#22 The Modern
Warm lamb and goat cheese terrine with toasted pistachios and watercress $16
Beautifully plated tranche of tasty terrine. Layers of tender lambs meat, chunky pistachio and warm, gooey goat cheese. Delicately flavored with pepper and fresh herbs. Served with a good amount of crisp, refreshing watercress, dressed with a light and sharp vinaigrette. Served with a rich, pea-green and somewhat spicy (wasabi?) sauce to garnish the plate and pump up the flavor as needed. A tasty and unfamiliar dish.
Upside down tuna tarte with fennel, Japanese cucumber and aioli $18
Clean serving of mixed morsels of decently-sized tender tuna and Japanese cucumber (which is similar to English cucumber). Covered in a delicious crisp and plated with delicately piped, tart aioli for added taste and visual punch.
Grilled diver scallops with fried Brussels sprouts, butternut squash purée and citrus nage $22
Lightly grilled scallops precisely plated on a bed of crunchy, earthy Brussels sprouts. Rich, creamy butternut squash purée was a delightful canary color. The nage (traditionally, a flavored liquid used for poaching delicate foods) added pleasant citrus hints to the dish, a harmonious complement to the plump scallops.
Alsatian buckwheat späetzle with Yellowfin tuna paillard crudo, roasted foie gras, pine nuts and black pepper gastrique $25
First off, what a mammoth (and very much appreciated) serving of foie gras! Proudly placed atop the dish, this thick and luxurious slice of foie was nicely roasted and extremely flavorful. Can you think of a better way to begin a dish?! Underneath, fleshy tuna and then heavy, flour-y buckwheat pasta. Seasoned with crunchy pine nuts and a slightly tart black pepper gastrique. This dish is certainly a commitment but I promise you won’t regret it.
Duck confit à l’orange with cauliflower and fingerling potatoes $20
Yum. This large and meaty duck leg was delicious. The skin was crisp and salty but the meat moist, tender and game-y. This was served with the most beautifully bound bouquet of mâche: the team had taken the leaves and tied then bound them in a little bow. This kind of detail is very impressive. Underneath were fleshy slivers of tangy blood orange and small potatoes.
Apple strudel with prune-Armagnac ice cream $12
An excellent take on a traditional Viennese dish. Warm, crunchy puff-pastry with a sweet, gooey apple inside. Richly flavored with cinnamon and glazed with sugar and nuts. Served with a velvety and unusual and slightly spicy prune-Armagnac ice cream.
Chestnut sundae with Bailey’s ice cream, pecan biscuit and caramel $12
A towering cup of dense, creamy ice cream and crumby pecan biscuits. The ice cream was full of deep coffee flavors with the nice, powerful hit of Baileys to follow up. This was doused with thick caramel and, at the bottom, flaky chunks of nutty biscuit. There were light chestnut flavors but these could have come through stronger. Unfortunately, I found this dish rather difficult to eat, as the cup was too narrow to really get to the bottom. Definitely better if served in a bowl, simply for convenience reasons.
The Bar Room at the Modern is an excellent place for a very tasty meal. The food is beautifully plated and always carefully and considerately flavored. The portion sizes are just right and the Alsatian dishes are somewhat unusual and a pleasant way to deviate from the modern American fare that’s permeating New York. Plus, given the quality, the food is reasonably priced, which always makes everything better. Be certain to check out the Modern if you want to treat yourself to a good meal and not feel bad about it at the end.
9 W. 53rd St.