Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of the vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy, laminates the loss of her neighbor Atomic Passion, on her blog Dirt Candy NYC. I never shopped at the East Village thrift shop Atomic Passion, but with its distinctive signage it was a landmark in finding the compact yet chic Dirt Candy. I adore Dirt Candy, from its clever name to its imaginative menu. The Jalapeno Hush Puppies with Maple Butter are a menu stable. The maple butter, like other menu items, has a vegan substitute on request. Everything is surprising and tasty; its less about being non-meat and more about celebrating an expanded approach to vegetables. My “foodie” companion on my November trip to Dirt Candy said it was the first time she found a vegetarian meal to be satisfying. My mind and taste buds are still blown over the grapefruit pops on the fall menu’s salad; juicy segments of grapefruit on skewers with a hard sugar-coating on the outside, created a simultaneous experience of crunchy & juicy, sweet & tangy. The grapefruit pops are not on the current menu but one can hope they will be resurrected one day; the fate of Atomic Passion, less promising.

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David Deatherage is available via Century Design Ltd. Personal note(s): He was Mad Men chic before the Mad Men were on the radar. Hugely so.

(image: Dirt Candy)

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