The Modern Bar Room – Restaurant Week
Last Tuesday, I’ve arranged dinner with my parents at The Modern Bar Room. First timers to eat there (and it’s Restaurant Week), I know the Modern would not disappoint me, as I’ve eaten here a few times throughout the years, Restaurant Week or not, and had good to very good experiences.
Despite the fact we did have an early reservation for dinner, the tables were about half full and as expected, the sleek bar were packed with suited businessmen and lawyers hanging around for their Happy Hour.
Promptly seated, we’ve perused through the RW menu and decided upon what we crave. (Note that their RW menu was pretty much a truncated version of their normal menu.)
My mother had the upside down tuna tartare. The brittle, buttery pastry worked with the silky, tender chunks of tuna, crisp fennel and aioli. What surprised me a bit was the generous portion. Not the best tartare I’ve had but it’s very good.
My dad’s roasted Long Island duck breast was arguably the best of the three appetizers we’ve ordered. Tender, fatty, melt-in-your-mouth, with an intense duck flavor (in a good way). It worked in harmony with the peppercorn-crusted apples and toasted pistachio truffle dipping sauce. My dad grumbled that it was a small serving.
My lamb and goat cheese terrine was a dish I personally haven’t tried here despite reading good things around the Web. This, again, was another large portion for an appetizer. The tender bits of lamb meat with the tart goat cheese worked well with the bitter, crisp watercress and its vinaigrette. It was pretty darn good.
Moving on to the entrees, my mother had the crispy Atlantic cod. The portion size was on the small side and it smelled quite fishy even though it doesn’t taste fishy. Overlooking the latter, it was decent.
My dad, the duck-loving carnivore, had the duck confit à lOrange. Tender, juicy duck with its crisp skin, lightly accented with orange. My dad was very content.
I can almost never pass sweetbreads, hence I ordered the pan roasted sweetbreads. Creamy, smooth bites from this deletable offal was sweetened from the maple jus. I just wished my slice of pain d’épice (that slice in the middle of the photo above) was toasted more.
Finally, dessert. My dad’s hazelnut dacquoise was still very good. Hazelnut studded dacquoise lined in semisweet chocolate, layered with milk chocolate chantilly (also known as whipped cream) and topped with a thin sheet of semisweet chocolate. It’s flavorful and combined with different textures.
My mom had the apple strudel. Warm, flaky, brittle sheets of phyllo pastry meets the sweet-tart apples that were lightly tinged cinnamon (a good thing for my mom). This was a good strudel but it was earth shattering. The pecan and prune armagnac ice cream on the side was quite boozy.
My coffee caramel dome was delicious. A nice mix of sweet and salty with little bursts of flavor from the tiny cubes of amaretto gelee. It’s a favorite of the three.
In all, The Moder Bar Room for Restaurant Week dinner (they don’t serve lunch for RW) is never a let down. Service was better than what it used to be (as in the servers don’t neglect you) and the food is generally very good. Just stick with any duck dishes and have a coffee caramel dome.