The Modern

The Museum of Modern Art,

9 West 53rd Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues),

New York , NY 10019

Tel: + 1 212 333 1220

March 2009

This was my first time eating at the Modern, the luxury restaurant in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Before dinner my wife and I spent some time wandering through the museum’s galleries, something I highly recommend, as the MOMA’s collection is superb. The early evening is a great time to visit as the crowds are gone and it is easy to focus on the artwork without feeling rushed. Downstairs the Modern provides a similarly relaxing setting in which to enjoy a fine meal. There is also a more informal bar area which serves a simpler menu. Chef’s Gabriel Kreuther’s cuisine features elements of French, American and Asian cuisines with influences from his native Alsace. As good as the food can be, some of the dishes are a touch on the rich side. Wine Director Belinda Chang oversees a comprehensive list with a number of wines that are well-suited to the food.

I am a huge lover of the Alsatian Tarte Flambée, and the Chef Kreuther’s version was delicious. I could have eaten at least two of these on my own! The sweetness from the onions with the applewood smoked bacon and crème fraîche all worked together nicely. The hamachi was also well done, particularly in the way the bright texture and flavor of the raw fish melded with the richness of the black truffle and foie gras. Lafon’s 2004 Meursault Clos de la Barre was simply brilliant in its usual understated way, with layers of perfumed, mineral-driven fruit wrapped into a coiled frame. Louis Sipp’s 1978 Riesling Grand Cru “Kirchberg” was a much more difficult and intellectual wine. At first, the acidity was positively searing, but with food the wine truly came to life. The typical mature Riesling notes of petrol, minerals and ash were all in evidence as this taut, focused wine opened up in the glass.

The squab (filled with foie gras) was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The Asian-inspired ginger jus added a touch of brightness to this otherwise rich, weighty dish. Pégaü’s 2005 Châteauneuf-du- Pape Cuvée Reservée was deeply colored and incredibly intense. The wine revealed tons of fruit, inner sweetness and concentration; if not quite the complexity I had hoped for. The 2005 Barolo Brunate from Vietti was much more expressive in its dark, fruit and layered, balsamic nuances. The Pégaü remained a somewhat static wine that was most impressive for its textural richness, but I preferred the Vietti, as it took us on more of a journey throughout the evening, constantly revealing the kaleidoscopic shades of nuance for which the Brunate vineyard is so justly famous. 


Tarte Flambée with crème fraîche, onion and applewood smoked bacon

Hamachi, Black Truffle and Foie Gras Millefeuille, Truffle Vinaigrette

Ravioli of escargot with slow poached quail eggs, escargot caviar and mustard greens

Squab and Foie Gras “Croustillant” with Caramelized Ginger Jus and Farm Vegetables

Artisan Cheeses 



Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre



Louis Sipp Riesling Grand Cru “Kirchberg"



Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reservée



Vietti Barolo Brunate


[Photo and credit: The Modern, New York]

--Antonio Galloni