Reading Amanda's (formerly of Pure Food and Wine, Heirloom) declaration on her website, “I don’t care about your health. I don’t care about your politics either,” I knew I had found a kindred sister from a vegetarian mother.
Upon entering Dirt Candy, you are greeted by pressed recycled wood paneling framed by opaque glass. In this cozy establishment, the atmosphere is warm, the service attentive yet unobtrusive. Mr. C and I ordered the hush puppies to start. The hush puppies were just so but it was the sweet, subtle maple butter carressing my tongue that left an impression.
My second course was a parpadelle dish that I barely recalled, save the disappointment I felt when tasting it. While the parmesan crusted pine nuts were a nice touch, I did not care for the grape balls and the overall sweetness of my entree. The naked cauliflower however, gets a plus for its slightly charred taste.
No meal is complete without dessert. We ordered the chocolate cake with chocolate chili ice cream and sweet potato sorbet as well as the popcorn pudding. The sweet potato sorbet really resonated with me. This is what my Japanese grandmas’s sweet potato sorbet tasted like: sweet and filled with memories of home. (Alas, this is if I were Japanese and had a grandma who could cook, much less whip up ice cream). The popcorn pudding was just delightful. Happy, crunchy, buttery caramel popcorn was paired with a subtle pudding.
One can truly see Amanda Cohen's vision for Dirt Candy. Amanda is extremely chipper and highly likeable. Her enthusiasm and passion for her craft is reflected in her earthy, yet complex dishes. With a little fine-tuning, Dirt Candy has the potential to be the vetegarian establishment it is meant to be
Plough on, Dirt Candy, plough on.