Monday, January 23, 2012

The Modern at MoMa 01-19-2012

Location: 9 West 53rd st.
Time: 12:45pm
People: FA and myself

Feelings: I am not a fan of fine dining. The pricing has a lot to do with it, but I've never felt fine dining to be romantic or extraordinary. It reminds me of the most stressful moments of finishing school and leaves feelings of distance and unapproachability. I am often bored to tears, and I much prefer cheap eats rather than having one fancy outing. The Modern at the MoMa, however, may have changed my mind.

The Modern, with a view of the MoMa sculpture garden, has contemporary architectural design that would match the museum itself. From each utensil, plate to a napkin holder, it is visually stunning, without the feel of gaudiness or trashiness that can be found at many fine restaurants. The service is impeccable but not over the top, and everything flows so naturally.

The price is not too bad either. At $55 for prix fixe lunch, you get two spoons of amuse-bouches, soup, two courses, dessert and chocolates. It isn't cheap, but if you went to a regular lunch spot and order four-five courses, you would spend about $50.

Every flavor was vibrant. All the senses were awakened on my palate, and there was not a moment of relaxation. It was quite a workout. The Seasonal Greens (goat cheese ravioli, beet carpaccio, and truffle vinaigrette) were light and delicate. The greens were flawlessly fresh, and the portion was bigger than expected. The gentle texture of Slow Roasted Scottish Salmon (poppy seeds, heirloom and sicilian pistachio emulsion) left me speechless. Exquisitely prepared, it was a piece of heaven. No wonder people at these fine restaurants are so damn quiet: the dishes grab your attention and leave you almost incoherent.

Along with La Colombe coffee, I finished the meal with Coffee and Vanilla Sundae, followed with an assortment of chocolates from the chocolate cart. This was an amazing end to our meal. The strong cocoa flavor of the chocolates refreshed and cleansed my palate, and I was ready to take on the rest of the day.

Don't get me wrong--I am still a cheap eat snob. I'd take a bowl of ramen over a French full course any day. But The Modern was able to create an intimate setting with artful dishes...all without losing that soulfullness. Who knows, I may start brownbagging and splurge on The Modern once a month.


Sara Shacket said...

sounds heavenly. i can't believe i haven't been there yet! Let me know if you are going back...
Now you have to go to Jean Georges for lunch! It's $38 I think, and is two courses, but also comes with chocolates, etc. For the amazing taste adventure it is a total steal!

Yosh. O said...

$38 is a great deal!! Thanks for the tip.

ALev said...

I <3 The Modern!

Jenn said...

Such a fan of MoMa! I wasn't at The Modern but at the cafe and their food was delicious, especially the cheese platter and the desserts! Yay, bread pudding! Of course the fact that my friend's cousin worked there and got a discount may be swaying my recollection of the place.
Modern sounds really good though and that cheese looks creamy good!