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Dirt Candy

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

86 Allen St., New York, NY 10002 40.717941 -73.990753
nr. Broome St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-228-7732 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: American Nouveau, Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: *

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    9 out of 10

      |  

    2 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Melissa Hom

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Official Website

dirtcandynyc.com

Hours

Tue-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun-Mon, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

B, D at Grand St.; F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.

Prices

$21-$30

Payment Methods

American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Dine at the Bar
  • Hot Spot
  • Notable Chef
  • Open Kitchens / Watch the Chef
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

Vegetarians are supposed to be a sensitive, retiring bunch, but everything about Amanda Cohen’s brassy new reboot of her seminal veggie establishment, Dirt Candy, screams out for attention. There’s the glittery sequined signage on the Allen Street façade, which reminded one of my guests of something you might see above a popular souvenir store at the mouth of a well-­traveled national park. There’s the Vegas-like color scheme, which includes chairs covered in white faux leather and a red banquette along the walls. There’s the great Cheesecake Factorysize menu, which lists each dish in a different big-letter font and contains all sorts of dizzying information on the back, including how many cases of broccoli are used weekly at the restaurant (16) and how many “consultants” were employed in launching it (nine).

Some veggie formulations feel more overworked than others, but after much public hand-wringing on Cohen’s part, the consultants seem to have more or less done their jobs. I didn’t mind the swampy green kale matzo-ball soup (spiked with okra and galangal), or the semi-spicy mapo eggplant, or even the brightly colored monkey bread, served, for extra effect, in a small flowerpot. I won’t be reordering the $28 “corn boil” (which requires you to eat a lot of slippery roughage wearing a plastic bib), but Cohen’s famous tomato cake with smoked feta is almost worth a special trip. The cocktail list is refreshingly unpretentious for a potentially pretentious vegetarian restaurant (and, at $13 for your Dark and Stormy, refreshingly priced), and, with some exceptions, so are the desserts, in particular the carrot pie, which is capped with a twirling meringue top and tastes a little like oranges if you eat it with your eyes shut.

Note

Dirt Candy is a no-tipping establishment, and everyone (the customer, the cooks, the front-of-the-house staff) is the better for it.

Related Stories

New York Magazine Review
Adam Platt's Full Review  (08/23/15)


Best of New York
Best Carrots  (2011)


Recipes At Dirt Candy
Shaved-Brussels-Sprout Salad With Roasted Brussels-Sprout Leaves, Pecorino, Toasted Almonds, and Pears in a Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette  (2013)

Ideal Meal

Kale matzo-ball soup and/or tomato cake (with a side of hush puppies), mapo eggplant, carrot meringue pie. 

Related Stories

Best of New York Awards

Recipes at Dirt Candy

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