Trend: Vegetable-forward restaurants are becoming a thing


5 stars for the trend, 3.5 stars for Dirt Candy.

I finally got to Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen’s VERY hot spot on Allen Street on Saturday night (review below).  Dirt Candy aside, I love the fact that more chefs are becoming vegetable-centric. Narcissa, which opened at the Standard East Village in 2014 with chef John Fraser at the helm is one of my absolute favorites.  I always get the carrot fries, the rotisserie-crisped beets and the carrots wellington – along with their fish dishes which are fantastic.

Read below for more on Dirt Candy with photos plus info on the most influential veggie-centric chefs/restaurants working around the country.
Dirt Candy offers some amazing dishes – the Korean Fried Broccoli is unbelievably good! –  but most dishes are  just average e.g. I would not come back for the portobello mousse with sauteed asian pears and truffle toast – nicely plated but not memorable. For dessert I had the highly recommended corn cake with popcorn ice cream, again only so-so. And because this is a “no tipping” restaurants, they add 20% service charge so a very simple dinner for one costs $70 – which I think is too pricey for one appetizer, one mushroom mousse, one dessert and one cocktail – all while sitting at the counter.


FullSizeRender 95

Monkey bread

FullSizeRender 96

Korean broccoli – AMAZING!!!

FullSizeRender 98

Portobello mousse, toast and pear

FullSizeRender 94

Not crazy about this corn dessert

FullSizeRender 93

My counter neighbor had this onion, beet, chocolate dessert that looked pretty fabulous.

VEDGE, in Philadelphia, is considered one of the best restaurants in America and it serves vegetable-centric haute cuisine. My friend, Cary Lawson, raves about Vedge every time she is back in Philadelphia. Can’t wait to try it.


Vedge 1221 Locust Street

COI in San Francisco under chef Daniel Patterson has been exceedingly vegetable-forward but may shift direction with the naming of their new young chef, Matthew Kirkley.


SEMILLA in Brooklyn is getting raves (will check out in late August when they are back from their vacation!).


NEXT HOT VEGETABLE: Cauliflower and carrots


carrots wellington at Narcissa

Link to full article from the “What’s Hot? A Menu Trends Forecast” presentation July 25 at the 2015 Produce Marketing Association’s PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo here.

Share this post on: