It is supposedly unlikely that you would visit a restaurant such as Modern, which is located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, unless you just happen to be visiting one of the museum's exhibitions. But perhaps it should be the other way around: first try Modern, and then consider the museum. As this restaurant offers a high quality menu, personal service, beautiful view, a lot of parking space and a perfect location close to the city center.
The local, Jerusalem food, rich with vegetables, legume, nuts and spice herbs, is given here a refreshing twist. The restaurant is very roomy, and decorated modernly in basic black, red, yellow and blue colors. Visitors include business people, politicians, diplomates, intellectuals, tourists and families with children.
Modern offers a daily lunch deal. Recently, some new entries were added to the menu, and I should say - it is good value for money. For the price of a main course, 60-130 NIS, diners also get a starter and a drink.
We started our lunch with Jerusalem tapas platter for two, which includes a large selection of fresh tapas: home-made vine leaves, green falafel with tahini, eggplant cream with roasted pistachios in tahini, and home-made hummus with chickpeas and olive oil that could have easily put up a fight against any other famous hummus place in Jerusalem. I was captivated by the soft baked beet cuts that were actually addictive and wonderful. I also enjoyed every bite of the lentil tabbouleh with spice herbs that was absolutely perfect. The starters were served with fresh Moroccan bread. Having eaten them, we were all ready for our main courses.
And there they came. "Jackson's chicken and nuts kadaif: Kadaif, pullet meat, walnuts and cinnamon in a plate that Jackson Pollock would love". This dish absolutely corresponds with its cultural setting, and particularly the famous artist who was an abstract expressionist, known for his drip painting. The large plate was decorated with beautiful pink and black sauce dots, but the best thing about it was of course the food – baked Kadaif hairs filled with delicate spring chicken meat seasoned with cinnamon and sumac, sweet and delicate. Although I am not a fan of main courses with a sweet tendency, this one was cooked to perfection, and made for a perfect lunch.
The next item we tried was probably one of the most interesting menu entries – Jerusalem artichoke and chestnuts Sofrito. In fact, this is a modern interpretation of the traditional Sofrito offered all over Jerusalem. Here in Modern it is served in a steaming copper pan that keeps the food hot while eaten. The meat cuts were soft and moist, and the traditional potatoes were replaced by Jerusalem artichoke and chestnuts cooked in meat and root vegetable stock. A huge pile of sweet potato fries was served too, orange and spectacular.
We decided together to try one of the allocated kids' desserts: vanilla ice cream with candies and marshmallows. The ice cream was soft and delightful, I just jumped right in.
Modern is a great selection if you wish to enjoy a chef meal and cultural atmosphere. Try it any time of the day.