It was a beautiful Monday evening while heading to have dinner at Moderne Barn in Armonk. I expected there to be a few diners and people sipping after work wine and cocktails at the bar, but when I arrived it was the complete opposite. A beautifully constructed building sat right atop a woodsy area that was a replica of an old barn yet still gushed with sophistication and modernity. The barn-like dining area seated easily over 200 guests, which were close to being filled up, even on a Monday night! Large groups of people were dining while the bar was packed up with barely any seating left. Although the restaurant was vastly filled with booths and tables and chairs, it still had an intimate touch that made you instantly feel welcomed and comfortable. Above the main dining room seating was another section of seating that 360ed around the entire restaurant. It reminded me of a friend’s old barn apartment that housed a terrace like silo.
Once my guest and I sat down our server presented us with warm breads filled with nuts and berries as well as soft homemade focaccia. Next to the breads was a miniature rectangle of sweet butter displayed on a tiny stone platter. The breads were so tasty we ordered up another basket full. My guest started off with a Grey Goose martini as I browsed the drink menu. After finding one that caught my eye, I asked our server if he preferred the cocktail over wine. “Go with the Smokey Pineapple,” (Tequila Blanco, Mezcal, pineapple, lime, egg whites, $13) he suggested. The Smokey Pineapple was the perfect pre-dinner cocktail. Light, smooth and a tinge fluffy from the yummy egg whites that topped off the brim.
While sipping our drinks we anxiously browsed the dinner menu. We decided to start off with the Beet Salad (baby arugula, strawberries, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, black truffle vinaigrette, $12). Warm red and yellow beets topped over farm fresh arugala, garnished with creamy goat cheese, sweet berries, crunchy walnuts and a divine black truffle. This was the perfect light dish to kick off our dinner especially with all of the great flavors and textures. It being summer, I had my eye on the Maine Lobster Roll Slider (lobster, house-made tartar sauce on a potato roll, $8). The huge lumps of lobster were so fresh and satisfying. My only suggestion would be to order two if you are sharing since the order comes with just a single roll. Next we tried the Grilled Octopus (gigante beans, garlic confit, lemon juice, oregano, pancetta, $14) and a special appetizer of the evening Tempura Fried Zucchini Flowers (zucchini flowers fried up and filled with lemon zest ricotta cheese). The octopus was charred up just right and garnished with a little bit of lemon juice that made it burst with flavor. As for the zucchini flowers, being Italian, summertime is our favorite time of year to fry these up and eat them room temperature. These flowers were crispy on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside with just enough punch from the lemon. I would highly recommend both of these small plates!
Next on the line was dinner. The wonderful thing about Moderne Barn is their menu variety. Serving up seafood dishes to pastas and steaks to tasty flat breads, there is truly something for everyone. Although I was almost swayed by the thought of their Prime Barn Burger (prime chuck ground beef, house cured bacon, gruyère cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, rosemary sea salt fries, $14) I knew I had to go with something lighter after all of those tasty small plates. Seafood it was for both my guest and I. I decided on the Day Boat Scallops (medley of mushrooms, baby artichokes, spinach, madeira cream sauce, $30). These scallops came out large and in charge. Five perfectly sauteed scallops atop a bed of sauteed veggies and finished off with a light cream sauce. These were delectable. My guest went with the Black Peppercorn Seared Tuna (market beans, Gaetta olives, fingerling potatoes, sofrito, $29). I took a quick bite of his tuna and couldn’t keep my fork away. Perfectly cooked and just rare enough, my guest finished off the entire plate, potatoes and all.
Filled to the brim our waiter decided to grace us with the desert menu. Oh my. From a Warm Salted Caramel & Peanut Brittle Sundae to Petits Beignets (fried doughnut holes, warm chocolate sauce & warm caramel sauce, $8.50), I knew I needed something to accompany my after dinner cappuccino. The Beignets were little sugary pillows of heaven. Warm dough drenched in rich chocolate sauce…you couldn’t go wrong.
I would suggest making a reservation if you do plan to come during the evening for dinner. I was delighted to try the wonderful dishes at Moderne Barn. The team truly presents American cuisine in a stunning and unique way. And how can you go wrong when surrounded by gorgeous equestrian-themed art and earthy woods in the middle of beautiful Armonk? It truly is an experience and a special visit at Armonk’s Moderne Barn.
Moderne Barn: 430 Bedford Road Armonk, New York 10504. Tel: 914.730.0001.