As you probably know by now, your Brokelyn editors are vegan. And even though our junk food dreams were answered earlier this summer with a vegan slice pizza joint, and we finally have a list of cheap vegan sandwiches in the borough, Brooklyn is still sorely lacking in the kind of upscale vegan dining options that can impress skeptical meat eaters. Manhattan has Candle 79 and Dirt Candy. Where’s our vegan omakase?
Well actually, it just got here.
Celebrated vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Brooklyn-born hostess of Post Punk Kitchen and the author of some of the best vegan cookbooks out there, is opening a local outpost of her Omaha, Neb., restaurant Modern Love on Sept. 21, and it promises a mouthwatering menu of fancy vegan fare that’ll make even the carnivores drool. Think cashew mac n’ cheese, curry fried rice with seitan pork, eggplant parmesan lasagna, blistered shishito peppers and more.
Brokelyn chatted with Moskowitz about the menu, how her Jewish Brooklyn roots inspired the food, and what we can expect to start modern-loving once the restaurant opens its doors.
“I grew up in Brooklyn and learned to cook here, so my very earliest dreams were to have a restaurant here,” Moskowitz told us. “My cooking is inspired by all the wonderful food I grew up eating in Brooklyn.”
While it’s not quite fine dining, it is dinner-only. Moskowitz tells us to expect a “casual” vibe in an “open and welcoming” space, with “amazingly friendly and helpful service.”
As far as the food goes, it won’t be cheap. $12 edamame hummus and shishito pepper appetizers, and a $22 entrée “Mac n’ Shews” platter made up of cashew mac n’ cheese, cornmeal-crusted tofu and BBQ cauliflower. It’s a splurge, to be sure, but you deserve it once in a while for going vegan, and at least you don’t have to cross the river for fancy vegan food anymore.
“I’d say you can’t really get any of the food that we serve anywhere else in Brooklyn,” Moskowitz added. “Maybe even anywhere else in the world! The idea of Modern Love is modern twists on classic foods made with love. Some of the food is focused on my Jewish heritage. There’s a Buckwheat Blintz with wild mushrooms, almond ricotta, crushed beet relish and a kasha salad. Also, samosa spiced latkes with pear chutney, combining two of my favorite appetizers.”
Just to placate all you bacon apologists out there, we asked her why she thought Brooklyn needed yet another vegan spot.
“There’s never enough vegan food!”
Amen to that.
Modern Love Brooklyn opens Sept. 21, at 317 Union Ave. in Williamsburg. Hours are Wednesday thru Sunday, 5:30-10pm.