Vegan cuisine can be a tough sell to those who've been brought up on a steak-and-potatoes diet (or in old-school Carroll Gardens, meatballs and Sunday gravy). But a new restaurant in Boerum Hill has taken up the challenge, and by this reporter's account they make a solid case for eschewing animals once in a while.
Named for a medieval Jewish-Spanish philosopher who famously exalted the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, Maimonide of Brooklyn (MOB) is the brainchild of hotelier Cyril Aouizerate and partner Alain Senderens, a former Michelin three-star winner. To add to that pedigree, MOB's chef Neal Harden honed his skills at Manhattan's Pure Food and Wine.
But instead of fine dining, what customers should expect to find is simply a super hip, seriously delicious vegetarian pizza shop.
Well, it's not "technically" pizza. The menu is centered around seven MOBs ($10 each), which are essentially house-baked dough shaped like the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge and topped with a seasonal combination of farmer's bounty.
Reluctant types could go for Smiley, which is most reminiscent of a red-sauce slice. But those who want to dive in would be wise to order the Iron Man, a mix of roasted shiitake mushrooms, sautéed kale, horseradish aioli and parsley. The ingredients were expertly cooked, coaxing a toothsome bite from the mushrooms and a delicate earthiness from the kale. Still warm from the oven, the dough had no char but made up for it with a dense and pleasantly chewy texture.
Other side dishes range from meatless sausages, yucca fries, chick pea nuggets, soups and salad. Equally eclectic is the decor, which can best be described as street-art meets world-instruments. That and a generous outdoor seating area seem to be attracting a similarly diverse clientele. So if you have an open mind, mosey on over to MOB and try some philosophical fare.
Maimonide of Brooklyn is located at 525 Atlantic Avenue near Third Avenue; (718) 797-2555.