Located in Armonk, NY, Modern Barn is spacious, elegant and rustic. The beautiful glass light fixtures bring your eyes up to the curved wooden ceiling and immediately you are transported to quite literally, a modern barn.
The brunch menu is appealing and the food portions are very large.
The Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary at Modern Barn was surprisingly briney. We suspect the brine to be olive juice, but cannot confirm or deny this. It is thin in viscosity and loaded with Horseradish. It is light in heat, but enough to keep you hooked. The garnish seemed inconsistent as we saw some Bloody Marys make it to tables with olives adorning them, while ours didn’t seem to make the cut.
The Brunch Scene
Modern Barn is large enough that brunchers of all kinds can gather here. The upstairs area seemed to be the place for families with younger children to dine, while the lower level had families with older children and couples. The bar area was full of singles and groups of friends. Looking around, despite the wide range of people and party size, no one seemed to feel rushed. Everyone looked relaxed and was taking their time, which is really important for brunch.
Local Tasters tip to Modern Barn: turn up the music ever so slightly.
Good to Know
If you are in a rush, we don’t recommend the bar for dining as the service was slow despite Local Tasters being the only patrons at the bar when we arrived. For example, we were brought warm bread and butter, but no culinary set ups and thus could not enjoy the warm bread. We worked to get someone’s attention for over 5 minutes, which was frustrating. When our food arrived, it was once again, quite some time before we were checked on to see if we needed anything. While not the end of the world, it was slow enough that we felt it should be mentioned.
All about the Eats
Local Tasters found the brunch menu to be enticing and had fun deciding what to order. Let’s tackle the final decisions one by one.
The “Morning After Pie” Pizza was a must order menu item for us. How could we resist a pizza with breakfast sausage, house-cured bacon, shirred eggs, thin sliced potatoes, peppers, onions, tomato sauce, mozzarella & parmesan cheeses? We couldn’t.
When it was placed down in front of us , we were extremely excited to dig in to this beast!
But… I can’t lie to you folks. It looked better than it tasted. Local Tasters agreed that consistency was the real issue here. The crust was not crispy or strong enough to hold up to the heavy toppings. Second to that complaint, despite its many ingredients, it severely lacked flavor, which is still perplexing. We thought that a little heat would go a long way to enhance the flavor profile and bring it all together. Ultimately, this dish got a collective thumbs down.
The Cape Cod Cakes were served with poached eggs, lobster remoulade and local mixed greens. By no means perfect, this dish was the star of our experience. The eggs were poached perfectly and this is the single most important element. Additionally, the fish cakes were very flavorful and well crafted. The sauce however was disappointing- it tasted like thousand island dressing. Although thousand island dressing could work here, there was too much of it and it overpowered the eggs. The side salad was very good, but could use more evenly dressed leaves. However, this dish was the clear winner, gets a Local Taste thumbs up and we would recommend it.
The Biscuits & “Ribs” are described as prime rib ragu, buttermilk biscuits, spinach, poached eggs and béarnaise sauce. This dish, while quite tasty, missed the mark for us. It was very heavy and similarly to the pizza, didn’t come together for us and felt disconnected. For example, if the egg was served with just the spinach it would be very good. Likewise, if the egg was with just the beef, it would be extremely tasty. However, the spinach and the meat really didn’t work together. Meanwhile, under it all, is the the bread component that was very soggy underneath this heap of food that confused local tasters into thinking it was polenta, when it was really a biscuit!
The Final Say
Local Tasters love the open space and rustic feel of Modern Barn. We are slightly obsessed with the beautiful, round booths that foster conversation and merriment, which always makes for a more enjoyable meal.
The food is really where Modern Barn lost us. The potential for each of the meals that we ordered is certainly there, but the execution lacked refinement. The portions were simply too big and the components somewhat disconnected. By the time we threw in our forks, we all felt overstuffed and yet unsatisfied at the same time. For the price, it is unlikely that we will return to Modern Barn for brunch.