Eats Beat: Moss Cafe puts local ingredients to work for kosher cuisine
This isn’t your bubbe’s kosher food. Moss Cafe , an organic kosher and vegetarian restaurant in Riverdale (3260 Johnson Ave.), serves up eats with local ingredients like maitake mushrooms foraged straight from Van Cortlandt Park as a substitute for meat. Husband-and-wife owners Emily and Alex Weisberg — an organic farmer formerly of Dan Barber’s Stone Barns — put their own spin on Jewish classics at the space, which seats 24. You won’t find bagels with a schmear, but instead gravlax toast ($12) made with house-cured salmon, labneh and pickled mustard seeds. The whitefish salad features yogurt, capers, celery, watermelon radish and fermented pickles. The menu rotates depending on seasonal ingredients. Currently on the front burner is Cioppini Stew — fennel, green olives and basil made with pollock, a white fish.
Emily Weisberg knows good coffee. Over the phone, I drooled as she described the rich, bold, bitter aromas that put my mug full of reheated office-coffee-pot coffee to shame. She said, “I’ve been a barista for more than 10 years. My background is in coffee.” That’s why she’s opening Moss Café in Riverdale, NY.
Growing up in a homogenous Wisconsin town, most of the schools didn’t offer foreign languages for children. Even so, Emily’s mom made sure her children learned Spanish- changing their lives and inadvertently shaping Emily’s future. Emily started working in coffee shops in high school where she quickly put this invaluable skill to use. Her conversations with her co-workers, mostly Mexican and Ecuadorian immigrants, gave her insight into their past lives on the coffee fields. Amongst the Spanish speakers, Emily found her passion, going on to study Latin American studies in college with a focus on coffee economies. I repeat: Emily Weisberg knows good coffee.
6 food Kickstarters in NYC that are better than potato salad
July 29, 2014
Perhaps the best part of Kickstarter is really being able to see a change in the community. Moss Cafe aims to bring a Kosher, farm-to-table eatery and espresso bar to Riverdale in the Bronx, where no such place currently exists. A $25 pledge gets you a tote bag!
Some Kosher With Your Kale? The Sustainable Kosher Trend Grows
August 12, 2014
People crowdfund all kinds of projects these days–art shows, T-shirt businesses, indie rock bands. Emily Weisburg is crowdfunding a sustainable kosher restaurant. The 26-year-old Wisconsin native, who now lives in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York, has plans to open Moss Café, an eatery that, according to her Kickstarter project page, is “committed to community, sustainability, quality, and creativity”—and also happens to be certified kosher.
If the notion of a sustainable kosher restaurant seems like an oxymoron, it shouldn’t be. The ancient Jewish laws themselves—which prohibit the consumption of pork and nix the mixing of milk and meat, among other things—have little to say about the modern notion of eating local or organic. But, more kosher keeping people who also want their kale, are finding ways to merge their spiritual and ethical values on the same plate.