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Dirt Candy, NYC

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My apologies for the delay! Here’s the first of my NYC restaurant entries. My parents and I went to New York recently and lived way beyond our means trying out restaurants! This was our favourite, and the first we tried– Dirt Candy in the East Village. (My apologies for the orange lighting– it’s just the way the restaurant is lit.) Technically a vegetarian restaurant, but they will make every dish on the menu vegan, and in the most delicious way I can imagine. My mom ordered a non-vegan entree, but everything else we ordered was the vegan version, and was insanely phenomenal, to be all effusive and such. A relatively new restaurant on the New York vegan scene, Dirt Candy is really raising the already-quite-high bar.

Above we have Jalapeno Hush Puppies with (vegan) Maple Butter. Maple Butter was so rich and delicious we could barely stand it.

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This, this. Portobello Mousse with fennel pear compote. I did a lot of internet research before going to all these restaurants, and the consensus seems to be that this is Dirt Candy’s signature dish, and I’d agree. What I really loved about this restaurant was that the focus was on bringing out the best flavour in the vegetables themselves, rather than just piling on other flavours willy nilly. This cube of portobello mousse had the most delicious, complicated mushroom flavour– it was addictive and rich, and so satisfying that we could share it between three people and come away completely satisfied. Elsewise on the plate we have fennel pear compote, truffle oil crostini, and some sauteed mixed mushrooms. They also bring bread before the food is served, which is great for using up more of the maple butter, and my mom preferred putting the mousse on the bread rather than the truffle toasts. I, on the other hand, was all about the truffle toasts.

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Asparagus Paella with artichokes, morels, saffron tomato broth. This was my entree. This was probably my least favourite thing I tasted, but was still very, very delicious. The grilled vegetables were perfectly done and tasted sooo beautiful. The sauce was also delectable and we all enjoyed the mildly sweet crispy rice disc you see atop the dish. Once you get down to the mound of rice underneath, though, it becomes slightly johnny-one-note with smoked paprika. Again, though, it was just that our taste buds were so spoiled with everything else that our standards had gone astronomical. This was very delicious. Especially the mushrooms and the asparagus. Magic happened there.

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Crispy Tofu with Green Ragout, with (vegan) kaffir lime beurre blanc. This was dad’s entree, and we all loved it! Richness balanced very well with bright citrus flavour, deliciously done vegetables and some of the best crispy tofu we’ve ever tasted. I don’t know how they did it– the crispy crust tasted like crispy chicken skin, in a good way (I know, a little blasphemous.) Mom had the pappardelle with golden beets– I didn’t take a picture because it wasn’t vegan, but she raved over it.

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Mint Nanaimo Bar. This was one of two vegan desserts on offer that night; the other was a caramel salty popcorn pudding, which sounded very intriguing to me, but the ‘rents preferred this option. Very tasty indeed– the green layer was sweet pea ice cream, and the dessert was infused with fresh mint flavour that was herbaceous and fresh, due to real mint, rather than bottled mint flavouring flavour that you’d normally expect from a mint square (cf. my Midnight Mints entry!)

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Grapefruit Pops. These came free with the bill. Fresh grapefruit sections coated in a hard grapefruit candy shell. Very fun, and hard to eat, but tasty!

There you are, a gargantuan entry for a fantastic restaurant!

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Written by phdelicious

August 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Meals

2 Responses

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  1. I was so delighted when I clicked on your blog and it wasn’t that grilled cheese sandwich at the top! Everything here looks AMAZING. I also love the name ‘Dirt Candy’ as it kind of sounds like it should be a Courtney Love song…

    Sarah

    August 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

  2. I’m so glad!! I thought of you when I finally got around to updating; I thought “Sarah will be pleased!”

    phdelicious

    August 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm


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