Modern Bread & Bagel opened a few months ago at 472 Columbus Ave. with a mission to provide “from-scratch brunch classics with global influences.” The Herald Spoke with owner Orly Gottesman about how her bakery fits into the Upper West Side dining scene. Orly is a Le Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef who specializes in gluten free pastry and bread.
Herald: What is the concept behind your restaurant? How did it come to be?
Gottesman: ” The menu at Modern Bread and Bagel brings together culinary inspiration from the places my husband and I lived. We make everything in-house. The dine in menu has our favorite brunch items from Australia (including Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Peas Me, Banana Bread, and Corn & Goats Cheese Fritters), Tel Aviv (including Red & Green Shakshuka, Israeli Breakfast and Breakfast Hummus), and Jewish New York (including Giant Latke with Smoked Salmon, Salmon Benedict and Cinnamon Babka French Toast). We also have a full service deli/bakery area with curated sandwiches, salads, dips, 8 flavors of kettle boiled NYC bagels, 10 flavors of cream cheese, house made yogurt topped with granola and fresh berry and mango fruit salad, an array of specialty pastries, Australian style coffee roasted in Brooklyn and more! Everything in our restaurant is made fresh daily. We never serve day old breads or pastries. The entire restaurant/bakery is gluten and oat free and kosher. But we are “secret” kosher and gluten free in that there is no signage in the restaurant since we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into either category. We have people coming for bagels every day because they heard we have one of the best bagels in NYC and they have no idea that they are eating gluten free bread.
Herald: What are some of the recipes you feature?
Gottesman: “We are also rolling out a new deli menu with pastry of the day (in addition to our staple daily offerings) so you always have something new to look forward to, curated breakfast and lunch sandwiches by our award winning chef, wild yogurt flavors with mix ins including lemon meringue and strawberry shortcake and more!”
Herald: What is the interior design of the restaurant like?
Gottesman: “We wanted the space to feel like a cafe in Tel Aviv or Sydney. Josh (my husband) designed the restaurant with the help of Chef Nir Zook, who is the Executive Chef of our sister restaurant, Arba: Passionate Mediterranean Cooking.
Herald: How did you pick the Upper West Side for a location?
Gottesman: “We are a kosher restaurant and there is a large kosher customer base on the upper west side. We like the neighborhood feel of the Upper West side. We get the regular locals coming in for their coffee, pastry and bagel or brunch every day.”
Herald: How does this restaurant differ from others in the neighborhood?
Gottesman: “We are a full service dedicated gluten free restaurant. There is a gluten free bakery on the upper west side but it is not a full service restaurant. We are also unique in that in the evenings, our casual cafe transforms into an upscale fine dining restaurant called Arba: Passionate Mediterranean Cooking.“