Earlier this week, Socially Superlative checked out Moda, the trendy Italian/Mediterranean restaurant and lounge inside the Flatotel on West 52nd Street.  Their slogan immediately caught our eye: “Where food is to wine what fashion is to style.” 

Moda’s décor definitely had style.  Rows of comfortable leather sofas, each uniquely decorated with cool colors and elaborate prints, fill the lounge area that leads into their dining room.  

 
Upon being seated, we were immediately introduced to Sergio, our attentive and very knowledgeable waiter for the evening.  We started off with their cocktail list:  the French Martini and the Raspberry Caipiroska. 

 

The French Martini proved to be a perfect combination of flavor to alcohol content, but the Caipiroska (a Caipirinha with vodka instead of rum), bordered on being too sweet with the use of Stoli Razberi.  Later on in the meal, we had white wine with recommendations from Sergio, one sweet and one dry, which completemented our meal and our personal tastes.

While waiting for our starters, we munched on the plate of delicious homemade Focaccia bread infused with EVOO and topped with parmesan cheese.  Next up was their Butternut Squash soup with fennel and mascarpone.  The mix of subtle spices and healthy ingredients gave the soup a nice consistency.   

 

 
Their speciality salad was the arugula salad with beets, grapes, tomatoes, and warm goat cheese with balsamic dressing.  The ingredients were very fresh and were well seasoned, the toppings of the salad providing a great contrast to the bitter arugula.  Our final starter was the fried crab cakes dressed with a tangy mayo herb aoili sauce. 

 

At this point we were already completely full, but next up were the restaurant’s specialty entrees based on Sergio’s recommendations.  The Fra Diavolo angel hair pasta with shrimp had a fantastic kick in the spicy marinara sauce.   We were told that Executive Chef Ishmail Mutazz has experience in Thai cuisine, which most likely accounts for the great energy in the flavor.

 

We then got a crash course on European seabass for the Seared Branzino, cooked medium-rare with a side of roasted rosemary thyme potato fingerlings.

 

We ended our meal by indulging in dessert.  The Home-Made Tiramisu came in a glass mug, appropriately so since it was more of a pudding consistency as opposed to a rigid cake.  The creamy tiramisu was delicious, but it came with a huge dollop of whipped cream on top that was overpowering with sweetness. 

 

The Warm Chocolate Lava Cake was drizzled lightly with caramel sauce.  Both desserts were garnished with a pink and white chocolate straw, a playful and cheerful detail.  We chased dessert with a flavorful cappuccino to wake us from our food coma. 

In the warm weather, there is a large outdoor seating area with a separate bar.  We’ll definitely be back over the summer to enjoy their specialty cocktails, either the Tuscan Pear (Grey Goose Le Poire Vodka, Domaine de Canton, Limoncello) or the Grapefruit Basil Martini (Hendricks Gin, Grapefruit Juice, Fresh Basil).  We’ll save you a seat!

Yours,
Megan and Von 

Moda Restaurant and Lounge
135 West 52nd Street
(212) 887-9880

Executive Chef: Ishmail Mutazz
Flatotel Director of Food & Beverage: William Narvaez
General Manager: Donna Stabile