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New Reservation Policy

After this past Saturday night I have to change something, and I feel terrible about it. It was a busy night, Dirt Candy was booked up, there were a lot of people walking in who wanted tables and I had to keep turning them away. And 12 people were no shows. They just didn’t show up. No phone call. Nothing. Now, I’m not angry about losing the money (oh, wait a minute, I am), but I feel bad for the people who came by who wanted tables and who I had to turn away. I feel bad for Kristen, who missed out on the tips, and I feel bad because when a table just doesn’t show up I feel like a sucker. Maybe I shouldn’t take it personally, but eating here is like eating in my house and if someone doesn’t show up, or even bother to call me back when I call to confirm their reservation, it just feels so rude. Even worse, I had had a debate about these three tables. When I had called them to confirm their reservations one of the numbers was out of service and the other two had voice mailboxes that weren’t set up yet. I wanted to just let their tables go, but I knew that two of the three tables were from out of town and I couldn’t do that to tourists. There would be nothing worse for these guys than to make a reservation, go on vacation to NYC where their phones weren’t working, showing up for their reservation and have it be canceled. They’d have to find a place to eat around 8pm on a Saturday night in the East Village and that would pretty much ruin their night.

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Pictures of bunnies will distract you from

the content of this post.

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I have a fair number of no-shows each week, and I can’t get rid of them all, but I can reduce the number by implementing a new policy. I always call people to confirm their reservation, usually the day before, but from now on, I must have a confirmation from every single table before 5pm on the night of their reservation. That means that when I call you to confirm your reservation and you don’t answer, I’ll leave you a voicemail and you need to call me back. You can leave your confirmation on the Dirt Candy voice mail or speak to me directly, but you need to let me know you’re either coming or canceling, because come 5pm on the night of your reservation, if I haven’t gotten a confirmation from you, I can’t guarantee your table. I get lots of walk-ins, and one of them will be happy to take the table if you haven’t confirmed.

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I hate doing this, because it makes me sound like a hard ass, but I don’t have a choice. No shows throw the dining room into chaos, and they’re hard on my waiter and on the kitchen. Most restaurants have this policy and if I don’t do this I’m going to have to start taking credit cards with reservations and that’s the last thing I want to do.

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If people think this is unfair, or if they have a suggestion for a better solution, feel free to drop me an email (info at dirt candy nyc dot com) and let me know. I don’t think this will be too onerous for folks – you just have to call me back when I call you to confirm your reservation – and I hope it’ll make things a lot easier, and free up some tables for walk-ins.

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Thanks for understanding, all of you. And for those of you who do call when you need to cancel your reservation…thank you. You have no idea how grateful restaurants are when you do that, not just Dirt Candy.

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BunnyKar

“Someone just canceled their reservation!

We’re on our way to Dirt Candy now!”

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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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Spinach $13
spinach & grapefruit mille-feuille,
with smoked pistachios and ricotta

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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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