Disclaimer: I was invited to a comped lunch at Modern Bread and Bagel before they open to the public. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend restaurants that I love.
It’s hard to describe the joy that I experienced earlier this week at Modern Bread and Bagel, but I’m going to try – in short, it was one of the most magical meals of my life.
I met with Orly (yes from Blends By Orly) to learn about her gluten free culinary adventures and her dream to open a dedicated gluten free restaurant. Orly is such an impressive person. She described her culinary background, emphasizing her traditional baking techniques, customization of gluten free flours, accommodations for food allergies, plating design, and desire to have an incredible restaurant where everything just happens to be gluten free (and kosher and oat-free!). Orly is passionate, intelligent and incredibly talented. Drawing inspiration from Australian, Israeli, and New York cuisine, Orly and her team has created one of the most beautiful and unique menus that I’ve ever seen.
When I arrived I didn’t know what to do. One – the restaurant is gorgeous, and I instantly thought, “I want to spend all of my time here.” Two – the food! There was a display of freshly baked sweet treats, rows of New York style bagels, and cases that held a huge assortment of cream cheeses and spreads. I have never seen such a restaurant where everything is gluten free! Then I sat down and saw the menu. Each dish looked stunning and was focused around fresh ingredients. At Orly’s recommendation I chose the Corn and Goat Cheese Fritters (with tomato chili jam, scrambled eggs, and spinach) along with a latte and a sesame seed bagel with strawberry cream cheese.
Orly lived in Australia and explained that one of the hardest parts about moving back to the US was that she would miss the incredible coffee. So of course she brought Australian coffee to her restaurant. The latte I had was simply magical. I didn’t know coffee could taste so beautiful! I’m obsessed, and there’s no turning back.
The Corn & Goat Cheese Fritters arrived. I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted anything quite so perfect. Putting a little bit of everything onto the fork, I swam in a sea of perfectly balanced flavors and textures. The chef trusted the brightness of the ingredients – it was simple, not over-seasoned, yet bursting with flavor. And the bread! They added a few slices of sesame seed baguette. It was the best bread I’ve ever eaten. The crust! It was so beautifully crunchy, and the inside was perfectly soft. I could have cried, I was so happy.
When I bit into the sesame seed bagel I practically fell onto the floor in happiness and quickly propped myself back up again. I grew up with a mother who worshiped New York bagels, and they were one of the foods I mourned for when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. But here they were, and they were just as I had remembered. Dreams do come true! (Mom I can’t wait for you to try this!)
It was so hard choosing just one pastry, but I eventually picked the Lemon & Blueberry Pop Tart. Just look at it! How could you say no to that gorgeous pastry! It was perfect – the outside was flaky and the filling inside was delicious.
I am beyond excited for the NYC celiac disease community to experience Modern Bread and Bagel. Words cannot describe how happy I am. I’m so overcome with emotion and excitement, and I’m so full of amazing food. I can’t wait to go back. In fact I did! – I tried the coffee cake and a gorgeous passion fruit sponge dessert. These are seriously some of the most incredible pastries I’ve ever eaten. I can’t rave about it enough. We are so lucky this restaurant exists. What a gift.
Modern Bread and Bagel opens to the public next week (check out their Instagram because they have some information about their soft opening and updates about the official opening). It features a sit down menu (and a specials menu that changes weekly) along with a number of fresh to-go options including baked goods, coffee, salads, sandwiches, breads, bagels and spreads.
Sundays-Fridays (closed Saturdays) from 7am-4pm
472 Columbus Ave, near 83rd st in NYC
Stay tuned for more exciting news about what will be happening at the restaurant in the evenings, and get ready for some delicious events with the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group!
Find more information at https://www.modernbreadandbagel.com