We started humbly but with a grand plan: To create the finest burger this world has ever tasted, end of story.
Our secret? It's not one, admittedly. The best ingredients is a big part. An unrelenting love for the burger is the other big part. Between those two, we think we pretty much have our burger bases covered. PLUS.... all our burgers are GRASS FED, HORMONE FREE & ANTIBIOTIC FREE.
Mocha Burger, the brainchild of Mocha Bleu’s Naftali Abenaim of Teaneck, is a modern kosher burger restaurant adjacent to NYU. The restaurant’s vibe is chic, trendy and hip. The restaurant seats up to 75 diners, as well as additional patrons on the sidewalk outside. Mocha Burger’s burger options include: Classic, Smokey, Stacked (two burgers), Funghi (w/mushrooms & fried onions), BLT (fried egg, smoked lamb bacon, and home chips), Stuffed (pastrami stuffed jumbo burger), Fish (Atlantic Salmon) and Veggie (Best Meatless beef burger you will ever have!). Additionally, we offer sliders with your choice of meats: beef, lamb or turkey.
MB’s menu is not limited to burgers and includes buffalo wings, innovative appetizers, aged steaks; meatball entrees made from beef, lamb or turkey plus chicken; grilled chicken; grilled salmon; satay skewers; salads; multiple fries options. Additionally, the restaurant has a bar, serving cocktails, wine and beer.
They often say the recipe for success is a mystery, but if I had to guess, it likely involves mixing ingredients others wouldn’t think to mix. It also means seeking inspiration from not-necessarily traditional places and confidently blending together a concoction that has unexpected flair and presence.
When the inspiration is just right, the balance of flavors is familiar enough to feel like home, but distinctive enough to feel unusual and special, you might just have a winner. And that’s exactly what Mocha Bleu founder and restaurant designer, Naftali Abenaim has done.
Mocha Bleu, located at 1399 Queen Anne Road in Teaneck, is the result of a passion Naftali has had since he was a young teen working as a busboy- turned-chef in French pastry shops in Quebec. For years he worked at learning the trade and envisioned opening a pastry shop-meets- bistro in the spirit and style of the traditional French pastry shops he knew so well. Coming to America for college he put that dream on the back burner while focusing on his education and building a successful career as a hat designer in the fashion industry.
For 12 years he carried the vision of his bistro in his heart and four years ago opportunity knocked and he opened the door, because he knew it was time to manifest his idea. Using his designer’s eye and with a keen understanding of what he felt was missing from the kosher dining scene, he created Mocha Bleu.
This is no ordinary kosher restaurant. The décor is a combination of luxurious woods, colors and textures. The lighting and music, even the distinctive scent coming from the cherry wood burning ovenis heady and welcoming. The atmosphere invites you to sit, relax and stay a while.
“We bring the New York café experience to Teaneck.” Naftali explains. “There’s no reason to cross the bridge. The food, the atmosphere, are all here.”
And it’s true. When Mocha Bleu opened four years ago it immediately raised people’s expectations of what culinary arts and service can be in Jewish cuisine. From Lakewood to Long Island, Mocha Bleu has become a destination eatery, with lines on Saturday nights that can reach down the block.
I recently sat down to enjoy an afternoon lunch. The restaurant was filled with enough patrons to lend to the atmosphere but not so many that it felt packed and rushed.
We began with the soups. The French onion soup, a crowd favorite, was a must-have. The pungent, tasty soup—topped with a generous portion of golden, gooey, melted mozzarella on a floating disk of crusted fresh bread, did not disappoint. The udon soup, often thought of as a simple, perhaps bland or boring option, was anything but. Filled with thick noodles and a generous amount of tofu, scallions and shitake mushrooms, the soup was robust and delicious.
Next course: the Avocado Spring rolls. Fresh avocado, sun dried tomato, cilantro, red onion and sesame combine to fill these colorfully fresh appetizers. Deep fried to golden perfection they are perfectly paired with a sweet dipping sauce.
The Chisaya salad is a popular and satisfying figure-friendly option. Spring mix, quinoa, fresh mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, carrots and sunflower seeds are tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and presented in an oversized asymmetric bowl, in a quantity guaranteed to satisfy even the hungriest diner.
Disco fries, a Canadian classic, drew me in by their name alone. Covered in melted mozzarella, gravy and curd, these fries were a real treat. The portion I was served could have been a meal in and of itself.
I enjoyed the entrée of a Stacked Sole Filet Brioche Sandwich. The delicately flavored fish was battered and deep fried, yet felt light and crispy. Stacked high on the poppy seed-speckled fresh-baked bun were pickles, tomato, red onion, wasabi tartar and a ginger glaze. The variety of tastes, textures and temperatures combined to create a delightful and well-balanced sandwich. Flanked by a generous portion of crispy fries and some spring greens, this was a great option for those who are budget conscious.
Arrive hungry as portion sizes are ample. Menu favorites include, the brick-oven pizza. With the cherrywood burning oven and cracker thin crusts, Mocha Bleu pizza is beyond “pizza shop” fare. Penne Alla Vodka is another popular dish. As with all the pasta dishes, it is available with whole wheat or gluten free pasta alternatives for a slight up-charge.
A complete, fresh sushi bar includes a wide assortment of basic rolls and chef’s specials including salmon mango rolls, a spicy jalapeño roll, or the popular crunchy double-spicy roll.
Looking to try something unexpected and outside the norm? Though it is currently NOT printed on the menu, Mocha Bleu also has a non-meat shawarma dish that is absolutely delish. A giant, warm and fluffy, freshly-baked laffa bread surrounds a heaping serving of vegan shawarma. Wrapped up with pickles, fries, veggies and a generous amount of tahina, this will cure even a carnivore’s craving in this unique dairy restaurant.
Leisure ladies can lunch, but if you are in a rush, let your servers know. While friendly and helpful, they allow you to take your time and chat, so tell them right upfront, when they come to your table to take your order.
Stop by in the mornings when they offer a full assortment of specialty coffee and tea, as well as warm, fresh baked muffins and pastries. Fridays offer a full shabbat bakery, with challah, cakes and fruit tarts. The oversized dining room comfortably seats 160 guests and there’s a private party room for 55, but you are still encouraged to make reservations. Saturday nights can have you waiting a long time to be seated.
Mocha Bleu will cater off-premises and proudly offers a one-stop shop with everything from photography to decor. A popular spot for Bar/ Bat mitzvahs, they are also an ideal spot for a bris or Sheva Brachot. They’ve even hosted a wedding, closing off a side street to allow for an outdoor chuppah.
If you like the vibe and service at Mocha Bleu, stay tuned to see what’s coming next from Naftali and crew. I’m confident it will not only meet your expectations, it will raise the bar yet again.
Celebrity Hatter Naftali Abenaim, unparalleled and eclectic designs have crowned the heads of the most prestigious celebrities in Hollywood today, including Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks, Pink, and, most recently, GQ’s woman of-the-year, Eva Longoria.
Naftali Abenaim has been able to fulfill his ultimate dream of becoming a hat designer/modiste due to the cumulative experiences of his diverse background.
Back in college, Naftali developed a love for haute couture because of the elite position he held as head costume designer of the Dramatics Society, for four consecutive years. He was granted two awards for his whimsical creations in apparel and costumes. Naftali then applied his uniquely creative skills on a more professional level, while working in his father’s factory located in the heart of Montreal, Canada, designing fur coats, hats, and hand-bags. When his designs were widely sold, his interest in the industry was piqued.
Naftali then completed an M.A. in Psychology, and later found himself stranded in dental school, a place he did not belong. His artist’s soul felt stifled by the methodical procedures and he sought an outlet for his emergent creativity. After a year of dentistry, Naftali discontinued his studies in the field, and pursued his ultimate dream of upscale millinery design.
Being the only true haute couture Milliner in Canada, the hand-crafted hats created by Naftali and his design team are considered to be authentic displays of talent and craftsmanship. As Casey Bush, Director of the Headwear Information Bureau in NYC so richly described his spring 2006 Collection, “Delicate floral and ribbon trims are juxtaposed against crisp, tailored shapes at Naftali. Standouts for the season include in pink, celadon, or sky blue, trimmed with orchid blossoms. Fashion favors the folkloric look and Naftali’s chic black fedora with sculpted high crown is just the ticket…”
Naftali and his team have been creating breathtaking pieces for over a decade and are renowned for possessing a unique blend of style that bridges the gap between the eccentric and the eminently wearable.
Today, Naftali’s merchandise is sold in the finest specialty stores across the globe, in Canada, Europe, the United States, and Middle East. The collection have been spotted in Henri Bendel, Ogilvy’s, ICE, Medici, and various upscale hat boutiques in Brooklyn and Cedarhurst, NY. His designs were also featured in leading fashion publications such as Vogue, Elle, Flare, WWD, and Marie Claire.
Naftali has succeeded in reaching new heights in the millinery industry. His inspiration, talent and creativity have, and continue to impress many.
He is the recipient of the 2004 & 2006 Milliner of the Year Award.
Naftali Abenaim is a certified spin instructor with a master’s degree in Psychology. He has been teaching spin programs for a few years now. Education is his passion and he is well known for his highly motivational style of teaching and inspirational lecturing. As an award winning athlete, he brings his enthusiasm & passion for sport and competition into every class. He is an avid outdoor cyclist who believes everyone has the power to find their own inner athlete. He brings the outdoors—indoors. He began exploring the physical, intellectual and emotional benefits that came with a healthy lifestyle and discovered that spinning brought him everything he wanted and most importantly everything he needed. He values strength in numbers, unity among many and teaches an athletic class that brings excitement and joy.
If you are looking for an experience like no other, his extremely energetic classes allow intensity to rule with a smile! Ride from your soul and find the happiest, fittest and most confident you in every aspect of your life! Find your edge and find yourself. He creates a music driven atmospheric ride, where you can get lost in the studio, push the edge of your strength, and leave feeling focused, refreshed and empowered. Get ready to push your limits, grow in strength and find clarity. Come join him on a high-energy ride as you become one with the music, passion, energy and soul!
Naftali has been an integral force of the spinning community in NY/NJ. His over-the-top enthusiasm pushes his students past their boundaries and encourages them to embrace their personal best. As a known Fitness, Fashion and Culinary expert, he has been featured in The New York Times, Bergen Record, JLBC, Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan and has provided his expertise to gyms nationwide. He is the sole certified BIKEFIT spinning instructor in the NY/NJ area and part of the greatest organizations such as, TheGYM Englewood, 24HR Fitness, and more. Whether this is your first spin class or are an advanced spinner, Naftali's combination of kick-ass choreography, mashed up/remixed music, and intense interval challenges, will inspire you from start to finish and make you beg for more!