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.