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Jan 27, 2010 10:51 PM

RW Review of Bar Room at the Modern

Still one of the best RW picks. They kept some of the standouts from last winter's RW (Alsatian tart, Long Island duck with roasted peppercorn, saffron tagliatelle, tuna tartare, hazelnut dacqouise) and added new ones. Thankfully they took out the ginger green pea pork and the smoky bbq dish from last winter's RW, as those experiments were less successful.

New favorites included the alsatian creamy onion soup - the foam and flavor on this is to die for. Plus there's pieces of bacon in here. I could have sworn that there was also some mushroom in this, but my fellow diner thinks it was just the pork. The coffee caramel dome is also my new favorite dessert there - so delicious, a great balance of salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy. Plus there are 4 tiny cubes of ameretto gelee which burst with flavor.

I would skip the cherry babka. We ordered it with the maple ice cream instead of the pistachio, and the maple ice cream was amazing, but the rum or brandy-soaked cherries that come on the side were god-awful. I tried one and immediately took it out of my mouth. It was the worst tasting, most sour/bitter thing I've tasted in ages. I stuck to tried and true for the rest of the meal, and I've already covered the saffron tagliatelle and tuna tartare in previous posts.

I'm not going to get a chance to go back these two weeks like I did last RW, so if someone else can fill in the blanks on other tasty finds, it'd be appreciated.

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  1. I too love the food here but I do find the room very uncomfortable and not very conducive to great conversation, the tables are so close to each other. I prefer to eat at the bar where you're not bumped into all the time.

    1. Ate there on Monday and I love both the food and the room! We like the tables along the "wall" that separates the Bar Room from the main dining room -- lots of room. My favorites are the tuna tartare, the yellowfin tuna, and the hazelnut dacquoise...hands down my favorite dessert ever -- sort of like a chef-created candy bar.

      RW at its best!

      3 Replies
      1. re: City Kid

        I like the wall/elongated couch too. Much more comfy than the normal chairs. Although I have to ask - what is with the tiny stiletto knife that they give you when you order the duck? That thing is beautiful, but insubstantial and doesn't cut very well.

        Chef-created candy bar - actually, that sums up how I feel about the caramel-coffee dome too.

        1. re: windycity

          Actually I was talking about the other side of the room that abuts the main dining room...same table and chairs as the rest of the Bar Room, and quite comfortable and uncrowded feeling. I, too, am a huge fan of the food. I had the Scottish salmon this week and it was very good, but prefer the yellowfin tuna with crispy sweetbreads. I must admit for me it's all about that hazelnut dacquoise -- the stuff of dreams -- and everything else is prelude!

          1. re: City Kid

            I agree that dessert is a highlight of the Modern. Frequently I find myself wishing I can swap out a One for a Three. They should do a dessert tasting menu, I'd be down

      2. Went again tonight and sat at the bar for the first time. (I had picked up a friend's reservation that she was going to cancel.) Sitting at the bar is nice - I made some new friends and had a good time talking to the people. Plus I had the Cross and Bones - rum, milk, brown sugar and mulling spices. Delicious.

        Had the steak tartare on my friend's recommendation. I have never eaten raw meat, and I am one of those medium well or well done people. I wish there was a happy end to the story because if there is any place to try raw beef, it would be at the Modern, but sadly I do not like.

        Also had the Scottish salmon - loved the riesling foam and salmon, do not care for the cabbage. Picked the mushrooms out of the cabbage. For dessert, I went back to the coffee caramel dome. Yum, perfection.