THE MODERN, NYC ***January’s Restaurant of the Month***
I love high-end dining. I have no problem forking over the big bucks for exquisite presentations, opulent recipes and sumptuous service in an upscale, elegant and beautiful setting. And while there are many options for such dining in NYC, the powerful and elite know that one of the city’s most famous museums not only offers the best in contemporary art, but go next door to the Museum of Modern Art (the MOMA) and you’ll also find the best in contemporary dining at THE MODERN.
The Modern is located at 9 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. From decor to food presentations, it is as glossy as the artwork in the adjacent museum and consists of two dining areas – a bar room and a formal dining room, the latter separated from the rest by a discreet frosted glass wall, while the opposite side features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a mental escape with mesmerizing views the museum’s courtyard and garden.
The powerful, the fashionable and the most discerning palates dine at the Modern where chic small plates are served to encourage multiple course dining from menus that feature complex and regal dishes of comfort and earthy appetizers, entrees and desserts. The French-American menu is amped up by executive chef Gabriel Kreuther‘s Alsatian influence and the food is marvelous! The concept of two dining rooms makes The Modern accessible and comfortable for any visitor, and two different menus are prepared for the two different rooms.
I stopped in for a midday lunch this past Saturday, and knew I had to make THE MODERN Burgers & Bourbon’s January Restaurant of the Month!
The formal dining room is just that and the menu is equally austere. It’s best for business lunches, romantic dinners and impressing colleagues. On Saturday, my friends and I grabbed a seat in the lush black leather banquettes in the bar area whose menu is more relaxed yet still constrained. Everything is fancy and sleek at The Modern from the designer bread baskets and furniture to the worldly wine list and ingredients.
The Modern Liverwurst was served pate style with four pickled vegetables of pickles, beets, carrots, and mushrooms! At $14 it was moderately priced and easily shared! Toasted wheat bread made for the perfect accompaniment and the smokey flavor of the meat was full and well-balanced, rich and scrumptious! The little mustard for decoration gave it the necessary kick and set this appetizer off the charts of excellence! It was unorthodox yet safe and assuming.
The appetizer menu in the Bar Lounge also features steak, salmon and tuna tartare, shrimp, white bean soup, salads, foie gras and Iberian ham, all in the $14 – $25 range.
The pork belly was much smaller than I had anticipated it would be, so this was a bit disappointing. At $21 and as a third course menu item, I was expecting more…. But where The Modern lacked in food portion, they made up for in taste and splendor! The Beer-Braised Berkshire Pork Belly came with turnip choucroute (which is like a sauerkraut) and a ginger jus that made for fantastic union of textures with the crispy and glazed pork skin, tender and fatty meat, and crisp and fresh vegetables blended beautifully! This meal was heaven – sent, and by the time I finished, I realized it was perfectly portioned!
During my last visit, I also ordered the House Made Alsatian Country Sausage with sauerkraut and whole-grain mustard sauce. Also a third course menu option, the dish was much heartier than the pork belly! But, like the pork, the sausage was beautifully presented, well rounded, full of flavor and delicious! The sausage was soft and tender and the mustard here also enhanced the taste by giving it a little spice.
It’s rare to go to a restaurant to find a clean and stark ambiance that is equally matched by the food. But The Modern does not disappoint! I’ve gone for many business meals as well as relaxed occasions with friends! It’s the ultimate in NYC dining and can please any mood or appetite! Go after the museum, during shopping excursions or just to check it out! It’s worth the dime and the time! By the way, did I tell you the unisex bathrooms are immaculate!?
I love the Modern… It’s beautiful at every turn and is perfect for any and all dining events. Simply put, The Modern is fabulous and that’s why The Modern is our first Restaurant of the Month for 2013!
So, Happy New Year guys! If you haven’t been to the Modern yet, then you haven’t lived! Make 2013 the year you decide to eat good in a fabulous way, and start at THE MODERN… It’s an experience you’ll cherish for years to come!