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Bar Room vs main dining room at the Modern

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I'd like to take 5 guests to lunch at the Modern on a Thursday in early November and am deciding between the rooms. At first glance it seems like the Bar Room is much less $ - versus a $55/70 prix fixe in the dining room - but sometimes those small plates can add up. We are open to a more formal setting in the dining room or casual in the bar.

I should mention that one of my guests will enter with a walker so perhaps the service in the dining room would be more solicitous of her ingress/egress needs. Opinion? Thanks!

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The Modern
9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

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  1. If you are doing lunch, there won't be much of a price difference between the Dining Room and the Bar Room. I'd just reserve at the formal Dining Room.

    In my opinion, the Dining Room has:

    1. better ambiance
    2. better view
    3. better service
    4. amuses and post-meal chocolates (the chocolate cart is AWESOME)
    5. more refined food preparation / presentation / etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the Bar Room. But for lunch, the Dining Room is much better value given the advantages it has over the Bar Room, for essentially the same price.

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    The Modern
    9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cheeryvisage

      Lunch or dinner the dining room is the way to go if you are looking for anything more than a nice quick meal, i,e, conversation, catching up. The dining room and bar room are Worlds apart even though they are only seperated by a few feet. NOTE:The Bar Room is fantastic in it's own right but I don't think it would fit your needs this time.

      1. re: Spiritchaser

        I think you're right and I appreciate your input. It seems to me that the pricing is a wash and the dining room will yield better service. Now do you have a similar opinion for the main dining room vs the bar for dinner at the Gramercy Park Tavern on a Friday night?

        1. re: mocro

          Personally I think the bar room at Gramercy Tavern (no "Park" in name - just pointing it out) is a lot more fun than the main dining room, it's relaxed but a nice relaxed. A drawback, bar room has no reservations, walk in only and it can get crowded quickly and if memory serves me 5 could be tough (never been with more than 3 so I can't remember all the table configurations). If you want to try the bar room have a back plan JIC.

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          Gramercy Tavern
          42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

    2. I just noticed that the bar room @ gramercy tavern no longer has the 35 price fix. This was a great deal, and gave me a good reason to visit the tavern room over the dining room...Now that this is gone, I'll probably just go to the dining room instead.

      Also for the Modern, dining room is the way to go. That chocolate trolley is simply amazing.

      1. I find the cafe/bar section to be way too busy and loud for my taste, so I always go with the formal section. There is more space and it's nicer. Caveat: But be prepared to hear all the noise coming from the informal area even though you are sitting in the formal area, which can be a little annoying.

        1 Reply
        1. re: citykid426

          At the Modern one of our group will be my formidable 80yo aunt so that's the right space for her. Gramercy will be my hip, young godchild who appreciates fine dining so either the bar or main dining room will work for us. Thanks everyone.

        2. It seems the Modern dining room may better suit your needs but I do love the vibe in the Bar Room and have not found it uncomfortably noisy. I always ask for and get a table against the barrier that separates the Bar Room from the dining room and find it very comfortable and conducive to conversation. But it might be hard for a table of more than four. BTW: My 96-year-old father in law loves the Bar Room!