Another longtime void in the Charlottesville food scene has been filled: a Jewish deli. Modern Nosh opened this week at 111 Water Street West, most recently home to Kebabish.
Behind Modern Nosh is Stephanie Levin, a UVa alumna who recently returned to Charlottesville after two decades away. “I always knew I would come back to Charlottesville,” says Levin. Though this her first foray into the food industry, Levin is not new to restaurants. She grew up in one, a Norfolk diner owned by her parents.
Food has been a big part of family life ever since, and much of the food at Modern Nosh draws from old family recipes for traditional Jewish foods like latkes, knishes, kugel, and mazto ball soup. Also made in house are corned beef and brisket. Other menu items include classic sandwiches like a Reuben, a Rachel, and a Sailor – hot pastrami and melted Swiss, topped with a split, grilled hot dog. Levin’s favorite is the deli latkes – three house made latkes topped with house made brisket and gravy.
Goyim may kvetch that the prices take real chutzpah – e.g. $14.50 for a sandwich. But, if you’re familiar with traditional Jewish delis, you’ll know that the prices are not atypical for classic over-stuffed sandwiches. Levin puts a half pound of meat on each sandwich, which lends itself well to sharing one or saving half for later, if you just want a bissel. There is also a soup and half sandwich combo for $10.50, which includes a bowl of matzo ball soup and half of an over-stuffed sandwich.
For now, Levin is easing into things by being open just for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. She will expand to evening hours soon, but does not want to rush things. “I am all about the quality of the product,” she says.