Restaurant Week at the Modern Bar Room

Finally! The past 3 years I’ve been trying to get a RW reservation at the Modern and with no luck. I always waited until the restaurant list was revealed and reservations “officially” were available. Somehow they were already booked by then! This year I got smart and made the reservation 30 days in advance in hopes that the Bar Room would again participate. My advanced booking paid off and Wednesday night we met some friends and sat down for dinner.

Looking over the wine list I was surprised and happy to see so many affordable bottles. We opted for a very inexpensive Chardonnay and us ladies were happy with the choice.  The men were not into wine that night so both of them ordered a special Sixpoint beer the Dr. Klankenstein.

I won’t go into the whole process but this beer is basically brewed by heating large rocks until red hot and then throwing them into a cauldron with the beer and continue heating over a log fire. You can read more about it here. I have to say I thought it was quite tasty. Apparently it’s brewed especially for the Modern and not available elsewhere.  Here’s a look at our appetizers:

This is the Wild Mushroom soup with Toasted Chorizo Ravioli.

Fresh Grilled Shrimp with green cabbage and gruyere salad.

Steak Tartare

Roasted Long Island Duck Breast with peppercorn-crusted apples and toasted pistachio truffle dipping sauce.

The duck breast was my appetizer and I was extremely pleased. The duck was insanely moist, almost melty, with a small layer of fat between the meat and skin.

The peppercorn crusted apples were a little mind blowing. I would never put the two things together but they totally worked. Add some of the dipping sauce and it was without a doubt my favorite RW appetizer this year.

The only other dish I tried was the Steak Tartare which was simply divine. I really enjoy a good steak tartare and this one was definitely made with some extra love.

Onto the entrees. First up the Beer Braised Pork Belly with sweet pea puree and ginger jus.

When this dish came out I was jealous. It looked so spectacular on the plate it was almost a masterpiece itself. Luckily I was offered a bite and it was every bit as wonderful as it looked. Intensely crispy skin, a luscious layer of fat, and then super moist meat on the bottom. The puree was a perfect sweet complement to the salty pork.

Duck Confit a l’Orange with roasted sunchokes and fingerling potatoes.

This was my first experience with this classic dish and I thought it was delicious. The skin had a slight crunch to it while the duck was tender and sweet.

My entrée was the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with crispy veal sweetbreads and preserved lemon.

They serve the tuna here grilled on one side and sashimi style on the other. I think this is the best way to cook tuna. I loved that it kept that velvety smooth texture and cool refreshing bite. The sweetbreads that came along were fabulous as usual and my only wish was that there would be more of them to enjoy.

For dessert I ordered the Pistachio Dark Chocolate Dome with pistachio ice cream and amaretto gelee.

This…was...FABULOUS! I know I’m a dessert freak but this was seriously awesome. I was worried about the dome being a hard dark chocolate shell, like an Eskimo bar, which I hate. I had no reason to worry because this dome was like pudding. The dark chocolate on top was so soft I thought it was melting.

The middle gave way to creamy, nutty pistachio cake that I still dream about. I was so focused and in love with this dessert that I almost missed my chance to sample the other dessert of the night. The Modern Cheesecake with almond crumble, raspberry and “fromage blac” sorbets.

The presentation of this dish was again something like a masterpiece. I’m not going to comment on the taste because while I enjoyed it, I’ve just never been a huge cheesecake fan. Plus I was so infatuated with my own dessert I couldn’t even bother. However all three ordered this dessert and there wasn’t a bite left on the plates.

The bathrooms at the Modern are similar to the ones at Maialino. Individual stalls with co-ed sinks outside. This bathroom gets 3 flushes because at least there about 10 stalls you could choose from so you could be away from your date. However I still hate the co-ed sink situation that’s all the rage.

Overall the meal was spectacular. I could see how people say the portions are a bit on the small size, but for me it was absolutely perfect. With a bottle of wine and two beers the bill ended up being about $50 each. That is practically a steal. I plan to make this an annual restaurant week meal from now on.

The Modern