The Modern opened in 2005 at the Museum of Modern Art. It is owned by restaurateur supreme Danny Meyer, who established Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café and others, and has made a fortune (a very serious fortune by any standards) with the Shake Shack burger chain. Heading the kitchen at The Modern since 2014 is Abram Bissell, previously chef de cuisine at Nomad. The restaurant gained a second Michelin star in the 2016 guide, after having held a solitary star since the very first New York Michelin guide in 2006.
The entrance is a few yards to the east of the main museum entrance. There is a bar on the left as you enter, the main dining room to the right. The tasting menu was priced at $138 (£91). The wine list was extensive, with bottles such as the excellent Von Hovel Scharzhofberg 2014 Spatlese at $55 for a bottle than can be found in a wine shop at $19, Ostertag Muenchberg Riesling 2011 at a bargain $95 compared to a retail price of $75, and Tinto Pesquera 2011 at $115 for a label that will set you back $27 in a shop.
The meal began with poached egg, toasted brioche sticks and American Hackleback caviar with a little onion. This was very enjoyable, the brioche terrific, the egg and caviar in good balance (17/20). Even better was roasted pumpkin soup with hazelnut and black truffle, with a hazelnut sabayon poured on top. Pumpkin can easily be overly cloying, but the flavour balance here was superb, the truffle nicely elevating the dish to a higher level (comfortably 18/20). At this point some breads were served, a pretzel croissant and a black sesame seed roll, which both had very good texture (17/20).
Lobster and beetroot salad had tender lobster and came with creamy sorrel vinaigrette. This was very pleasant though the soup was a tough act to follow (16/20). Foie gras tart with red plum and onion had velvety parfait, but the pastry layer did not add anything for me, through the plums nicely balanced the richness of the liver (16/20).
Turbot was roasted on the bone and served with celery fondant and black truffle. This was quite a rich dish, but the celery brought an earthy contrast to the fish (17/20). Beef and veal cheek came with broccoli and Parmesan cassoulet and a black truffle jus. This was another enjoyable dish, the broccoli providing some welcome balance to the richness of the jus (17/20).
For pre-dessert, coconut and mango shumai dumpling was refreshing (16/20). This was followed by Mirabelle plum sorbet with sake sauce, which was not too sharp, as can easily happen with these plums (16/20). Finally there was peanut butter and jelly with Araguani chocolate ganache and milk sorbet, which was pleasingly rich (16/20). There were also a handsome selection of chocolates served with the coffee.
Service was excellent, the waiter who looked after us someone who happened to have served me once before at Eleven Madison Park, while the general manager was formerly at The Fat Duck. The bill came to $322 (£212) per head, though that was for the tasting menu with copious amounts of good wine. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per head might be around £115. Overall this was a very enjoyable meal, the menu approachable and carefully prepared. Many New York restaurants seem overrated to me, but I have no issue with the two stars Michelin have granted this.