After Labor Day, ‘Dirt Candy’ will Become a Tasting Menu Restaurant
Chef Amanda Cohen is completely revamping the nine-year-old Dirt Candy. Her popular vegetarian restaurant – which moved to Allen Street in 2015 – will close on August 31, and relaunch with a transformed offering, making it more upscale. In other words, they’re doing away with the a la carte menu for dinner seating.
Dirt Candy will reopen on September 5 as “the restaurant I’ve always wanted it to be” after a weekend of repairs, cleaning, and the like.
Those frequenting the establishment for dinner will henceforth have two options:
The Vegetable Patch ($57, tip included) will be around five courses and it will be for people who want to eat some of the more popular Dirt Candy dishes that have been tried and true over the years.
The Vegetable Garden ($83, tip included) will be wild. We’ll feed you until you’re full with lots of courses and while there will definitely be familiar dishes on the menu, this is where we’re going to be trying a lot of experiments, changing dishes more often, and really going crazy. If you have a sense of adventure, if you like to try new things, if you go out to eat for the experience not just to sustain yourself, this is the menu for you.
However, diners still seeking their favorite dishes can still order from the a la carte menu during brunch or by sitting at the bar.
“Dirt Candy is almost a decade old and it’s time for me to take some chances,” chef-owner Amanda Cohen wrote in an email blast. “My crew and I could turn out the same food for another decade, but playing it safe is not the Dirt Candy way.”
Below is an excerpt from the media advisory:
Dirt Candy is almost a decade old and it’s time for me to take some chances. My crew and I could turn out the same food for another decade, but playing it safe is not the Dirt Candy way. We’ve always believed in one principle: go big or go home. It’s time for us to do something new, and we hope we’ve earned enough of your trust so you’ll come with us as we take vegetables to infinity..and beyond!
I’m not calling these tasting menus, or spelling out the number of courses, because that conjures up an image of sitting at your table for hours and hours while being served tiny portions in a somber atmosphere that feels less like a fiesta and more like a funeral. That’s not what we’re doing here.
The original Dirt Candy felt like a party, with plates whipping on and off tables, chefs bringing out food, experiments hitting the menu for two weeks before making way for newer dishes, and we served food that had never been seen before. This is our way of recapturing that feeling. One thing I’ve realized at the new Dirt Candy is the diners who have the most fun here are the ones who order the prixe fixe menu and put themselves in our hands. They’re the ones who spend the night having a blast, and I want that feeling for everyone. But to take chances, and make it work, and to make it really fun, I need to do it this way.
Some people have already written to tell me that I’m a horrible human being for changing Dirt Candy, and I’m truly sorry to disappoint anyone. All I’m asking you is one thing: trust us. If you’ve ever loved your meal here, if you’ve ever had a good time, it’s only going to get better.
When I opened the original, 18-seat Dirt Candy I didn’t know I’d be around almost a decade later. All I wanted to do was survive. Now, I have bigger dreams. There are more things I want to try, more vegetables I want to play with, more fun I want to inject into dinner. Some restaurants settle into a groove and are the same every time you go, and that’s fine. I like that sometimes. But that’s not Dirt Candy. We believe in changing, and growing, and always being different, trying harder, getting better, experimenting with new dishes and new ways to dine.
Dirt Candy is about to take a leap into the future. And I am so excited for you to take it with us. If you have any concerns or questions, let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer you.