Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The Modern (Manhattan) 01/2014
We would never have found this most excellent restaurant if not for a suggestion from John Salsbury, former chef/owner of the, sadly missed, now closed Petit Bourgoise.
The restaurant, adjacent to MoMA on 54th Street, occupies a long room divided into three sections, a remarkably well stocked long bar with small tables,
a step up to the simply decorated functional central area
with adequate sized tables and comfortable seating,
and a white clothed area looking over the MoMA sculpture garden where only the Chef's menus is served.
There are a lot of floor staff who are very busy with the fairly rapid turn over of patrons at lunch time. As such they are rather impersonal.
Food is beautifully presented, art on a plate, many of the dishes would not be out of place next door. The style is modern French American demonstrating technically outstanding cooking. Flavour combinations are well matched and interesting, textures are variable resulting in meals that are exciting and fun.
Bread is presented in an an artistic open metal basket.
A terrine starter
Jerusalem artichoke soup, When I pointed out the brioche was burnt the waiter initially said they are meant to be toasted but replaced them at my request!
Egg in a jar was a superb complex way of serving an egg, much better than any we've had before.
Pork belly was superb in every way.
We finished with beignets, five of them, with three sauces. These were a bit ordinary and do not compare with the sensational ones served at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.
All in all this is an outstanding restaurant. It is also quite expensive. Wines go from about $20/glass. Add taxes and an 18% tip and you can soon have an impressive bill. If you can afford it this is a place you should definitely visit.