Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Summer Restaurant Week: Bar Room at The Modern

This past winter, I dined at the Bar Room at The Modern and thought it was worthy of returning for another round this summer.

Tomato and Almond Gazpacho with cucumbers, teardrop tomatoes and basil oil. This was a visual beauty, chock full of ingredients. It's not your typical gazpacho, which to me makes it better because I usually don't like cold soups. This was creamy and interesting, though if you prefer a simpler soup, this wouldn't be for you.

Roasted Long Island Duck Breast with peppercorn-crusted apples and toasted pistachio-truffle dipping sauce. I had this at my last meal, but liked it enough to order it again. The portion is on the smaller side, but the duck is perfectly cooked and even converted my dining companion who previously had not liked duck. The dipping sauce was better than I remembered it being last time — deeply creamy and earthy and addictive enough that I dipped my bread in it as well. The apples were still not a hit.

Homemade Alsatian Country Sausage with sauerkraut and whole grain mustard sauce. A hearty sausage with a healthy heaping of sauerkraut.

Beer-Braised Pork Belly with sweet pea purée and ginger jus. Another dish I had tried before but with a slight variation on the side to acknowledge the season. They still make a mean, flavorful pork.

Strawberry soup with buttermilk panna cotta and pistachio sorbet. It was an interesting choice to highlight the liquid part of this dessert when the panna cotta seemed to be the main focus. But the dish was better than I expected (see my note about not liking cold soups) and refreshing. Buttermilk panna cotta is a good way to reflect other flavors.

Pistachio Dark Chocolate Dome with pistachio ice cream and amaretto gelée. The dome was a not-too-sweet dessert with a chocolate shell and alternating layers of pistachio cream and chocolate inside.

The Bar Room is, if nothing else, consistent — the service is still lacking, but the food is good.

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