The Modern, NYC 2

January 22, 2013

When Linda and I went to The Modern over five years ago, we did not think that it lived up to its Michelin star and high Zagat rating. But the star and high ratings continue so we returned on November 28, 2012, to try it again. After all, it is a Danny Meyer restaurant; they usually do not disappoint. We were seated at a table along the window looking out to the sculpture garden. We started with glasses of Michel Loriot, Réserve, Blanc de Noirs Brut NV Champagne.  Two little hors d’œuvres in spoons arrived, along with a bowl of popcorn and cauliflower soup with a pomegranate seed in a little tube.

The amuse-gueule was a broccoli royale with gruyère and pine nut crumble.

The normal offering is a four course menu with plenty of choices in each course, but we decided to try the Chef’s Tasting Menu. We ordered a half-bottle of Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, Napa 2009 and a bottle of Merry Edwards, Sonoma Coast 2009 Pinot Noir. They were very enjoyable and went well with the cuisine.

The first menu course was
Mango Purée and Balsamic Vinegar

Very cold foie gras was formed into little spheres and rolled in poppy seed. They were served on a mango smear accompanied by a piece of freshly grilled toast. A nice start.


Tarragon-Cucumber Salad and Lemon Gelée

Some good langoustines were overwhelmed by a complicated dish. Any one of the garnishes, by itself and in moderation, would have enhanced the langoustine .  


American Caviar Mousseline and Applewood Smoke

This pretty little tart was served under a bell which released fragrant applewood smoke when lifted. While the sauerkraut was not strong, it still had enough punch to dominate the other tastes. 


Mustard and Vin Jaune Emulsion

This dish sounded and looked good, but it didn’t work for me.


Morcilla Sausage, Quince, and Black Truffle Nage

There was one scallop under all the diced things. The chef’s complexity complex had gotten out of hand here.


Black Winter Truffle, Salsify, and Squid Ink Spaetzle

A nicely truffled poached farm egg could have been very nice, but it was submerged in all the frou frou. What a waste of expensive truffles.


Black Trumpet Marmalade, “Fleischshneke,” and Banyuls Jus

A cart was wheeled up with three chafing dishes aflame; two were to keep our plates warm while the server proceeded with the carving ceremony. The duck was quite nice.



I did not record the complicated descriptions of these desserts, but they were enjoyable.

I guess it is a matter of taste. Some people appreciate, or are impressed by, very complex preparations. Some of us do not. I have the impression that the ingredients were quite good here, but it was hard to tell. Well, Danny Meyer has no reason to change The Modern as plenty of people like it and the ratings are good, alas. x

To see the blogpost on our meal at The Modern five years before click here.

One Response to “The Modern, NYC 2”

  1. Sam Spektor Says:


    Absolutely agree with you. What is the chef thinking? The complexity of the dishes is mind-boggling. So many chefs, including, unfortunately, more and more in Italy, do not let the ingredients speak for themselves. Not good. On the other hand, not that far from you, is a wonderful chef who really does let the ingredients come through. Muraglia Conchiglia d’Oro in Varigotti, on your side of Savonna.



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