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The Modern at MoMA


NY News Team
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For those of us who missed having MOMA in Manhattan, here is another reason to look forward to its re-opening in Winter of 2004/2005. The restaurant in the newly revamped museum will be created and designed by none other than Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. Art lovers can expect a restaurant with views of the restored sculpture garden. The dining facility will include a formal dining room, a larger and more casual dining and bar area and a seasonal outdoor terrace. There will also be two cafes and menus that feature fare to suit every taste and budget. Those that are really loaded can check out the private dining room or have the restaurant cater their parties at the Museum. If Danny Meyer's current restaurants are anything to go by, we can expect generally great food with excellent service, and if you throw Monet's Waterlilies into the mix, the Winter of 2004/2005 may not get here soon enough. --by Y. Yang

source: Press release from MOMA.

eGullet.com NY News Team

nynews@egullet.org with press releases, news reports, and food-biz gossip

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  • 5 months later...

We received some news today from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) regarding the forthcoming restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The restaurant is to be called Modern, and the chef is to be Gabriel Kreuther. Kreuther is currently the chef of Atelier, where he will remain though June. He will start working for USHG this summer. The restaurant is to open on November 20, 2004, at the same time as the museum.

Some details from USHG:

"Designed by Bentel & Bentel, The Modern's architecture is harmonious with MoMA's overall building design by architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The Modern will have its own separate entrance on 53rd Street and will feature unobstructed views of the restored Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will include a dining room, a bar, and private dining, also with views of the Sculpture Garden."

and

"Prior to becoming opening chef at Atelier, Chef Kreuther, a native of Alsace, France, was the Chef de Cuisine and Executive Sous Chef at Jean-Georges. Earlier, he was Sous Chef at La Caravelle, following several years cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants in Switzerland, France and Germany. In addition to being named one of Food & Wine's "Best New Chefs" in 2003, Chef Kreuther has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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This is exciting! I love MOMA and can't wait for its triumphant re-opening. I usually end up at China Grill for lunch during a visit but now it looks like there is the possibility of a cool joint in the museum itself to explore. Fun. :smile:

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I had the honor of driving Gabriel (and Bourdain) home from a party in my ancient Cadillac a couple of months ago, and he's a really nice guy. I'm really looking forward to trying some of his food at Modern.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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anything that brings more people to the MOMA is a good thing. I'm really looking forward to the museum re-opening in Manhattan.

I'm delighted that they are planning to harmonize the restaurant space with the architecture of the overall museum.

Edited by alacarte (log)
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I'm sure the new restaurant will be great. I just assumed Sette Moma would return. Sad to hear that it is gone for good. Had at least a few wonderful late afternoon lunches there.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 7 months later...

The long anticipated restaurant with Gabriel Kruther at the helm of the kitchen is set to open on January 5th, 2005. The main dining room has a view of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. For those less formally inclined there is the Bar Room, which serves a more casual menu all day. There's also a seasonal outdoor terrace and two private dining rooms.

Here is what the press release said about the food:

A prix-fixe menu will be offered at dinner, while lunch will be à la carte. Appetizers will feature Big Eye Tuna and Diver Scallop Tartare; Roasted Wild Mushroom Soup with Crispy Black Winter Truffle Ravioli; Chilled Maine Lobster with Radish Salad and Pepper Celery Sorbet. Main courses will include Chatham Cod studded with Chorizo; Pennsylvania Lamb Loin; and Fresh Niman Ranch Bacon cooked in a Cocotte with Salsify and Black Winter Truffles.

Come to think of it...This (and those waterlilies) may be what it takes to make me become a MoMA member again.

The Modern

9 West 53rd Street,

between 5th and 6th Avenues,

212-333-1220

source: press release from Union Square Hospitality Group

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Ya-Roo, do MoMA members get any break on the prices at The Modern?

i wish! but we do get 10% off at Kate's Paperie, Blue Note, Gattopardo across the street and La Vuelta Bistro Latino in Long Island City... :wacko:

Bond Girl, what's the price for dinner?

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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To clarify Ya-Roo's post a bit, there are two spaces at The Modern, the Dining Room and the Bar Room.

The Modern’s Dining Room, which is the more formal space overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, is set to open later in the winter. It will feature the dishes Ya-Roo detailed above.

On January 5, The Modern's Bar Room will open to the public with it's full menu (it has been open since November 20 with a limited lunch menu for museum visitors only). This is a less formal space designed for walk-in business. The Bar Room will focus on Chef Kreuther’s Alsatian roots and will feature over 25 savory dishes served as small plates to give guests the freedom to enjoy a light meal or to create a multi-course tasting. Dishes will include Fines Herbes Salad with roasted bacon-wrapped goat cheese, Arctic Char Tartare with daikon and trout caviar, Steak Tartare with quail egg, Tarte Flambée, Wild Mushroom Soup with toasted chorizo ravioli, Diver Scallops with poppy seeds, arugula juice and parmesan, and Grilled Quail with chive späetzle and lentils. Desserts by Marc Aumont include Pineapple Carpaccio, Ricotta Crepe Flan, Ten-Hour Cooked Apples and Hazelnut Dacquoise.

Guests may bring their own wine to The Modern's Bar Room from January 5-19 with no corkage fee.

The Modern has a separate entrance on West 53rd Street.

--

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I am a big fan of Gabriel Kreuther. His name no longer appears on the Atelier website as executive chef (chef is now Alain Allegretti, I am not familiar with him). Did he permanently leave Atelier to open The Modern? I must have missed something..

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Did he permanently leave Atelier to open The Modern?

He did indeed.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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From MoMa's website, general information about dining AND more specific information

From the MoMa Visitor Guide, which includes some of the same information as above:

The Modern is a fine-dining restaurant featuring the cuisine of Chef Gabriel Kreuther. In addition to the main dining room, The Modern includes a more casual dining and bar area, as well as a season outdoor terrace. A separate street-level entrance allows guests to enjoy the restaurant and bar beyond Museum hours. . . . Please note: The Modern will have limited hours of operation until winter 2005. Access will be through the Museum only.
which means that the advantage Museum Members have in these early days is that we don't have to pay the entrance fee as well (although maybe that is waived if you've got a reservation? I don't know about that.)

And from the floor plan in the same guide, it appears as though the entrance will indeed be on 53rd Street, closer to Fifth Avenue, possibly right next to St. Thomas.

Edited by Suzanne F (log)
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well this is promising:

I hope it puts to rest the common knowledge that

the food in museums is usually on a par with the art in restaurants

The entrance fee raised eyebrows. I prefer the Met for the variety of art exhibits but the food in the Met cafe is nothing to write home about.

Edited by DanaT (log)
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From MoMa's website, general information about dining  AND more specific information

. . . Please note: The Modern will have limited hours of operation until winter 2005. Access will be through the Museum only.

As of this morning, it is winter 2005, is it not?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I think the Winter solstice was on December 21, but I doubt they intended the technical meaning. I'm not a MOMA member so I haven't yet visited the casual part of the restaurant (the fine dining part, to be clear, will not be open for awhile longer), but I know a MOMA member who has been about 5 times and has delivered positive reports. I'm very much looking forward to going, to both restaurants.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Now that the admission fee is so high, you might consider becoming a member. When I have appointments in Midtown, I find it a great place to kill time in between. Or even just to take a bathroom break (so much nicer that at the library across the street!).

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Now that the admission fee is so high, you might consider becoming a member. When I have appointments in Midtown, I find it a great place to kill time in between. Or even just to take a bathroom break (so much nicer that at the library across the street!).

Annual membership for couple is $120. That's 3 visits per year for a pair.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Annual membership for couple is $120.  That's 3 visits per year for a pair.

Umm for a single person, that's 6 visits per year. Does the MOMA have enough to go back 6x a year?

Just think of it as more chances to eat at Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, the other dining facilities. :biggrin: Besides, in the past they DID give a discount to members in the main restaurant, so perhaps they will again. (One correction: individual membership is $75, so by the fourth visit you've made back the investment. And to me, yes, there is more than enough for well beyond 6 visits a year, especially since there is much art that was not on display before, and many "old friends" to catch up with. I picked my senior project in high school just so I could spend a month there. :wub: )

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Ate in the cafe yesterday. Only slightly overpriced and not bad. Mixed salami was good, salad was good, cheese was very good. Tiramisu was OK. Sevice is quick but annoying, if you want something you have to track someone down and no refills are possible on things like tea, interesting given they are charging white tablecloth prices.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had lunch today at "The Bar Room" at The Modern. I'll get back to that in a moment, but let me also just walk through all the new dining facilities at MOMA.

On the street level, there is The Modern. The restaurant is laid out in similar fashion to Gramercy Tavern in the sense that there is a casual front dining area (The Bar Room) and a more formal dining space in the back. The Modern has its own entrance on 53rd Street, just east of the main museum entrance. You do not have to enter the museum to enter The Modern.

The Bar Room, as mentioned above, has a menu of plates that fall somewhere in between appetizer and entree size. One plate would be enough for a light lunch; three would make a substantial dinner. The fine dining restaurant (just "The Modern") is behind The Bar Room and overlooks the sculpture garden. Both areas are done in Danish Modern style -- most everything, from the furniture to the tableware, comes from Denmark. The Bar Room is currently open for business and open to anybody -- again, you do not have to enter the museum to enter the restaurant (though there is an additional entrance off the museum lobby). The fine dining restaurant is in friends-and-family previews right now, and the designated opening date is currently holding at February 7. Both areas serve modern European-influenced cuisine, and the wine program is ambitious: beverage director Stephane Colling (who came over from Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, and before that was at Au Crocodile in Strasbourg and Michel Roux’s The Waterside Inn in Bray, England) told me they are opening with 650 selections and are planning to double that number rapidly.

The Modern also has private dining spaces, with movable walls, that can accommodate groups of various sizes for events. These spaces overlook the sculpture garden and are to the east of the main restaurant.

There are also two restaurants within the museum proper: Cafe 2 and Terrace 5. The numbers indicate what floors they are on.

Cafe 2 is a very nicely implemented adaptation of the cafeteria format: you line up and order from the counter, but waiters bring your food to you at the tables -- you don't carry a tray. The emphasis is on Roman-style food: salumi, panini, pastas and salads made to order. This is a pretty high capacity operation, they were moving people through the line efficiently and there is plenty of space.

Terrace 5 is a small cafe (full waiter service as in they take your order and bring you food, not counter-plus-waiter service as in Cafe 2) with a great aerial view of the garden. There are sweets (various pastries and chocolates) and savory items (cheeses, sandwiches) available. Starry Night is right out front.

Both Cafe 2 and Terrace 5 have wine, as well as espresso.

As for the meal in The Bar Room at The Modern, it was outstanding. I would not call this food "casual" at all. It is haute cuisine -- not Michelin three-star elaborately composed haute cuisine, but a lot more serious than anything I had imagined. We tried eight of the savory dishes and three of the desserts, all of which (actually there were a couple I didn't taste -- I think I only hit six of the savory dishes and all of the desserts) were impressive. Gabriel Kreuther is not messing around. Highlights were the best tarte flambee I've had since I was in Alsace -- and I don't think I had any better ones in Alsace (where Kreuther is from); a pate that I believe was designated as "liverwurst" but was not at all liverwurst-like (although it did have some liver in it, certainly, because it had just a bit of wonderful livery unctuousness); the chorizo ravioli accompanying the wild mushroom soup; and the potato and marrow cassolette. The beignets were the standout dessert, although the hazelnut dacquoise was also very well made (it's just not a dessert I favor, but it was technically very good).

Service was superb, though we were VIPed out the wazoo -- still, a restaurant at this stage of development is impressive just for being able to pull off VIP treatment. I've been through a lot of Danny Meyer openings, and although one visit to a half open restaurant is only one visit to a half open restaurant this one gives every indication -- in terms of service and food quality -- of being his strongest opening yet.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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From what I saw of Kreuther's work at Atelier, I'd be surprised if he took a job that didn't let him produce first class food. I've rather expected this to be a step up in terms of haute cuisine for Danny Meyer.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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