The Modern is a well known 2 star Michelin restaurant that has an appealing tasting menu. Its sibling restaurant, the Bar Room", is located in the same area as the Modern restaurant, but literally is divided by tall gigantic glass panes. The Bar Room has a more casual feel, where there’s music pumping through the speakers, and it feels more bustling like the general NYC city culture. This half of the restaurant has been participating with the NYC restaurant “week” program for quite some time, and we decided to check it out. We were able to book a reservation a month ahead easily for 2 for 5:30 PM. Note that the entrance to this restaurant is not the same entrance as the museum, but further east from 6th Avenue. It’s fairly close to the 5th Ave/53rd St E-M subway entrance.
Restaurant week (the discount menus are actually a month long now) for this restaurant features 2 courses for $45 or 3 courses for $60. We opted for the 3 course experience.
Ambiance & Service
The Bar Room area has a lot of open space, but the tables are fairly close to each other. Fortunately, the ceiling is very tall, so you can hear your party’s conversation well.
The service was pretty good, but there were a few pacing issues and some missing items maybe? We noticed some tables got bread, but we didn’t receive any. Another note was that perhaps since this isn’t the premier section of the restaurant, there were servers that seem to be in training, so their timing was a bit clumsy when serving and delivering the food. Despite this, our main waitress was very nice and made great recommendations. She even gave us a tour of the kitchen without us really asking, and it felt like we were welcomed. When it comes to payment, they bring over a card reader to your table, and they default to 22%. It looks like it’s the price pre-tax.
For the restaurant week menu, all the items on the menu are part of the normal a’la carte menu.
The Moscato Rosa ($19 - left) was a 2021 skin-macerated orange wine coming from Gonzalez Bastias, Naranjo, Valle Del Maule, Chile. It had a noticeable earthy taste to it with some subtle sweet citrus notes to it. It definitely was more acidic. But in all, it was a great compliment to the dishes tonight since it had an interesting flavor (and funk) to it that counter balanced the lightness and sea/citrus flavors of the food.
The Ko-Pilot ($14 - right) was a zero proof mocktail with Duche de Longeuville sparkling cider, yuzu, maple, and sea salt. The quantity of this was quite deceiving due to the large square ice cube, but it was pretty good. It wasn’t too sweet, and it was great for a hot muggy day in NYC. At that price though, it’s a bit too expensive by my standards.
The chilled melon gazpacho came with peekytoe crab and sesame. The gazpacho had some of the sweetness of the melon, but there was also a considerable amount of acid or citrus in it as well. It kind of woke me up after a long day of work. The crab was sweet and pretty good. The crab sat on a shiso leaf. I thought this tasted pretty good overall.
The steak tartare came with crispy potatoes. The steak tartare had some sort of chunky green sauce on top of it. It reminded me of eggs with some cream. The steak itself was pretty good. The crispy potatoes were surprisingly very fluffy and not as dense as a potato wedge. They were seasoned well, and they were a great compliment to the tartare.
The crispy salmon came with grilled cucumbers and beluga lentils. This has a very farm-to-table feel to it. The lentil was dressed with some truffle oil, but fortunately it did not bother my partner much. The white sauce for me didn’t have an incredible amount of flavor. The salmon was cooked nicely as expected. The skin was extra crispy, and it peels off the salmon easily. Be warned to eat this meticulously in case if encounter bone.
The lobster came with shelling beans in a shellfish broth. The lobster was perfectly tender and soft. The shelling beans reminded me a bit of just regular white beans. The tomato-based broth had some interesting rustic flavors to it. This was very much like a peasant stew, but with some finesse to it. The white radish was pickled. In all, this was quite delicious for what it was, but it was a bit small on the portion side.
The corn financier came with cherries and vanilla cream. My partner did not want any alcohol, so originally there was supposed to be an amaretto cream in lieu of the vanilla. The corn financier had a creme brulee type crust. The corn “bread” itself was perfectly delicate and sweet. The cherries were in the middle of this when you broke it apart.
The pavlova came with summer berries and elderflower. I didn’t originally know what a pavlova was, but it was basically a meringue external texture with soft marshmallow-textured innards. The red sorbet had currant flavors. The summer berries seem to have some strawberry compote in there as well. So just imagine if you mixed marshmallows with a wet berry compote and some berry-like sorbet. It was all pretty good, albeit with very noticeable tartness all over.
The Bar Room at the Modern was pretty good for what it was. We had low expectations, but the service and food definitely exceeded it especially for a gimmicky Restaurant Week/Month program. The portion size is a bit smaller than expected, but I definitely think the “experience package” is where this restaurant shines a bit. Because there are so many other restaurants right now that are receiving a lot of hype around this price range and food type, we are hoping to make a reservation in the future for the Kitchen Table 2-star Michelin experience.
Started with a melon-crab gazpacho, the waiter described it as “sounds like a weird combination of flavors but it somehow works really well” and I couldn’t agree more, really light/refreshing and tasted great.
For some reason, I don’t really find that weird. Latin and Spanish cuisines definitely have sweet sauces and soups with crab, so not sure why this Elitist or the waiter thought this was weird.
Awful reservation system. Try to call in advance and confirm if there’s any availability, the staff who answered (Victoria) was not willing to assist and sounded very arrogant.
We’re not in Kansas anymore. This Yelper should’ve just used the online reservation system that most normal people today use.
- Aug 11, 2023 - Initial revision.