiness of delicious walnuts.
McMillan has refined our palates with other sweet tasting flavors such as the Raspberry Vanilla cupcake, The Mint Chocolate Chip cupcake and the Strawberry cupcake. For McMillan, baking a cupcake is a labor of love.
The famous Pablo Picasso was once quoted as saying, “The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, and from a spider’s web.” I guess Picasso had it right. You can find art and emotion in almost anything.
If You Go…
106 SW 17th St. across from the SunTrust bank.
Open Monday-Saturday 10am to 9pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm