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Momofuku Ko or The Modern??

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emilyb27 Jan 5, 2010 06:47 AM

My husband's 30th birthday is coming up the following week and I have secured reservations for lunch at Ko and dinner reservations at The Modern (i will also be clicking promptly at 10:00 am this weekend to try to get dinner reservations at Ko). We only want to do one meal, which one should we go to, lunch or dinner at Ko or dinner at the modern. The lunch at Ko is pushing our expenses, especially if we get a couple of glasses of wine with the meal. Any opinions??

  1. uhockey Jan 5, 2010 01:53 PM

    Let me say that the FOOD at Ko is quite good - but it pales in comparison to Per Se (more expensive,) Picholine or EMP (equally expensive,) and IMO both The Modern and Daniel (equally expensive.) The service, curt at best and downright rude at worst - like it is a PRIVILAGE to eat there, as opposed to all 5 of the others where they go out of their way to make your MEAL (not just the food) memorable - even asking for them to repeat an ingredient they described is treated like a chore at Ko - and I actually preferred my meal at both Ssam and Noodle Bar in terms of "bang for the buck."

    3 Replies
    1. re: uhockey
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      fm1963 Jan 5, 2010 02:44 PM

      Concurring with uhockey. While the food at Ko was delicious and very inventive, I'm not rushing to return.

      I did not experience any rudeness from the staff, but have to agree with the chilly, minimal service. And the backless bar stools and narrow room can feel a bit oppressive after a few hours.

      If you haven't been to Ko, it's definitely worth a visit. But if you have, I think you can have a better all around dining experience elsewhere.

      1. re: fm1963
        r
        Ralphus Jan 21, 2010 05:51 AM

        I agree with these comments. I went for the first time this week. I am not in a position to spend $600 for a meal for two and drinks very often, so I expect to be wowed when I do. The minimalist atmosphere and service threw me off a bit. The chefs were more than willing to discuss the ingredients or preparation but did seem a bit annoyed to be there. The first few fish courses were good but not earth-shattering. The shaved foie/reisling gelee dish was very tasty as was the duck. The pours on the paired drinks were not generous at all and I had to really ration my drink to ensure it lasted through each course. And while I am indeed a beer afficionado, ending the meal with a Ipswich Oatmeal Stout was weak. If I'm spending $100 for a drink pairing, at least give me a Brooklyn Black Ops or something equal. I don't think I'd go back at that cost.

        1. re: Ralphus
          uhockey Jan 21, 2010 01:34 PM

          The food at the Modern was better, as was the service and setting - and no BS reservation system. I rather bet that if Ko's reservation system wasn't what it was it wouldn't filled every night/

    2. c
      cjd260 Jan 5, 2010 11:42 AM

      Haven't eaten at The Modern (only at the bar room), but wanted to jump in on Ko: its as amazing as everyone indicates, but I've found it difficult to stay close to the stated menu price. The wine pairings are hard to pass up - keep in mind that over 2+ hours you'll go through a lot of wine if you order a la carte - and will quickly add another $100 to the bill. So if you're worried about the cost, I might lean away from Ko.

      That said, it's worth the splurge!

      1 Reply
      1. re: cjd260
        ellenost Jan 5, 2010 12:35 PM

        Only the first time at Ko did I do the wine pairings (Ko is very generous with their pours, and I was almost too buzzed to remember much about the meal); after that I have ordered one bottle to share (my favorite is the Prumm 2007 Riesling -- low alcohol content). The cost of a bottle is much less expensive than the cost of the wine pairings.

      2. c
        Corporate_40 Jan 5, 2010 08:42 AM

        Just had dinner at Ko last week, and it was incredible. Never eaten at the Modern, but you definitely cannot go wrong at Ko.

        1. ellenost Jan 5, 2010 07:53 AM

          Definitely go to Momofuku Ko instead of The Modern. I've gone to Ko over a dozen times (for both dinner and lunch), and I prefer the lunch. The dinner is great too! (I'll be trying for another reservation for dinner soon). My most recent lunch was on Christmas Day and it's 3 hours of the most creative and delicious food. I had a recent dinner at The Modern (three weeks ago), and while the food was fine, the service was not. It's like they're an Eleven Madison Park "wannabe"--without success. Our captain looked about 16 years old and was very pretentious. I had made a simple request for the beignets for dessert that are served in the Bar Room and not the Dining Room, and they refused (I mean it's not like I would be paying any less for the dessert). They said I could have the beignets for dessert only if I moved from the Dining Room to the Bar Room which was very noisy and crowded. Needless to say I ordered dessert from the Dining Room menu in order to stay at my table in the Dining Room; the dessert was not memorable.

          1. uhockey Jan 5, 2010 07:13 AM

            Having been to both I can definitely say that while I enjoyed Ko, I'd never do it again - especially at $175 where-as if I lived in NYC I'd dine at the Modern every single time Chef Kruether changed the menu.

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