Isa Chandra Moskowitz describes the menu of Modern Love, her recently opened Williamsburg restaurant, as “swanky vegan comfort food,” but mostly it’s just inspired by the food she ate growing up here in the city.
“When people think comfort food, they might think Southern, but I just look at all different types of food that have comforted me throughout my life,” she says on a Thursday afternoon at the restaurant, as staff prepares for their 5:30 p.m. opening. “Chinese food, Indian food, Jewish food obviously. Our menu has some Russian influences, some French-Canadian influences, but it’s really all through the lens of a Brooklyn Jew.”
The renowned vegan cookbook author grew up in Sheepshead Bay, but spent her teen years in the city’s punk rock scene, later running the DIY public access cooking show Post Punk Kitchen.
On my recent visit with a group of friends, the most popular dish was the Seitan Chops and Applesauce, served crispy and seasoned with rosemary over gingered sweet potatoes and seared brussels sprouts. A close second was the Mac & Shews, made from cashew-cream cheese and served with sides of pecan-cornmeal crusted tofu, BBQ cauliflower, sautéed kale, and spicy pecans. Dessert was their perfect apple berry crisp accompanied by house-made vanilla bean ice cream and coconut whip. The menu is likely to change seasonally, which is also the case at Moskowitz’s Nebraska location, Modern Love Omaha, established in 2014.
The menu at Modern Love makes use of fancy additions like edible flowers and sprinkles of beetroot powder without seeming pretentious. And while the prices are not super cheap (starters range from $8-12, entrees from $18-22), they are relatively accessible for those looking to splurge on something nice.
317 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Wednesday, Thursday: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Friday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: 5:00pm