With Modernista's new look comes a new restaurant.
After procuring the premises next to it, Modernista, much like the universe, had more space than it knew what to do with. And so with all this space, Modernista, also like the universe, chose to expand. Instead of creating new stars and galaxies, though, it created a new absinthe bar and a restaurant that serves delicious southern European food. If you want to know more about the absinthe bar, we can’t help you, but we’ve sampled the food menu so that we could tell you what’s what.
The menu, which is brought to you by former Agua chef Luis Wei, features a mix of French, Spanish, Italian, and fusion dishes. Some are very typical of Catalonia—like the Catalan-style spinach wraps (RMB28), a savory (though subtly sweet) starter made from raisins and pine nuts wrapped in spinach leaves—and some are more typically French—like the forest soup (RMB30), which is a very tasty and earthy mushroom soup topped with a blue cheese emulsion that is flavorful without being overpowering.
There’s also the tuna tataki (RMB62), which is more of an Asian persuasion, with its ginger and soy sauce marinade and mascarpone and wasabi sauce. All these make for great starters, but if you’re not starving, be aware that when you order anything off the menu, you will be given a small shot of gazpacho and a small piece of satisfyingly hot and crunchy bread from Amandine Bakery to get you going.
When it comes to mains, you’re also spoilt for choice of what regional style of cooking you want. If you feel like Italian mountain-style food, order the seasonal house-made ravioli (RMB72)—you’ll get a scrumptious filling of pumpkin, ricotta, and walnuts, blended together and encased in sheets of house-made pasta and doused in a creamy pumpkin and sage sauce.
For something meatier, try the salmon enrobé (RMB88)—three pieces of salmon that have been wrapped in bacon, broiled and then pan-fried, served with fresh peas in a smoky fish sauce and a dollop of red pepper purée.
And while, unlike the universe, there isn’t any further expansion on the cards for Modernista, the menu will change seasonally, so look out for new options in the spring.
Where: 44 Baochao Hutong, 宝钞胡同44号
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