This afternoon I had the wonderful pleasure of venturing out to Brooklyn for some food nerd fun times with my good friend Johann. I’m sad to say I have my moments where I fail at being a decent New Yorker, especially in my exploration of the non-Manhattan boroughs. However, thanks to fantastically unique places to eat like Maimonide of Brooklyn (MOB), all that is going to change for me. So, whatever your plans are for dining out in the near future, whether you live the NYC area or plan to visit, make a point to head over to MOB, where you most assuredly will enjoy the flavorful and innovative vegetarian and gluten-free options in an exquisitely quirky dining space.
When you enter the restaurant, your eyes will be met with a lot of fun visual stimulus. The chairs surrounding the large communal tables are playfully mismatched, while the walls are as you can see below:
RIP wall for vegetables. Carrot died for soup, avocado died for guacamole, etc.
The musician in me wants to point out the Brooklyn Bridge arch motive, as we will be seeing it again shortly.
Makes you want to come in a read a good book, right? At the very least, you’ll have your very own Maimonide comic to enjoy after you’ve perused the menu.
When you sit down, you find your silverware and extra napkins are in a drawer built into the table. Everyone also receives complimentary warm and salty kale chips.
For our meal, we started out with the Dry Cured Fennel and Sage Saucisson, which consisted of sun-dried tomato, porcini mushroom, and sunflower seeds, served over the house made gluten-free MOB bread (it’s typically on sourdough), with aioli and pickled radishes.
One of the things I miss most about my gluten eating days is a nice hearty sandwich with some kind of meaty something-mushroom, tofu, etc., balanced out with a brightening condiment of some kind. The saucisson had quite a sophisticated flavor: this ain’t Tofurkey, my friends. The fennel is sharp against the briny sun-dried tomatoes; it’s a classy party in your mouth. The MOB bread is similar to socca, and I liked that it wasn’t as oily or dense as the socca I’ve had. It was something in between socca and focaccia, made from garbanzo, fava, and sorghum flours, but most importantly, it was a lovingly textured vessel for the saucisson and aioli.
We also shared the Quinoa Salad, seasoned with lots of toasty cumin, pumpkin seeds, candied beets, avocado, scallions and mint, dressed with lime.
I have strongly affectionate feelings all the individual components of this salad, and it was quite nice to enjoy them complimenting each other. I couldn’t taste much of the mint, but I really love me some cumin, especially in combination with beets and avocado.
For our main dishes, I had the Iron Man MOB with roasted shiitakes, sautéed kale, horseradish aioli, and parsley. What a great open-faced sandwich. Love, love, love. I would have liked more horseradish in my aioli, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on flavor regardless.
Yeeaahhh. Awesome servingware, too.
Johann had one of the daily specials which was a sweet potato and cashew-based mac and cheese with smoked almonds, St. George mushrooms, asparagus, and watercress. I didn’t try this one since it wasn’t gluten-free pasta, but Johann enjoyed it, especially the smokiness of the dish.
Finally, we also shared some fiddlehead ferns and ramps, sautéed in white wine and olive oil with dill, compliments of Chef Neal Harden. These guys were freaking delicious. I will most definitely be preparing ramps and fiddleheads this way in my home in the future.
Overall, I had such a great meal, and the 45 minute trek to Brooklyn from my apartment will be time well-spent in the future. Bravo on such a cool concept, warm and friendly service, and a totally creative design. Thank you Chef Neal and staff for the experience!
What are your favorite restaurants with totally awesome concepts? I want to know! And please let me know how you like MOB.
Their menu can be found here.