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Bar Room at The Modern Review

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Bar Room at The Modern Review

Lucia | Dec 18, 2005 10:54 AM

Nice space, good food, good service, but at times a shockingly poor value.

They really did a nice job on the space. It has a loungey vibe, w/low medium-toned wood tables and comfortable black chairs. One wall of the room is an exposed wine cellar and another is a forest scene painted on glass. Even the bathroom is well done w/stainless steel basins, black stands, and lovely red tulips.

The service is friendly and fast. If you're expecting to linger (which we usually aren't), this might not be the place for you. Appetizers and dessert each came out less than 5 minutes after they had been ordered.

And now the food: the menu is printed on regular offwhite paper, folded into thirds. A real menu would have been a nice touch... The menu is divided into one, two, and three. One is cold appetizers, two is warm appetizers, and three is described as half entree portions. My boyfriend and I opted to split 2 ones and each order a three. While we waited to place our orders, they brought us 3 small rolls of bread. 1 was fine, but the other 2 were impossible to even break apart -- teeth-breakingly hard. Strange.

Ones: we ordered the liverwurst and the petites herbes salad w/blue cheese. The liverwurst was very good and a great value. 2 generous slabs served w/pickled vegetables and some nice toasted bread for $9. The petites herbes salad was a mess of micro greens w/about 1 oz. of a lackluster blue cheese sprinkled throughout, and 3 small slices of pear around the plate. For this they charged $14.

Threes: my boyfriend ordered the crispy tuna. This was just fine, although the crust was a bit thick ($17). I ordered the "scallops with oxtal & pistachio two ways." The course was served on a long narrow plate. At one end of the plate was 1 lone scallop (not scallops, as advertised) on a tsp. of oxtail. About 5 inches away on the other side of the plate was a brussel sprout shell stuffed w/another tsp. of oxtail on 1/2 tsp. of pistachio crumble. This the restaurant had the audacity of calling a "half entree portion" and charging $18 for. Wow. The scallop was a bit chewy (if there was only one of them, it should've been perfect!), and the oxtail was good, but the whole time I was eating, I couldn't get the bad taste of being gipped out of my mouth.

Dessert: I ordered the hazelnut dacquoise, which was small but really excellent.

Bar Room goers beware. Do your research or you could end up paying well over $100 (w/2 glasses of wine and tip) and leaving the restaurant starving.

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