Amanda Cohen pioneered vegetarian fine dining in Manhattan with the 2008 opening of her pocket size Dirt Candy, which has become one of the city’s most sought-after reservations. In 2015, she relocated Dirt Candy to a light-filled, 60-seat space in the Lower East Side, designed by graffiti artist Noah McDonough in an elegant black and white floral motif. Highlights on Cohen’s playful and original menu include kale matzoh ball soup with a poached egg, Brussels sprouts tacos served on a sizzling stone, and jalapeno hush puppies accompanied by rich maple butter. Since Dirt Candy reopened, the restaurant became the first in New York City to eliminate tipping; instead, employees are offered a living wage above the state minimum, as well as profit sharing.

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