I haven’t been back to The Modern Bar Room in about two months. There’s been a few new items on the winter menu since my last visit. It was high time I returned for lunch today.
The Modern’s guest relations manager, Jason, had left for the soon-to-open North End Grill since my last meal at the restaurant. Despite his absence, I was still greeted familiarly and seated at what had become my usual / favorite table.
To start, a small tray of warm and crusty bread was presented along with a dish of excellent butter.
My chosen appetizer was the Alsatian Country Soup with pain d’épices, my favorite soup on the menu. In the summer, this soup contained Benton’s ham and rock shrimp, but the winter version replaced the shrimp with Nantucket Bay scallops. The soup tasted sweeter than I remembered, possibly due to the scallops, but it was just as satisfying and flavorful as last time. The pain d’épices was again a wonderful complement to the soup.
My entree was a completely new item I’ve never tried before, the Veal Cheek “Sauerbraten”. The veal cheek pieces were cooked to tender-falling-apart perfection, with a slight tang of vinegar. The parsnip puree beneath was a lovely sweet creaminess that helped to lighten the rich veal, and the wild mushrooms lent the entire dish a umami spark. Delicious.
Finally, dessert time. Again, I chose the new item on the menu, the Chestnut Sundae. The dish came in a tall glass, in alternate layers of Bailey’s ice cream, candied chestnut, caramel, and whipped cream, with two pieces of pecan biscuits on the side. I’m generally not a huge fan of whipped cream in dessert and thought the cream combined with caramel in this case made the dessert slightly too rich for my blood. Despite this, I still finished everything. I’m such a glutton.
My reservation time was quite late in the afternoon for lunch, yet the Bar Room was once again a full house, packed to the gills and abuzz with activity. May my favorite restaurant live long and prosper!
Dishes to try on the next visit: Scottish Salmon Tartare, Quail Terrine, Braised Tripe, Pistachio Dark Chocolate Dome.
The Bar Room at The Modern
9 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019