July 21, 2024
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July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Moss Cafe: The New Riverdale Hub

Like its name, Moss Cafe is a delicately decorated, burgeoning, farm-to-table cafe, quietly nestled between a cleaners and hair salon on Johnson Ave. in Riverdale. The six-month-old cafe’s minimalist typography, natural lighting and large glass store-front is an eye-catcher to passersby. “It’s beautiful and immediately drew us in,” says Rachel Riley from Park Slope, Brooklyn. “We were in Riverdale to visit a friend, noticed the cafe and decided to step in.”

The new, trendy hub is certified kosher and offers gluten-free and vegan options. At 5 p.m., a printed sign taped to a wooden wall frame reads, “We know it’s hard to unplug, but for the sake of the dining experience, please no laptops.” Baristas from behind the counter become servers as they greet patrons who walk in the door. As evening approaches, the cafe gradually transforms into a bustling diner with an array of meal options all made from seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

Emily Weisberg, owner and manager of the cafe, recommended seared trout with labneh, chicory and frisee salad and a preserved lemon dressing. Gabriel Riley, a first-timer at the restaurant said, “It’s rare to find such a food-conscious restaurant even in New York.” One can tell from the descriptions on the menu exactly what is being offered. The sweet potato falafel dish, served with homemade hummus, beet tahini and quinoa tabouleh is one such example.

Regarding the higher than average price-point, Weisberg said that “because all of the food is sourced locally, and seasonally, it is expensive, but nonetheless, we will not compromise on our values.”

“I wouldn’t give non-organic greens to my kids, so why would I serve them to the public?” She explained that most restaurants will compromise on their environmental impact by importing wheat from Russia. “It’s easier because it’s cheaper, but it leaves a large carbon footprint, besides the detrimental health effects.” The restaurant’s profit margins are low because they try to keep their sales at a manageable price-point. “It is worth it for our health and the environment,” says Weisberg.

The values of Moss Cafe resonate with its patrons, such as Penny Joel, from Israel. This is her fourth time eating at Moss. “The food is different and the atmosphere is nice.” Rachel Minsky, a native Riverdalian, came to Moss for a quick bowl of minestrone soup. “It’s unusual to find such a trendy place here. I wish it existed when I was growing up.”

If you’re looking for a peaceful atmosphere with food that rejuvenates the body and spirit, visit Moss Cafe. Visit the restaurant online at http://www.mosscafeny.com.

By Adena Blickstein

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