Fork in the Road reviews Dirt Candy

Carrot risotto

This week, I take a trip to Dirt Candy, where the vegetarian food is so zippy and pleasurable that it doesn't even occur to you to miss meat. Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner, mans the tiny kitchen, and her cooking prioritizes flavor and whimsy above health. Take the salads, for instance--one is garnished with awesome deep fried trumpet mushrooms, the other with grilled cheese croutons and a candied grapefruit segment. I thought the best dishes were the grits with a tempura egg, cuitlacoche purée and pickled shitake mushrooms, and the silky, dense portobello mousse.

The room is really odd, lit with an otherworldly, yellow-ish glow, and tiny, seating only about 19. So be sure to get a reservation.

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Dirt Candy
430 East 9th Street, 212-228-7732

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