The Modern Dining Room
Heading out tomorrow night for dinner.
We will probably do the prix fixe menu.
What are everyone's favorite dishes?
We want wine. Will they pair glasses with courses for the prix fixe? How much $$ does it cost (we've payed 60pp at Daniel and EMP).
What a great meal and experience.
We got in right at our reservation time 8pm, and were sat in banquette near the west side of the room, which gave us a great view of the other tables and the garden in back.
We each had the 3 course prix fixe.
Breads: 2 choices, olive or french. both were served warm. both were ok, but nothing that awesome (if you are a bread junkie like wifey, go do del posto or daniel)
Amuse: Not in the wine glass...eggless fennel souffle with tomato two ways (saucy on top of the souffle, and gel at the bottom). I liked this, wife didnt. sauce on top was reminiscent of a pizza sauce (stolen from artichoke?), gelee was like the juicy part of the tomato...
Apps:I started with the lobster salad (10$ supp) which was very very good. Not too sweet, and really only hints of vanilla. It was one of the better lobster salads that I have had, but really nothing over the top special. Wife had the tuna and scallop tartare, which was beyond awesome. It was super duper triple word score with an X on the triple letter score awesome. Beautiful presentation on both dishes.
Entree: Wife had the duck, which was really superb. Sliced and plated tableside, this dish had it all. Amazing duck, foie gras, and a nice jus. Very very tasty and pretty to look at. I had the lamb, which was the dankest (in a nugs way) pulled lamb ever with a sheet of lamb bacon on top. The bacon was pierced by our server and jus was poured over the whole bit. Damn fine eating.
Pre-dessert: Strawberry and basil parfait. Very nice palette cleanser.
Desserts: Wife had the caramel, I had the chocolate palet. Both were over the top awesome. The chocolate was like a mouse with amazing ganache poured all over it...really great. Wife did not let me try her dessert and guarded it with her arm around it like a prison dinner in Emerald City. We were also brought a 3rd dessert on the house which was a pistachio cake of some sort...not a winner...just sweet, but a very nice gesture.
At this point we were asked if we would like to have our after dinner drinks on the terrace of the sculpture garden. This was very nice. Our waiter brought our waters and our drinks, and led us outside to sit on the very comfy couches and chairs. Here, while I sipped my after dinner bourbon and wifer drank her tea, we were served a tiny ice cream cone and a plate of chocolates and nuts.
Wines: We asked for a glass to be paired with each app, entree, and dessert and that we would like to keep the price to 60pp for all 3 glasses. All were excellent. I got to taste 2 different wines for my app course, and the wines served with the entrees were great. Wife had 2001 Merlot and I had a 2004 CDP, which were both off the chains. For dessert, wife was given a chardonnay dessert wine and I had a banyuls dessert wine, which went excellent with the chocolate. Dessert wines were on the house.
Service: Our servers Luke and Justin were great. Like over the top great. Like ask for them if you go there to eat great. They brought us our dessert wines on the house, and the pours of wines and bourbon were all very generous. Both were very funny, used lingo we could get down with (e.g., "We are going to kick that other resto's ass tonight", "Try this bad boy on for size (referring to tasting the 2001 Merlot they poured for wifer"). Despite their casual demeanor, both were very professional and knowledgeable about both the food and the wine.
Overall, this is a great place to go. I would place it in my top tier with other great NYC dining experiences (Daniel, EMP, Cafe Boulud, Del Posto), if anything, the food may have been slightly weaker here than at any of these 4 places, but the service and ambiance were terrific, and we will be returning for sure.
9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019
Thank you for your report. You got me worried now. We were originally planning to go to EMP for our anniversary dinner and due to restaurant being closed, I first made a reservation for Daniel. After my fellow CH encouraging me to cancel Daniel, I was considering Cafe Boulud,Vertias and The Modern and I picked Modern. Now you are saying The Modern was not as good as Daniel and CB. OH, what to do?
By the way we are going to Cafe Boulud for lunch.
The cuisine at The Modern is different in concept and style than at Daniel, Cafe Boulud, and Veritas. Though it is French, it has a decided Alsatian influence. Imo, it is every bit as excellent as the others. Service is of the highest Danny Meyer standard -- very cordial and polished -- and the space with its appropriately modern decor is elegant. My only quibble is the noise factor, i.e., when the Bar Room is busy, the noise from there filters into the formal dining room. If that is not an issue for you, then by all means, keep your reservation at The Modern.
Mrs joujou. I loved my meal last night, and I really feel that you will in no way be disappointed with the experience. In terms of food quality alone, I would rate the other places as better (daniel, emp), but the ambiance, service, presentation and overall experience were a 10. Our service and the attention we received were better than Daniel for sure.
Overall, the modern is no EMP, but it is very very close and definitely in the top tier of NYC restos. I am sure that you will have a great time.
p.s. even at Daniel, where we got the giant tasting menus, there were some misses on the dishes. Where ever you end up, search the CH boards for what people are getting and enjoying.
I had their lunch tasting menu (which it seems they no longer serve) last September. As RGR said, my dishes aren't on the menu either. In some ways the kitchen tweaked the pairings of the main ingredient with other things in season. I agree with RGR that the foie gras is excellent, the tartare was refreshing, and remembered my beef tenderloin being quite amazing.
My Flickr photos of the lunch tasting menu:
Beautiful photos, chocokitty! We, too, did a tasting at lunch last year in May, which totally knocked our gustatory socks off! I did notice that they no longer list the tastings on the lunch menu (there were two when we had ours, the same ones as at dinner), which as you say, indicates that they are no longer offering them at lunch.
Thank you, RGR! :D
It's a bit of a shame they no longer serve lunch tastings. I would go back for another gastronomic tour, if you will, of their tasting. I find it easier on my digestive system to go crazy on lunch and walk it off (or take it easy on the food) as the day progresses.
We did the 3-course prix fixe in May. Most of the dishes we had are no longer on the menu. However, the main course lamb dish I had is still being served, and it was excellent. Foie gras preparations, whether poached or in a terrine, are always delicious.
Yes, they will do wine pairings by the glass for each course. There is no set price for pairing with the 3-course prix fixe. It depends on the particular wines. You should discuss your preferences with the sommelier, and based on that, he or she will choose wines that will go well with the dishes you have selected. Also, if budget is an issue, don't hesitate to mention that as well.
Photos of our dinner in The Modern Dining Room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623999550208/with/4581611617/
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!