My cousin Marisa comes into the city every so often, and every time she’s here I try to plan something fun. Sometimes it goes well (Escape the Room) and sometimes… it doesn’t go so well (Sleep No More). This visit, I figured you can’t go wrong with food, so I asked if she was interested in trying The Modern’s eight-course tasting menu. I also invited our cousin, Blair, to join us. I had to laugh at the differences in their responses.
Me: “Do you want to do an eight-course tasting?”
Blair: “What is the name of the restaurant? What is the first course? What is the second course? Will I be full after? Can I see a menu?…”
Eventually Blair said yes, after I promised him that if he left hungry I would buy him pizza afterwards! So off we went to The Modern!
The Modern is a contemporary restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art. It’s beautiful, and one wall is all glass, so you can look at the works by Miró, Matisse and Picasso in the MoMA’s garden while you eat.
Oh and did I mention that The Modern has two Michelin stars? We’re fancy like that.
For dinner at The Modern you can’t just order one item. Rather, you must choose to have three courses ($138), four courses ($158) or eight courses ($198). It’s a no tipping restaurant, so all of the prices include tip.
We did the eight-course tasting menu (because as Marisa said, “YOLO!”). Executive Chef Abram Bissell designs each course to flow into the next, which means that you don’t choose your own courses and instead are surprised by each plate. Marisa and I thought that it was fun not knowing what would come next, but Blair was not a fan! He wanted to pick each course, and was visibly anxious that he didn’t know what was coming next. We may have teased him just a little bit for that!
Before the tasting began, the waiter set a spoon down at each of our place settings. He then brought out a croissant for each of us as an appetizer before the tasting. We were very confused as to why we were given spoons. The croissant had a messy sauce on it, so we wondered if we were supposed to eat the croissant with the spoon. After a heated debate at the table, we decided to eat the croissants with the spoons. Once we finished, with a straight face the waiter cleared our plates and spoons, and then brought back clean spoons for the first dish of the tasting. Oh. Guess we weren’t supposed to use the spoons for the croissant…
While he was very professional in front of us, we couldn’t help but wonder if in the kitchen he was making fun of us for eating croissants with spoons!
Here’s what we had during our tasting.
Caviar with a Warm Poached Egg & Dill:
Marinated Hamachi with Heirloom Snow Peas, Mint & Buttermilk:
Marisa and I laughed when the next course came out. For the entire meal up until that point, Blair had been worried that he would be served foie gras, because he hates foie gras. With the first two courses he breathed a sigh of relief every time they arrived, because they were not foie gras. And then the third course arrived…
Tart of Foie Gras with Wild Strawberries & Thai Long Pepper:
Blair, to his credit, tried a bite of the fois gras, but predictably didn’t eat any more. The waiter noticed this, and offered to bring out another dish for Blair that he would like better. And, because according to the waiter he “didn’t want the ladies to be sad,” Marisa and I got the bonus course too!
Our scheduled tasting then continued with Sweet Corn Fricassée with Almonds & Fava Beans:
Turbot Cooked on the Bone with a Squash Écrasée & Summer Truffles:
Slow Cooked Beef with Yellow Market Tomatoes & Parmesan:
And Green Tomato Sorbet:
For dessert, I had the Basil Mascarpone with Strawberry & Anise Hyssop Ice Cream:
And Blair and Marisa were served this chocolate dish:
And then we were also offered anything that we wanted from the dessert cart! Needless to say none of us left hungry, so I didn’t have to buy Blair that pizza after all!
After the meal, we were each given a navy envelope that looked like a wedding invitation. Inside was a printed list of each course that we were served. I thought that was a great idea, since this way no one (especially bloggers!) had to take time away from the meal to write down each course as it was served.
We all really loved the experience, even Blair (once it was over!). The food was delicious, and it was a perfect way to treat ourselves.
It’s going to be hard to top this next time Marisa visits!