Friday, February 13, 2009

Dirt Candy

I had dinner at Dirt Candy in the East Village recently, and it was a wonderful and organic-y experience. Dirt Candy is a relatively small space with reasonable but not great ambience, tucked into a niche on e 9th st. They are a very new operation, have few tables, and, because they're so popular, practically speaking require a reservation to get a table. You can get one on opentable.

To start with, their bread is outstanding, which is not surprising considering its provenance: it's from Sullivan St. bakery. Its memorable chewiness and floury goodness is an example of the excellent DC strives for.

I ordered jalapeno hush puppies as a starter, and they are deep fried balls of dough with japalenos in them. Unlike most deep fried foods, these were not heavy. They were light but at the same time crunchy and had the deep fried goodness you would expect. The lightness and complete lack of after-taste in the batter along with nice accent of the jalapenos made for a great start. They were served with a maple butter that was a little hard for my taste but beautifully cut the mild spice.

My main course was a tofu ragout on greens. The greens were beautiful and varied, the dish came out a vivid verdant shade. The website claims this is cooked in a keffir lime "beurre blanc," or butter sauce, and that's precisely how it tasted. The vegetables were cooked to perfection, and had a beautiful crunch, though not too much. The taste was understated but highly satisfying.

Overall, this is a superb vegetarian restaurant that takes seriously its mission of making great food that just happens to be vegetarian.

Stars: 5/5

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