86 Allen St., New York, NY, 10002
nr. Broome St.
By helenr on 4/25/2010
As a committed carnivore, I was expecting to leave Dirt Candy ready to grab a burger. Instead, I was totally blown away - honestly, this might have been the best meal I've had in New York in a year or more. The restaurant is teeny tiny - only 9 tables - with terrific service and some of the most flattering lighting ever. We ordered from every course on the menu - pre app, apps, entrees, and dessert - with virtually no low points. The barbecued carrot buns were revelatory: smoky, savory, and sweet all at once, with truly meaty carrots - if I'd been blindfolded I could have sworn it was real pork char siu. The broccolini with crispy tofu was completely transcendent (helpful that it was drowning in insane orange beurre blanc) and a dessert of popcorn pudding knocked it out of the park. Extra bonus: the wine list, though tiny, is incredibly interesting. Some really intriguing options, including a super-peppery La Maggiorina from Le Piane.
By andymarhol on 4/15/2009
I've been to a few vegetarian restaurants, all of which have been fairly excellent (Angelica Kitchen, Blossom, Red Bamboo), and Dirt Candy definitely sits amongst my top favorites. The selection is meager (only one snack and a handful of firsts, seconds, and desserts), but each dish has clearly been cooked with care. I would definitely recommend the spinach soup as a first and the tofu as a second, with popcorn pudding as a finisher. Also, this place was a runner-up to Blossom for best vegetarian in Time Out NY, but I would suggest that Dirt Candy is a lot cozier than the latter. It's bright and clean, with white-aproned servers and sunflower embellishments in the bathroom, whereas Blossom sticks with dark atmosphere and dim candles. The only drawbacks: limited food options; a severely tiny space (only about eight tables, and you have to move the table in order to get to the bathroom); a minimal coat rack in which you're bound to lose some outerwear (it took my boyfriend five minutes to finally find his); occasional slowness due to limited service staff.