86 Allen Street, New York, NY
lower east side
Dirt Candy is Willy Wonka with vegetables in a fine dining setting. Seriously – owner and chef, Amanda Cohen, believes that vegetables are like candy from the dirt, and you might believe it too after one meal here. In this modern East Village restaurant, rutabagas, carrots and cabbage come off the bench and get pickled, chopped up, grilled, dried and smoked. Then they’re reborn as a dream team of pastas, puffs, pastes and plenty more – all served on a plate that any modernist painter would admire. This is the kind of place to bring your out-of-town vegetarian friend to show them what New York creativity is all about: after all, who comes all this way just for the namesake state cheesecake, when you can get the “celery cheesecake roll with celeriac ice cream” at Dirt Candy?