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November 24, 2018

Modern Love: Dinner Destination

by Anne Paddock

Four years ago, Isa Chandra Moskowitz – a vegan chef, author (10 cookbooks), and all-around badass opened a restaurant called Modern Love in Omaha, Nebraska – a city put on the map by Warren Buffet (who holds the annual Berkshire Hathaway meetings in this “best bang for the buck city,” according to Forbes) and a culinary destination known more for steakhouses than vegetables.

Spurred on by the success of the midwest venture (which has since moved and expanded to a larger space to accommodate 80 diners), Moskowitz – a Brooklyn native – opened a second restaurant in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York,  also called Modern Love.

For literary readers and devotees of the New York Times, the words “Modern Love” – conjure up thoughts of a weekly column in the Sunday paper that’s about all kinds of love. That Moskowitz chose to call her restaurants “Modern Love” is brilliant because when you get down to the details, her food is all about loving all kinds of food that come from the earth – vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. But, let’s be clear. Modern Love is not about health food; the restaurants focus on pure comfort food (in large portions) – the vegan version of nachos, cheeseburgers, burritos, mac n’ cheese, Shepherd’s Pie, stroganoff, and more – which appeals to a wider audience (especially in Omaha and Brooklyn).

In Brooklyn, the restaurant is very popular and consistently gets rave reviews (4.6 out of 5 by hundreds of reviewers on Goggle) so reservations are highly recommended. Located in downtown Williamsburg, Modern Love is a hip cafe with high ceilings that showcase modern chandeliers with chic vintage-looking light bulbs that warm the cafe more than light it up.

My favorite meal is the Modern Cheeseburger – a huge house-made lentil-based patty served with cashew cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, smoked mushrooms, and special sauce. Add the avocado and mushroom bacon, which really does taste like bacon (although my daughter insisted this was because I had not had real bacon in a very long time). Nevertheless, the Modern Cheeseburger is exactly what it says it is and more. Served with your choice of fries (large potato wedges) or salad.

Don’t forget dessert – the cakes and pies are scrumptious and change often (lemon, passionfruit, cherry, cheese, pumpkin) and the brownie is a chocoholic’s dream:  a thick, rich decadent brownie served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and coconut whip.

So, if your travels take you to Brooklyn, consider Modern Love. Located at 317 Union Avenue in Williamsburg. Open Tuesday – Sunday for dinner and for brunch on Sunday. Go to the website for specific hours and to make reservations:  www.modernlovebrooklyn.com.

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