Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Is It So Modern In Here?

Liverwurst -- The Modern
The Modern

If there is something one would expect from a restaurant located in the Museum of Modern Art, it would be a stark, clean, and uncluttered setting, right?

Well, not if you're Vodka.

Apparently, She Believes the Name Must Be False Advertising
Instead, as she perused The Modern Bar Room's website moments before our reservation, she metaphorically stuck up her nose and scoffed at the deluge of grays, blacks, metalics, and straight lines.  "Ugh, it’s so modern." Vodka complains to Ginger upon entering the space.

"Um, it's called THE MODERN," Ginger replies.  Clearly, Vodka's penchant for shabby-chic decor has rendered her use of context clues completely moot.

No One Around Here Appreciates a Good Throw Pillow
As it happens, Ginger is suffering from her own problems, as she is in such a state of hunger that she is just as perturbed at the lack of accessories on our table as Vodka.

Only by "accessories," Ginger means "bread basket."

Some Girls Only Travel with Designer Purses. We, With Bread
"Our waitress already came over," Ginger explains.  "I don't think she's going to handle our drama well."

"Why?  Humorless?" Vodka asks.  Ginger nods.  "Then let's torture her."

Because clearly, the proper way to deal with all folks who don't find comedy in our idiocy is to make even bigger morons out of ourselves.

Here's a Tip, Waitress: If You Ply Us With Cocktails Immediately, We're a Lot More Agreeable
Our waitress eventually reappears and is confronted by a barrage of questions: Vodka concerning which drink would most fill her desire for a "hardcore cocktail" and Ginger with "Do you have bread?"  Backing away from our table slowly, she vows to fetch us a cocktail list and a basket of carbs and then promptly disappears.

Less than a minute later, we can be found tapping our silverware against the table and jiggling our legs in various states of booze- and bread-withdrawal.  "Where is service?  I need a cocktail and you need bread!" Vodka calls out.  Obviously, our 5:30pm dining time does not mean that we are prepared to partake in a leisurely meal.

We Come From the Hoover School of Food Consumption
Finally, a new waitress returns (it seems that, as we had predicted, we have managed to scare off the original) with a cocktail list that is awash in gin options (needless to say, Ginger is thrilled) and, even more importantly, a bread basket stuffed with mini baguettes.
Gin, Gin, Everywhere, And Not a Drop to Drink
Vodka orders the Kina cocktail (which Ginger initially poo-poos when the waitress describes it as "crisp," because she fears that "it won't be alcohol-y enough") and the Heights for Ginger.  
The Ultimate Vision of "Gin O'Clock"
Once our cheeks are properly stuffed with an entire winter's worth of bread, we peruse the food menu.  Along with Michael Psilakis's Best Thing I Ever Ate TOTALLY UNEXPECTED choice of the liverwurst (with pickled vegetables), we also choose the tarte flambee (with mushrooms, chives, and Munster cheese) and the saffron tagliatelle (with rabbit, mushrooms, and kale).
Excuse Me, Could You Throw In Some Extra Pickles Please?
"I hate liver," Ginger repeats for at least the tenth time after we have placed our order.  "I can't believe we're eating liverwurst."

"Have you ever eaten liverwurst?" Vodka asks.



"No.  But I know I hate it," Ginger reasons.  

Liver Lovers, Only Not
In the meantime, we make our way through an entire basket of bread ("Put this last piece on your plate so they'll bring us more”) and the beginnings of a second before the liverwurst is placed in front of us.  A scoop of gray, speckled, mashed-up meat sits next to three slices of toast, a pile of spicy dijon mustard, and four varieties of vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, beets, and our beloved pickles). 
We're Gonna Make Mincemeat Out of You
Vodka, who had been served liverwurst in her youth by her grandmother, spreads the concoction onto her bread slice happily and takes a large bite.  
PS Strong Move on Providing Us Even More Bread, Modern
Nodding her approval, she assures Ginger that, despite her reluctance, this is the best liverwurst she will ever eat.  Ginger dips her slice in at least half of the pile of mustard before diving in, and, much to her own shock, actually enjoys the stuff.

Look who doesn't hate liver so much after all!

Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles
While the liverwurst itself is the star of this plate, the pickled vegetables are also quite pleasing, though some are more successful than others (the carrots are a hint too spicy, while the beets, to Ginger at least, taste like dirt).  
In Case We Have Not Already Made Clear, We Do Not Enjoy the Taste of Soil
Overall satisfied with our liverwurst experience, we use our refilled bread basket to scoop the remainder of the stuff into our mouths once we have demolished the rye bread toasts, and we patiently await the rest of our dinner.
In This Case, "Patiently" Is Decidedly a Relative Term
The flambee arrives and looks essentially like a flatbread pizza, and clearly, anything featuring bread and cheese is generally a winner.  
NOW We're Talkin' -- See All That Cheese, Serious Pie?!
Indeed, the combination of the cheese and mushrooms is a successful one, and we polish off the entire thing with the last of our first cocktails.
Yes, We'll Take Another Upscale Pizza Delivery. Thanks in Advance
At this point, we nearly begin tapping the sides of our glasses with our forks, searching for someone -- anyone -- to bring us another round.  
Clink Clink Clink - Empty Glasses Over Here
"I dare you to ask, 'Do you guys give free refills?'" Ginger pipes up, and when our renewed (if not free) cocktails and a bowl of pasta appear before us, we are appeased once again.
Noodles and Gin -- What More Could We Possibly Need?
This tagliatelle is superb, though entirely too difficult to eat thanks to the short prongs on the restaurant's overly "modern" forks (sporks?).  
More "Rustic" Restaurants Have Properly Sized Silverware. Just Sayin'
After many an unsuccessful bout of twirling, we eventually begin shoveling the noodles into our mouths willy-nilly, washing down each bite with our phenomenal cocktails.
Even Better? No Rabbit Bones In This Bowl!
And so, we skip out of The Modern on a gin and liverwurst high resigned to the fact that, despite our preconceived notions, modern and liver-infused locales might not be so bad after all.

Though next time, Modern, how about some free refills?

The Modern's Liverwurst: 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I always think beets taste like dirt. I won't eat them even fried as chips. Liverwurst brings me back to childhood. I used to love it. I hope I get to try this one day.