Corton or The Modern?
I would use the word 'funky' to describe Corton's food. Food very nicely plated and pleasing to the eyes. For 'dramatic effect' some dishes even have multiple layers of plates for a small piece of food. Taste wise, I found the taste profile of some dishes underwhelming. Service was a little snobbish when I visited.
The Modern, on the other hand, provided me with one of the best dinner service I have experienced in NYC. Very professional, attentive and friendly. Food was 'modern' but less eclectic than Corton's. Food portion was in general slightly bigger than Corton thus allowing the patrons to do more 'in depth' savoring of the dishes. One of the most memorable part of the meal was actually the 'bread selection'!! Fresh, piping hot and utterly delicious!! One of the best in the city!
Have trouble locating Corton's food photos, but manage to dig up some 'The Modern ' dishes. Including a yummy 'King Crab Cannelloni'
I prefer the Modern. The atmosphere, the food, and the service were all better than at Corton. The Modern even gave me an umbrella to keep, because it was raining.
Corton , i find their menu sounds amazing. But the dishes don't deliver. The flavors and combinations of ingredients are there to sound "gourmet" or "intriguing" but they don't mesh together. The waitstaff are below par. The atmosphere is ummm boring.
If you have a 3rd choice, My recommendation would be Jungsik.
I agree with you.Corton's service left much to be desired previously, but it is getting better now, and their courses have more variety and more number of dishes now. I was impressed with the recent three dinners I had for the past three months.
Some of the dishes I particularly liked were:
"Fried Sayori Bones with cotton cady and herbs". This was the second Sayori dish that followed "Sayori with chilled tofu creme, umami gelee,fresh ginger, lime confit and five-year aged soy". Not only eye-appealing but also delicious! Reminded me of Japanese deep-fried fish bones following sashimi.
"Torte of sweetbread, foie gras, and squab wrapped with pastry dough". It was divine.
Sounds like the two prior replies have much more recent info than I do. I went a couple years ago and found the food very interesting but also a bit dizzying and the service definitely lacking. They definitely did a lot of interesting and complicated plates, but I felt as if they never explained them, and the service was rushed.
The Modern is not as interesting with regard to the food, but the service is much more polished.
In a way, it's an unfair comparison since they are so different.
If I could add two more thoughts: not far from The Modern is Aquavit which is now every innovative and has very good service. It's not as expensive as Corton, and the decor is not as warm, but it is still very special. I'd also suggest Eleven Madison Park.