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New Tomatoes

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I’ve been experimenting over the past few weeks with a tomato appetizer to welcome summer. I think I’m getting close. Technically, this is turning out to be the most complex dish on the menu.

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Meet our Wine Zoo: A Touch of Classe

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We don’t have much room to store cases of wine, so rather than offering people the same old list of Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios and the rest of the usual suspects we thought we’d make up a wine list of the strangest and most unusual wines we could find, sort of like a wine zoo for exotic animals.

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I serve a lot of wine at Dirt Candy and all of it comes with a story. But A Touch of Classe is the most personal wine I serve.

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Sure, it’s organic. Sure, it’s natural. But there’s more to it than that.

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Cabbage Salad

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What vegetable is less popular than cabbage? Just the name conjures images of depressing tenements where the sulphurous stink of boiled cabbage has permanently stained the wallpaper. It’s the wino of the vegetable world: smelly, unloved, and looking at it makes you feel sad. A cabbage salad sounds even worse. Cabbage that’s…raw? It’s sounds like a plated suicide note. That’s why I’m really, really excited about the Cabbage Salad with Sichuan Walnuts and Cabbage Wontons that I just put on the menu a month ago.

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Because it’s pretty.

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Taps n’Tapas

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Last week, the dance non-profit, Groove With Me, asked me to be one of the chefs at their Taps n’Tapas fundraiser. There were only a few other restaurants participating so I figured, “Why not?” While at the event, a few things became clear:

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Thing #1: the candy I use to decorate my table is having babies. That’s a sealed package of the peppermint, and that central peppermint is unbroken, so where did those two pieces come from? And it’s not just in one package:

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There’s another one. What is going on here?

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Thing #2: April Bloomfield is a very nice person. I asked her a lot of stuff about her cookbook since it just came out and mine’s on the way and her input was much appreciated.

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Also, that sunset is gorgeous!

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Thing #3: New York City’s event rooms have some of the best views in the city. Here I am with Justyna, soaking it in.

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Thing #4: my prep chef, Nin, takes the best photos of my food that I’ve ever seen. She did this one-handed with her iPhone. I am shamed.

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Just look at that! Here’s another one!

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Dirt Candy Cookbook Cover

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It’s hard to believe that in 2010 I signed a deal to write a cookbook, but today the cover went up online and it’s out on August 21, so now I start meeting with my publisher’s marketing and publicity people to figure out the best way to promote it. In the meantime, here’s the cover:

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You can find more info over on Amazon.


Dish in Progress

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Right now I’m working to get a new soup on the menu for summer. I’m experimenting with a fennel soup, pairing it up with sunflower, and a few other things. Here’s the rough draft form.

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If I know myself, it’s probably going to change a million times between now and the time it’s on the menu.

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What is it?

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Last October, this graffiti appeared on the front of Dirt Candy. Fortunately, my cold weather vestibule went up a few days later and covered it, thus saving me from having to actually do anything about it. The vestibule just came down over the weekend (the first sign of Spring!) and the mysterious graffiti was revealed again.

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What is it? What does it mean? It’s not the Lost numbers. Is it a code? Am I being dragged into a conspiracy against my will? Have I been slated for destruction by extraterrestrials using a number language only they understand? Could it have been the winning Mega Millions lotto numbers?

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What is it, internet hive mind?

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Dirt Candy: No Exit

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I’ve described Dirt Candy before as my child. My big, angry child. Who wants to kill me. So when you imagine Dirt Candy, realize that it’s not so much like this:

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But more like this:

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Last week, however, Dirt Candy was acting more like this:

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I had my first Saturday outside the restaurant I’ve had since Dirt Candy opened 3 years ago, and it turned into a battle of wills that almost saw me dead. Read on for the terrifying tale.

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The Abominable Door, man

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Who would have thought that the biggest nemesis in my life would turn out to be my door? A few months ago, it stopped closing softly and started slamming shut. Since it’s made of glass, I figured that this was a bad thing. My handyman, Tom, repaired it. Then it wouldn’t close at all. Tom came back and fixed it again. Then, it started slamming again. More Tom. Its next decision was to slam shut until the last inch, where it sticks without closing and has to be pulled closed.

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I have spent close to $2000 repairing this door, but now it’s finally working properly. Except for a strange clicking noise it’s been making all week that I don’t like the sound of. That door better watch its step because by now I am ready to tear it down and just staple up a sheet, dorm-room-style.

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Evil Door, I hate you.

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Meet our Wine Zoo: Nebbiolo

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We don’t have much room to store cases of wine, so rather than offering people the same old list of Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios and the rest of the usual suspects we thought we’d make up a wine list of the strangest and most unusual wines we could find, sort of like a wine zoo for exotic animals.

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Dirt Candy has served Nebbiolo wines before but this one has to be the most sophisticated that’s ever crossed my path. The Botonero Nebbiolo from the Mamete Prevostini winery is a smooth, silky Nebbiolo that swishes into your mouth in a velvet smoking jacket and then lounges around eating Turkish Delight and puffing on its hookah. It’s swank!

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As swank as this guy.

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You’d never guess that it’s made from one of the oldest grapes in the world, but it’s immediately apparent after one taste that it’s a wine that doesn’t get served outside of Italy too much. Mostly because the rest of the world is far too gauche for a wine this sophisticated.

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Read the rest of this entry »



menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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