This week Chef Amanda Cohen announced that a big change was coming to her beloved vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy: there will be no more a la carte menu at dinner in the dining room, only a tasting menu. What this means is that diners will have just two options—the below descriptions were included in a press release about the menu shift:
The Vegetable Patch ($57, tip included) featuring roughly five courses of the restaurant's most popular dishes, such as Portobello Mousse, Tomato Cake with Smoked Feta, and Grilled and Smoked Broccoli Dogs.
The Vegetable Garden ($83, tip included) featuring an array of vegetable dishes that will change on a regular basis, such as Eggplant Foster flambéed tableside and served with lemon ice cream, basil crème anglaise and eggplant thumbprint cookies, Peking Peas with sugar snap peas, pea pancakes, and crispy pea skin (made from yuba) grilled on the table in a miniature binchōtan, and Lettuce Soup with coconut, peanuts and lime. The menu will reflect seasonality.
The change goes into effect on September 5th, and Cohen says, "I'm ready for something new... This goes against New York City's dining trends right now, but I have a great dialogue with my customers and they're ready for the next vegetable frontier. Getting rid of the a la carte menu provides me with an opportunity to take more risks, to try more experiments, and to kick off an even cooler, crazier, all new vegetable party."
She added that she also has "a reclaimed wood company building us bigger tables, I'm experimenting with new dishes every day, and my staff is doing intense training because I want them to be the perfect vegetable sherpas for your journey through the Vegetable Garden."
If you just want some broccoli dogs and a radish gimlet, however, you can still do that, as the restaurant will be offering their traditional menu at the bar and during brunch service. But we recommend embracing this delicious change: who doesn't want Eggplant Foster cooked tableside from one of the best chefs in town? She's also experimenting with making a Vegetable Pretz!
"Still a work in progress, but this is the beginning of the Peking Peas..." on tiny Binchōtan grills so you can cook your own. (Courtesy of Dirt Candy)
Dirt Candy is located at 86 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002, 212-228-7732, www.dirtcandynyc.com