Wow, so here’s a blog post that is way overdue. John and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at Dirt Candy back in August. We had to make reservations 2 months in advance, but the wait was well worth it.
First things first… What is dirt candy? Vegetables, of course! Owner/chef Amanda Cohen, who has previously worked with some of our favorites like Pure Food & Wine and Blossom, makes magic with veggies. Dirt Candy easily makes it to my top 5, possibly even my top 3 in NYC. Even though they’re working with vegetables, they’re not afraid to fry things up! The dishes were fun and full of surprises. Also, I didn’t expect to have our order taken by Amanda Cohen herself. The East Village location is now closed, and I’m looking to checking out their new larger space once it opens.
Dirt Candy was tiny, but I was digging the warm glow. On Yelp, I’ve seen several reviews where people complained about how ridiculous it is that your waitress may have to help you move the table so you can get in and out of your seat. Meh, that really is not all that unusual for NYC. A cozy and intimate spot for date night, but I’d love to do lunch here sometime so I can see the dishes under natural light.
Jalapeno hush puppies ($6) to start? Yes, please! These babies are served with a delicious maple butter that I couldn’t get enough of. The heat slowly sneaks up on you. To this day, I’m still gushing over how amazing these were. Very good with a refreshing glass of wine or with the Hitachino Nest White Ale a.k.a. the beer with the cute owl label.
Potato ($12): warm potato salad, crispy Japanese yams, grilled sweet potato, olives, bitter greens, and apples. Potatoes prepared three different ways with a little assistance from a vegetable slicer. Very tasty, especially the grilled ribbon at the very bottom. Those crispy ribbons at the top were so light and crunchy. A nice mixture of textures and flavors.
John is indifferent when it comes to beets, so it took a little convincing to get him to agree to sharing the beet entree. When I think of beets, Dwight Schrute from The Office immediately comes to mind, but I don’t think Dwight would serve Schrute Farm beets with curry. Beets ($20): salt-roasted beets, thai green curry, beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream. Beets and curry… an unexpected combination, but it’s quite the party in your mouth. Rich and flavorful. The coconut offers a nice balance to the salty beets.
We don’t normally order dessert at restaurants, but Dirt Candy’s dessert menu was really intriguing and hard to resist. I mean, eggplant tiramisu, rosemary cotton candy, celery cheesecake… you have to try one, right?! We ordered the celery cheescake roll ($10) with celeriac ice cream, peanut filling, and candied grapes. Beautifully presented, and every component was quite a treat. The celery flavor was subtle and quite nice in both the ice cream and cheesecake roll. Oh, and those candied grapes! Yum!