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Aug 7, 2012 11:54 AM

Bar Room at the Modern - Still Good

I had a very good lunch here on Sunday. Around 2ish, it was fairly quiet. Walked in without a reservation. We share 4 different dishes and skipped dessert, as I didn't want to be too full on a disgustingly hot day.

Upside Down Tuna Tarte with fennel, Japanese cucumber and aïoli, and a sesame tuile was very good. High quality tuna. The fennel was a nice touch. I could have done with a little more seasoning and a little less red onion. It's essentially a tuna tartare, molded into a circle, with a tuile on top. I think I might go for the salmon next time, though.

Iberico and Mangalica Jamón assortment with olive oil and toasted baguette was delicious. Kind of hard to share, though, as one of the piles of jamon was kind of sticking together. But hard to avoid when shaving something so thin. Beautifully presented on a piece of slate.

House Made Alsatian Country Sausage with sauerkraut and whole-grain mustard sauce was amazing. Meaty, juicy, not too dense filling in the sausage. I feel bad for all other sausages. I also feel bad for all other sauerkraut. I loved this sauerkraut. I wanted to take it home with me. I think I noticed some chopped up banana pepper and pickles hiding in there. All the components were very flavorful.

Pan Roasted Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with oxtail stuffed piquillo pepper, eggplant gratin and natural jus was also wonderful. Cooked to a lovely medium rare, a nice contrast with the crispy breadcrumbs on the eggplant gratin. The oxtail stuffed piquillo pepper was also good. Best eaten with a little bit of each component in one bite.

Service, the room, as usual, was lovely. The room has a totally different feel during the day due to the sunlight streaming in from the windows in the formal dining room. Also the lighting in the restrooms? Top notch. I always forget until I go in there.

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  1. I also had lunch at the Bar Room recently and while I generally liked the food, the spaetzle with tuna paillard crudo and seared foie gras and the duck confit a l'orange were oddly lukewarm, as if they had been sitting at room temperature for a while. I had to send both dishes back.

    No complaints about the arugula salad and the dark chocolate tart and chocolate ice cream, though.

    1. The Modern Bar Room is one of my favorite restaurants and is on my regular restaurant rotation. I still haven't tried the House Made Alsatian Country Sausage though. I'll make sure to get it next time. Thanks for the report!

      1. Have gone back twice since I wrote the above. Had the egg in a jar twice, the jamons again as well. Tried the seared scallops with cauliflower. Perfectly cooked. The roasted duck breast was as good as ever, too. I also liked a lovely pumpkin seed, squash, watercress, apple, and endive salad. Also tried the roasted poussin with enoki mushrooms. Not my favorite savory on the list but still tasty. And we tried a wonderful cheese for dessert, Spring Brook from Vermont.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Kathryn, get the Alsatian Country Soup next time! :D

          1. re: Cheeryvisage

            i have to go and try some of the yummy dishes mentioned above...i go to MOMA very often, and have often been tempted to stop in for a snack/wine at the bar, but the 2 or 3 times i've peeked in (albeit on the very early side, when the museum is closing and the restaurant isn't revved up) it's been empty and, more importantly, the bar seats look torturously uncomfy and awkward: it just doesn't present itself as a pleasant place to i looking at it in the wrong light? :)

            1. re: Simon

              The Bar Room is usually buzzing and bustling with energy, you must have peeked in on the restaurant during the very early opening hours! Give it a chance and see how you like it. :)

              Though, I don't do walk-ins anymore. The proper dining tables are reserved for diners with reservations, so walk-ins are asked to sit at the bar or one of the cocktail tables. I've had bad experiences with MIA servers when seated at a cocktail table (ie. 30 minutes for someone to take your order, 30 minutes to ask if you'd like dessert, yet another 30 minutes to bring your check.) Because no servers are specifically assigned to the cocktail table area, people seated there tend to get neglected.

              Nowadays, I always make a reservation to get a proper table (with proper service). I'd think the service would be fine at the bar itself too since you're right in front of the bartenders and they'd be able to see your needs right away.

              I encourage you to try the Bar Room (at either the bar or the proper tables), just stay away from the cocktail tables. :)

              1. re: Cheeryvisage

                I found the spaetzle dish amazing and thought provoking, I've not had anything like it. It involves raw tuna (oh, and a wedge of seared foie gras).