Opened by the Livanos family in Armonk, N.Y., Moderne Barn offers a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list complementing a globally inspired menu. Restaurant passion runs deep in the Livano family, ever since John Livanos emigrated from Greece in 1957 and worked as a dishwasher in his uncle’s Manhattan restaurant. John opened his first restaurant in 1960, and a second in 1985. Now, three generations of Livanos have their hands in the family’s six New York restaurants, including Best of Award of Excellence winners Oceana and Molyvos.
At Moderne Barn, executive chef Ethan Kostbar’s menu is influenced by his childhood in Israel, but it’s rooted in seasonal American cuisine and an intense focus on ingredients. Lamb shoulder ravioli gets a fresh twist with mint and harissa, and New York heirloom tomatoes are served with a house-made pesto. The same care is taken in sourcing the wine list, which is managed by wine director Edgar Balagot. The 630-selection list has nearly 100 biodynamic wines such as Prager’s Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Trocken Wachau Achleiten 2011 and a vertical of Chianti Classico Félsina Rancia Riserva going back to 1997. The list also features organic wines and selections marked as “sustainable,” with 42 wines available by the glass.