Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Modern During Restaurant Week

I can’t think of a better way to start my blog than right in the middle of New York City’s “Restaurant Week.” This bi-yearly event gives restaurant goers a great excuse to try restaurants that normally might be out of budget. My selection for this week is The Modern, located at 9 West 53rd Street inside the Museum of Modern Art. This restaurant offers a fine selection of French-American dishes crafted by award winning chef Gabriel Kreuther.

Entering through the street side entrance a frosted glass hallway had bared resemblance to the museum but soon opened up to unique dimly lit black and stainless steel themed décor where I joined three dinner associates at a table in the Bar Room. A three-course prix fixe menu gave us a variety of Alsatian dishes ranging from quail egg to pear and duck consommé. I started with Tarte Flambé. At first taste, the flat bread topped with Parmesan cheese, apple wood smoked bacon, and onions, resemble that of an Italian appetizer. At second taste, the heavy crème fraiche that drizzled on top brought the taste buds back to France. For my main course I chose the red snapper. A heavy cream with lemon, butter, and white wine reduction sauce adorned a cooked to perfection section of red snapper about the size of a playing card. Creamed onions and mushrooms melted in my mouth as it became necessary to finish every bite. For dessert, I chose the Apple Strudel designed by Marc Aumont to complete the meal. A thin slice of warm caramel and cinnamon apple pie was complemented well with a tablespoon scoop of Amaretto liquor ice cream.

Overall, the service was knowledgeable but smug. When requesting a corkage fee, sympathetically she said, “$45,” as if we weren’t going to put a gifted $178 bottle of Sassicaia Bolgheri, 2006, on the table. The meal was rich in flavor and quality but lacked substance. I didn’t leave hungry but wasn’t satisfied with the portion size. For $35 the price was right for this week, but next time I’ll stick to meat and potatoes.

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