Dirt Candy (Lower East Side)

The only time I’d been to Dirt Candy before was during the pandemic, when they served brunch. I had a somewhat life-changing croque madame that was so rich I could only eat half of it at a time. I’ve been meaning to come back ever since, and the summer menu looked pretty great. And yep, this was a pretty amazing meal. Not a misstep among the courses, although I thought some dishes (the tomato) had an edge over others (the eggplant). Perfect amount of food, very well-paced. And now I want to come back to try the fall menu.

From top: blini with “caviar” (still not sure what this was, but it was very caviar-like!); tomato cupcake, fried green tomato, gazpacho; green pepper “crudo” with jalapeno and avocado mousse; zucchini spring roll with cream cheese and 75 other things; “chop cheese” that involved kimchi somehow; eggplant with some kind of Moroccan cheese and 75 other things; a tamale impersonating an ear of corn; cake which was supposed to taste like peanut butter and jelly (it did not, but it was very good anyway).


What impressed me greatly was that the food - while obviously trying very hard - never seemed overwrought or self-consciously “playful.” Despite the very many ingredients in each dish, everything worked well together and nothing seemed superfluous. This meal is up there with the best I’ve had.


I’m very impressed that they’re keeping up the high quality long after the hype train has moved on! Great pix, as usual, thanks!

Thanks! Yeah, they were really firing on all cylinders. If I had to find fault, it would be that the cocktails weren’t all that. I had two: one with gin and green pepper, the other with gin and something else - maybe fennel? Kind of blah.

1 Like

I try to get there on every trip to NY. I’m never disappointed.