June 18, 2024
A new generation takes over at Ithaca’s legendary Moosewood restaurant

Ithaca, N.Y. — The Moosewood, the vegetarian cafe in downtown Ithaca that received globally fame after its start in 1973, has reopened this spring under new ownership.

But it is nonetheless linked to its past: The new owner is Danica Wilcox. She’s the daughter of Kip Wilcox, a founding member of the Moosewood Collective, which operated the restaurant and served pioneer the principles of “plant forward” eating and farm-to-desk delicacies in the 1970s.

The Moosewood, positioned in the floor stage of the Dewitt Creating at 215 N. Cayuga St., reopened at the finish of March right after staying closed for several months for the duration of renovations.

It will hold it target on a vegetarian menu, but with renewed emphasis on domestically sourced substances and some improvements, Danica Wilcox said.

“We’re hoping to adapt, reimagine and introduce Moosewood to a new generation,” mentioned Wilcox, who is managing the restaurant with her partner, artist Nicholas Woods.

“The menu has usually provided fish through the a long time – which we may reintroduce – but our focus right now is to spotlight the wonderful make, grains, dairy and wine readily available in our area,” Wilcox mentioned in a information launch. “The initial new menu celebrates authentically vegetarian delicacies.”

The menu contains longtime Moosewood favorites like its Fudge Brownie, Spanakopita, and Poached Pears with pistachios. New seasonal dishes contain a Rosemary Crepe with regional Japanese sweet potato, pink quinoa, roasted leeks, gruyere and lemon bechamel and a Spicy Coconut Curry with community sweet potato, rutabaga, romanesco, and turnips, served with a cashew daikon raita.

There is also a regionally sourced New York Point out Cheese Board and a cocktail menu that includes spirits from Finger Lakes spot distilleries. It also serves a assortment of New York condition wines.

The restaurant is moving from a diner-design and style provider program to just one that is a “more elevated, fining eating approach,” Wilcox reported.

Wilcox, who owned a design and style retail outlet and art gallery in Spain for a decade right before returning to Ithaca, is also changing the decor a bit to reflect the unique “Deco-era” style from the early ‘70s. It attributes Shaker-model wood home furnishings, present day lights and artworks produced by Woods. The Moosewood has each indoor and outdoor seating.

The Moosewood has about 40 staff members, numerous of whom have been with it given that the start out. Each host Ned Asta and chef Sara Robbins have been at the Moosewood for 50 years.

In individuals many years, the Moosewood’s popularity grew not only from its foodstuff and assistance, but from the lots of cookbooks it motivated. The unique, The Moosewood Cookbook, was penned by first collective member Mollie Katzen, She went on to a prosperous job with other cookbooks, though the collective produced additional Moosewood guides of its individual.

Wilcox programs a new cookbook for 2023, in recognition of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary. It will involve recipes, and tales about the Moosewood’s enduring impact on the “vegetarian life-style.”

“The reach and reception of the cookbooks have been remarkable around the years,” Wilcox reported. “While some are out of print now, there’s often desire and inquiries on social media for recipes, so we’d like to choose up the momentum yet again.”

And Wilcox is all set to bring momentum to cafe alone.

“I grew up in the Moosewood kitchen area. It is my residence,” she claimed. “Taking ownership of the cafe is vital to me as I have a legacy to uphold. We intend to choose the restaurant back again to its roots, restoring the authentic values that designed Moosewood specific whilst also refreshing the menu and dining working experience.”

Similar: Syracuse’s very best-acknowledged vegan café to start its initial out-of-city location

Don Cazentre writes for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Write-up-Normal. Access him at [email protected], or comply with him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Fb.