ModernUsually, when a significant new restaurant opens up in downtown New Rochelle, I try to be among the first to go, so it’s a little embarrassing to be riding in the caboose when it comes to Modern Restaurant & Lounge on Huguenot Street.  Since Modern opened at this location more than a year ago, just about everyone I know (including my family) has already been a repeat customer.  I had my first opportunity to drop by just this week.  I should not have waited.

Modern is gorgeous, with an elegant interior filled with historic touches.  You would guess it was a grand old public space that had been lovingly restored.  (In fact, the building previously housed a restaurant supply store.)  My group split a tasty, crispy margarita pizza, pasta with seafood, and a caesar’s salad, washed down with a glass or two – or three – of wine.  And we weren’t the only ones enjoying ourselves – the restaurant and bar were filled with smiling customers.

“Modern” is an ironic name, because in its previous incarnation on Russell Avenue, this was actually one of the oldest restaurants around and among the first pizzerias in Westchester.  I liked the old Modern, and it was a real New Rochelle institution, but the new version is a giant step up.  And a great anchor for our downtown dining scene.