Friday, July 23, 2010

The Bar Room at the Modern

My siblings and I recently managed to snap up one of the hottest tables at the Bar Room at the Modern during NYC restaurant week. The tables are hard to come by due to its large restaurant week menu (limitless, really). On top of that, it's a relatively new restaurant from Danny Meyer, the great restaurateur of big names like the Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern.

I was happy to return to the Bar Room after having been there last year for restaurant week. Unfortunately, the law of diminishing return applied here. Lucky for you, I have plenty of photos to share, thanks to my sister, the photography lover.

Like last year, I started off with the Upside Down Tuna Tarte. I remembered how tasty and inventive it was, but had forgotten that I didn't like the relatively large dice of fennel, cucumber and most of all, raw onion. I found the size of the onion dices packed too much of an unpleasant punch.

My siblings kicked off their meal with Fresh Grilled Shrimp and Tarte Flambée. When our server placed the shrimp dish onto the table, I noticed a slight bounce that was a sign of perfectly cooked shrimp. And they were! The with green cabbage and gruyère salad that accompanied the shrimp was refreshing and tasty. As for the Tarte Flambée, it was very much like a large, thin crust pizza. The smoky aroma of the bacon on the tarte was so very enticing.

For my entree, I had the Crispy Atlantic Cod, which was deceiving because I had expected the fish to have a crispy skin from being pan seared. I would not have imagined from the name of the dish that it was an upscale fish and chips (without the chips). That aside, it was a very fine fish and chips. The batter was fried to a perfect golden brown.

My sister had a "taste" of literally 3 pieces of Pan Roasted Hanger Steak cut from a larger steak. Size aside, she thoroughly enjoyed the dish, especially the young garlic flan. The flan was delicate and rich, with a sweet garlic aroma. The fried bits on top of the flan provided a perfect contrast in texture.

We ended the meal with the Pistachio Dark Chocolate Dome and Strawberry Soup. I had expected a hard chocolate shell on the dome, but I realized that it was a coating of chocolate sauce when my fork sunk right into the delicate and creamy dome. The dome was rich and airy at the same time. The only item on the plate that didn't work for me was the amaretto gelée, which I felt didn't go with the dome. As for the Strawberry Soup with buttermilk panna cotta, I have never seen my brother leave his dessert unfinished. In all honesty, I don't know why he ordered that item since he's not a fan of panna cotta.

All in all, it was a very fine meal. I just wish the portions were more consistent - the Tarte Flambée was an oversized appetizer while the Hanger Steak was more of an appetizer size.

To avoid the law of diminishing return, I should return to the restaurant in another couple of years, or order something different next time.

No comments: