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The Modern at MoMA


NY News Team
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Menupages.com has the dining room menu listed not the menu for the Bar Room. Is the Bar Room a la carte or a 3 course tasting menu?

I have copies of the menus at home so I'll post some more details later today when I have access to them. Sam's earlier post on this thread provides details about the Bar Room style of service.

I tried some of the tarte flambe when I was there and I thought it delicious.

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Looking back on the thread is realise that Jason and Rachel have already posted the majority of items from the Bar Room menu. Some of the garnish has changed slightly, but it seems broadly the same.

The menu is divided in to "0ne", "Two" and "Three" with around ten choices per section. A note on the bottom of the menu states: "We welcome you to construct your meal any way you'd like according to your appetite - from one plate to a multi-course tasting. Dishes on pages one and two are served appetizer sized;those on page three and are half-entree portions."

Out of 31 dishes, only one appears suitable for vegetarians: Butternut Squash Soup with Chesnut Chutney, and even that could be made from chicken stock. Fine herbs salad comes with bacon wrapped goats cheese, wild mushroom soup with toasted chorizo ravioli and potato and marrow cassolette with smoked beef tongue.

There are however plenty of seafood choices including smoked eel rillettes with turnips and horseradish or diver scallops with poppy seeds, arugula and parmesan. Meat eaters may get the best deal here though with a ton of delicious sounding stuff - Venison terrine with celeriac, oxtail gellee and huckleberry; sweetbread ravioli with balsamic and sage sauce; braised pork cheeks with sauerkraut and ginger jus.

Prices start at $9 for Liverwurst from "one" and top out at $18 for Hanger steak with porcini-potato gratin. Desserts start at $7 for sorbet and rise to $10 for Beignets with maple ice cream, caramel and citrus-mango marmelade.

I had a glass of delicious Santenay 1er Cru sat at the bar on a Friday afternoon and the place was rocking. I returned on Saturday evening for a few beers and some tarte flambee, and the place was still rocking. Although my initial visit was in order to interview Danny Meyer for a UK magazine, my wazoo remained for the most part un-VIP'd for which I was most grateful.

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The high ground belonged to lamb tenderloin carpaccio with black truffle and roasted celeriac; a sweet pea soup thickened with whipped cream and bejeweled with diced carrots, diced celery and bits of grated Parmesan; sautéed skate in an exquisitely nuanced nage, which included pimiento, chorizo and red bird chili pepper; a rich crayfish gratin; and a gently roasted loup de mer with a faintly sweet ragout of pearl onions, grapes and truffles.
A wild boar chop sounded more exalted than mere pork but had less flavor. In a similar vein, buffalo tenderloin, which had been poached in spiced cabernet to an exemplary tenderness, had less presence and appeal than beef.

The Modern at MoMA (Frank Bruni)

Related discussion regarding Mr. Bruni's reviews and the star system can be found here.

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A two-star rating is a real slap in the face for The Modern, which was purpose-built to be the jewel in the crown of the Union Square Hospitality Group empire. The most confusing aspect of the review, which doesn't even discuss the cuisine until page 2 (if you're reading it online), is that it begins with a discussion of the food in The Bar Room. I've always assumed that, when fine dining restaurants have casual annexes -- Tabla, Gramercy Tavern, Aquavit, etc. -- the Times main review does not factor in the casual element.

And there he goes again with his picayune accusations about service:

A hostess, connecting coats to their owners, looked at the label of one and asked-shouted, "Made in Honduras?!"

Spare us, Frank. Nobody cares. Stick to writing about bathrooms.

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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Yes, the weird dude was having dinner with us. I couldn't figure out how he ended up at our table and why he said I needed a make-over and could put me on TV. :laugh:

Seriously though, this is yet another indication that Frank Bruni is single handedly destroying the legacy and reputation of the New York Times as a respected source of restaurant reviews and food information. And as far as I am concerned the Bar Room is a 3 star restaurant, let alone the main dining room, which is what the review should have focused on entirely.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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blargh..lately i've been seeing only one or two star reviews. seriously, does frank bruni intend to tell the world that nyc is putting out one or star restaurants??..i was hoping for The Modern to get a three star review.. :sad:

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Last night at dinner in The Bar Room, while I was enjoying my fifth course of chef Kreuther's exquisite cuisine (braised pork cheeks with sauerkraut), I reached the conclusion that not only is The Bar Room, standing alone, a serious candidate for three stars (assuming a legitimate critic), but also that it has no serious competition at its price point. My guest (also a journalist) and I racked our brains, trying to come up with names of contenders. But there just isn't anybody else putting out this kind of food in the $15-per-plate price range. There are precious few places putting it out at $30-per-plate, and most of them have three stars (though Cafe Gray, probably the best of the lot, has two, just like Sripraphai). I think that, to miss this, one really has to be tone deaf to fine cuisine. And when you add to that the incredible non-food aspects of the place -- the Danish modern design, the custom serviceware, the well-drilled and genuinely enthusiastic staff, the wine collection -- well, it really does shine.

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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blargh..lately i've been seeing only one or two star reviews.  seriously, does frank bruni intend to tell the world that nyc is putting out one or star restaurants??..i was hoping for The Modern to get a three star review.. :sad:

BLT Fish was awarded three stars just two weeks ago.

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Ventured out to The Modern for the first time last night and ate at the bar.

Looking at the whole equation of food/service/atmosphere/value/concept, this place may set a new standard in my personal NYC diner's journal. Here are my fist impressions:

Food - Interesting, creative, fresh, excellent. I'd agree with Steven that if they consistently deliver on this, it should easily rate 3 stars in the NYC spectrum.

Service - friendly but not cloying, efficient, knowledgeable, close to perfect. I had a drink within two minutes of sitting at the bar and food within 8 minutes. Meyer has this equation figured out better than anyone in NYC. My recent visit to Gramercy Tavern and now The Modern puts back into perspective just how good service can be, and how crappy it is in so many other places in this city.

Atmosphere - Modern (duh!), sophisticated, high-energy, fun. The bar room may not be for everyone (it's a little loud), but I liked the vibe and decor. For those who want to tone it down a notch, the main dining looks like the ticket. One of the staff members also said they hope to offer outdoor dining in the sculpture garden, which I think would be one of nicest outdoor spots in the city.

Value - The cheapest prices at this quality level I've seen in NYC. I've been eating at the bar at Cafe Gray quite a bit lately, and The Modern bar blows it away from a price perspective. Similar quality food and atmosphere at roughly 1/2 to 2/3 the price.

Concept - This place is a home run. Fun yet grown up. Creative yet comfortable. I love the ability to create one's own tasting menu from a large palette of $15 dishes.

And all of this was only at the bar! I'm dying to try the main dining room now.

My hat is off to everyone involved in this venture. They've given New York a really exceptional and unique new dining option. Not an easy task, considering the competition.

Edited by Felonius (log)
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. . . .

My hat is off to everyone involved in this venture.  They've given New York a really exceptional and unique new dining option.  Not an easy task, considering the competition.

Not even a small mention of Frank Bruni for making it easier to find a seat?

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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Remember that these are half-entree portions for $15, and that the Bar Room serves around 500 people a day so I would imagine they could sustain those sort of prices. In London, its usual practice for prices to rise, sometimes quite steeply within 4-6 weeks of a new opening. Is that also common in NYC?

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They take reservations although they are not required.

I believe I read in a review that the tables in the bar are half first-come and half for reservation-- or did I just make that up?

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. . . .

My hat is off to everyone involved in this venture.  They've given New York a really exceptional and unique new dining option.  Not an easy task, considering the competition.

Not even a small mention of Frank Bruni for making it easier to find a seat?

Thanks Frank. :biggrin:

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They take reservations although they are not required.

I believe I read in a review that the tables in the bar are half first-come and half for reservation-- or did I just make that up?

The stools at the bar itself and the row of tables immeadiately behind them are unbookable, but you can reserve the rest of the tables in the room.

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blargh..lately i've been seeing only one or two star reviews.  seriously, does frank bruni intend to tell the world that nyc is putting out one or star restaurants??..i was hoping for The Modern to get a three star review.. :sad:

BLT Fish was awarded three stars just two weeks ago.

cool.

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The stools at the bar itself and the row of tables immeadiately behind them are unbookable, but you can reserve the rest of the tables in the room.

The Dining Room and the Bar Room are now separately bookable on OpenTable. The only comparable situation I can think of is the Aquavit Dining Room and Aquavit Café, which likewise appear as separate restaurants on OpenTable, despite being in the same building, under the same chef and kitchen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went to the Bar Room of The Modern today for an early dinner before a concert. I was very pleased with all the food, the portion sizes, and the concept in general. As the menu dictated, the g/f and I built our own mini tasting menus and shared our dishes. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about our experience. As others have said here, the food in the Bar Room alone is 3-star quality, and I pretty much agree with that assertion. I have been to NYT 3-star restaurants that pale in comparison to the food at the Bar Room and individual dishes here rise to that transcendent 4-star level. For the $60 p/p we spent w/o drinks there are few places in the City that offer the opportunity to sample that many high-quality dishes. Between us we had:

Me (essentially the "What Frank Bruni Recommends Menu")

-Smoked Eel Rillettes (served cold)

-Sweetbread Ravioli with a Balsamic Sage Reduction

-Braised Pork Cheeks with Sauerkraut and Ginger Jus

The g/f

-Steak Tartare with a Quail Egg

-Parpadelle with Morels, Peas, and Pancetta

-Muscovy Duck breast with a composed Lychee Salad

-We shared the Beignets with Maple Ice Cream and Orange Marmalade

I highly recommend everything that we ordered, and I want to go back and try everything else.

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Bryan, did you notice whether they are getting fresh lychees at this time of year or used canned or dried reconstituted lychees?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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They were not reconstituted, I know that for sure. Since they were in a composed salad it was hard to say, but they seemed fresh. I'm a big fan of lychee and these had a nice firm bite to them, not a texture that seemed like it came out of a can.

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