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DIRT Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Originally appears in Miami New Times | By Clarissa Buch

In partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Dirt has pledged to donate $1 from each sale of the restaurant's new rosewater Greek yogurt parfait ($7.50) along with its favorite "blush" juice ($11), which blends watermelon, pineapple, lemon, and mint. The yogurt is made with gluten-free oats and spiced with cardamom, and some layers of parfait include dried blueberries and goji berries, which are filled with antioxidants believed to prevent breast cancer.

A Chat with Chef Nicole from DIRT

By Patricia |Originally appeared in Miami Nice

it's not every day that you can get me to drive from my comfy corner of Coral Gables to Miami Beach - just for lunch. But yesterday I did just that. I had no other reason to be there. I just needed that lavender latte again after first tasting it about a month before. 

And it wasn't just the lavender latte that brought me back, I could list you every single thing I tried on my first visit and each one weighed equally on my mind every day around lunch when I couldn't have it again. So I went back. Just for reference, here are the dishes Chef Nicole, a friendly, warm personality who doesn't talk about food like a 'chef' but like a cool friend who's seen everything on the Food Network and then took it to the next level and bought a smoker and a sous vide for her kitchen  - that is to say, she can talk about food like a friend. She helped us suss through the menu of delicious and healthy looking dishes to find the perfect order for us. In this case, that means one thing from every section of the menu: 

- Avocado Toast 

- Goat Cheese and English Pea Toast 

- Dirt x Jojo Tea Spring Salad by Tico. The Seasonal Salad was a collaboration with our friends, who also turn out to be Nicole's friends, at Jojo Tea. So we had to have that. It features a matcha vinagrette made with Jojo Tea. 

- Dirty Steak + Cheese Sandwich. 

- Curried Cauliflower Bowl

- The aforementioned Lavender Latte

- Dragon Fruit Lemonade 

That's right baby, these girls don't mess around. We needed a well rounded first taste. I can't pick a favorite, it would be impossible. I can tell you that it was a wonderful eating experience. Each plate beautiful, colorful, layered and tasty. It made me feel like I was in California without having to leave Miami - well, I did leave the mainland and drive back to the beach for my second visit. 

Below is  a chat with Chef Nicole:

 Hi Nicole! First and foremost, tell me who you are and what you do at DIRT?

Hi Nicole! First and foremost, tell me who you are and what you do at DIRT?
I'm a wife, and a Mother of two amazing kids. I'm an operating partner and executive chef at DIRT. What I do, well, that's a more complex answer . I do a little bit of everything. I write the menu and test the recipes for all our food, drinks, pastries, and packaged products, I do my fair share of events, I work on our social media and scout new locations with my partners Jeff and Matt, and I have a lot of fun doing all of it!

What I do, well, that's a more complex answer. I do a little bit of everything. I write the menu and test the recipes for all our food, drinks, pastries, and packaged products, I do my fair share of events, I work on our social media and scout new locations with my partners Jeff and Matt, and I have a lot of fun doing all of it!


What were you up to before this, very sweet, gig?
Before I started at DIRT I opened a restaurant called Fooqs in Miami's arts and entertainment district, where I developed a very eclectic menu that reflected both my culinary experience and my international upbringing in a small cozy restaurant in an up and coming neighborhood. Before that I worked with Michelle Bernstein for three years running her cafe Crumb on Parchment in the Design District, while also working with her on all of her events and catering, it was an awesome experience, I learned so much and really got to work with an awesome group of people who became my family.


The food at DIRT is beautiful, it's colorful, fun and artful - with a name like DIRT, that might not be what people expect...
Thank you! When I create each dish I think about it's appeal to the guest on all levels, flavor, texture, and beauty, really staying true to our mission to serve fine food fast. We work very hard to source amazing ingredients, they all have natural beauty, and I feel my job is to make those ingredients really shine. The name DIRT can definitely leave people not knowing what to expect, but to me, it makes all the sense in the world. We serve all natural, clean food that comes from the earth.


How would you sum up the philosophy of DIRT's menu?
DIRT's menu should show people that you don't have to give up anything to eat in a way that is good for you. I want people to know that the definition of "healthy" food doesn't have to mean plain, or boring. At DIRT our dishes are well sourced, inventive, and satisfying. They are influenced by flavors and trends from around the globe. You can get a great salad or bowl, or if it's a steak and cheese sandwich and a brownie that you are craving, you can still get it. The bonus is, at DIRT, you don't have to feel guilty about it because you know where it all came from, and that it has been made responsibly.


You mentioned to me when I was eating there that you bring a "girly" aesthetic to the food. Where do you see that on the menu?
My food does have a "girly" aesthetic, and I love that about it. It has happened organically over the years. As a young chef, I was so concerned about being categorized as a woman chef, that I really tried to hide the feminine side of my cooking and myself. But as I matured and got more comfortable, I realized that being a woman is a huge part of who I am, it's something to be proud of, and I should embrace that in every aspect of my life, including my career. I LOVE flowers, and color. Growing up my Mom always kept a colorful house filled with flowers, and it always made me feel happy and brightened my day. I try to make the guest have that same feeling through my food. Every dish is filled with color in all different forms, whether it be shaved vegetables, pea shoots, flowers or spices.

What's your favorite thing on the menu? Ok, I know that's hard, so you can pick one thing from each section if you'd like.

You're right, that's hard. It's like asking me to pick a favorite child, I can't do it!! Right now a few of my favorites are our Santorini Salad, which is our take on a Greek salad served, it has tomatoes, cucumbers, golden peppers, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, farro, Cerignola olives, and French feta on a base of harissa hummus.

I am also in love with our Spring Plate. It reminds me of a comforting Sunday dinner. Red and Yukon gold potatoes are smashed with garlic and shallot confit, Greek yogurt, olive oil, dill and tarragon, they are served under grilled broccolini that has been tossed with chili flakes, lemon juice, and olive oil, topped off with your choice of protein. My choice would be our marinated beef tenderloin. Steak and potatoes, "the DIRT way".


If you're not in the kitchen at DIRT, where can we find you?
When I'm not at DIRT or working on DIRT projects, you can find me at Orange Theory, I just started working out there and am loving it (I go at 530 am because that is the only time I can find in my day!!) Or hanging out with my husband and my kids at the beach or at home watching Netflix ("Chef's Table" and "Orange is the New Black" are two of my favorite shows).


What's your everyday breakfast?
When I first get to work I dial in the espresso machine, and make myself a cappuccino with whole grass fed milk. Around 10 AM I eat grapefruit and orange with sliced strawberries - I love fruit!

 

Current cocktail of choice?
The Trapper Keeper from The Anderson (definitely the coolest bar in Miami, and an industry hangout). It's made with Effen Vodka, Jasmine tea infused Mandarine Napoléon, Lemongrass and Club Soda. Under the description it says If you don’t have one you’re a loser. It's super refreshing and delicious.

Do you have any secret Miami spots you can share with us? It can be food, drink, a beautiful tree, anything.
I love Hialeah Park, the race track. It has a feeling of old Miami when it's filled with people, but when it is empty and quiet, it is so serene. It's one of the few places in Miami I can go to find some peace.


Is there anyone on the scene in Miami that you want to share with us? A friend or just someone you think is doing something mega-nice?
I have really fallen in love with a new coffee shop/ cafe called ALL DAY which is in the arts and entertainment district of Miami. The owner/ creator Camilla Ramos is committed to her really serious about coffee and her craft. The place has such an amazing vibe, an impeccably curated coffee selection, and delicious baked goods and food. I also LOVE what Diego Oka is doing at La Mar in The Mandarin Oriental! He does Peruvian food in such an inspired and modern way.... and his videos on

I also LOVE what Diego Oka is doing at La Mar in The Mandarin Oriental! He does Peruvian food in such an inspired and modern way and his videos on Instagram are so awesome!

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The 10 best vegetarian restaurants in Miami

By Virginia Gil | Originally appeared in TimeOut Miami

Skipping Miami steakhouses for occasional meals at the local salad joint is one thing, but it would take a carnivore Herculean effort to embrace vegetarian restaurants. Miami eateries have made the meat-free proposition less heroic by tapping into the local Latin you’d find at a Miami Cuban restaurant and sourcing produce from nearby farms. The result? Nourishing food that’s good for you and the beach body you’ve been sculpting at a Miami gym

DIRT

Farm-to-counter doesn’t get as much play as farm-to-table, but the reality is that most of us don’t have the leisure of time at every meal. That’s where new South Beach restaurant Dirt comes in, serving healthy, locally sourced dishes all day long. Much like other fast-casual restaurants, you’ll place your breakfast, lunch or dinner order at the counter. Liquids rule the breakfast menu, from espresso-based drinks made with Dirt’s own private-label coffee and house-made nut milk to cold-pressed juice and chef-blended smoothies. Lunch and dinner feature veggie-forward offerings that pair well with a glass of sustainable wine.

Here's Where to Find the Best Açaí Bowls in Miami

  By Greyceli Marin | Originally appeared in Miami Eater

Health forward restaurants are on the rise and DIRT is ahead of the pack. It's only been open a few months, but there's already a lot of buzz around its quinoa and veggie bowls, cold-pressed juices and sandwiches, all delivered in true farm-to-counter fashion.

Best Inexpensive Restaurant

Originally appeared in Miami New Times

There's so much to love about Dirt, not the least of which is that no single item costs more than $16. Such prices are rare in South Beach, especially when you consider Dirt isn't serving just run-of-the-mill fare. Indeed, this fast-casual concept is committed to offering clean food that's locally sourced whenever possible, and best of all — it tastes amazing. That's largely because the restaurant's director for culinary operations is Nicole Votano, a classically trained chef who was the top toque at Fooq's, where she garnered praise for her comforting yet chef-driven cuisine.Dirt has four menus: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and Paleo, but most dishes are built around vegetables and allow for a choice of protein. A favorite is the nourish bowl ($12), starring quinoa, sprouted chickpeas, lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, golden raisins, shaved carrot, mole vinaigrette, and cucumber-mint yogurt. Throw in some orange-basil chicken, and call it a very healthy day.

Readers' choice: Batch Gastropub

232 Fifth St., Miami Beach, 33139

MAP

305-239-3000

dirteatclean.com

The Ten Best Healthy Restaurants in Miami

By Nicola Haubold | Originally appeared in Miami New Times

3. Chef Nicole Votano offers fast-casual dining in a bright and airy environment at Dirt in South Beach. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, customers can order from Paleo-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-sensitive menus depending upon dietary restrictions. Dishes change seasonally, but some crowd favorites are almond butter and jam toast ($6) and the nourish bowl ($12), which is made with farro, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, and caramelized onions.

Neighborhood Guide: Where to Get the Best Iced Coffee in Miami

By Mallory Evans | Originally appeared in Ocean Drive

 Lavender Ice Tea Latte

Lavender Ice Tea Latte

Miami Beach: DIRT

After enjoying a lavender iced latte during a trip to Napa, California, chef Nicole Votano knew she had to recreate this "perfect and delicate" drink at her Miami Beach café, DIRT. "It’s the [ideal] drink for summer, as lavender grows like wildfire this time of year," Votano says, noting that the flavor profile is amplified when paired with one of DIRT’s house-made cherry crostatas or rosemary-spiked rice crispy treats. 232 Fifth St., Miami Beach, 305-763-8548

Where to Eat Lunch in South Beach Right Now

By Priscilla Blossom | Originally appeared in Miami.com

There are so many beautiful things about South Beach: the ocean, the people, the architecture and, also, the food. You can find a wonderful variety of culinary delights here, from first-rate steak houses to refreshing vegan juice bars--fitting for an area that prides itself on its diverse population. No matter what you crave at noontime, you’re certain to find something to fill you up and keep you satisfied and we’ve rounded up the best of the best for your future eating pleasure.

What's Healthy

DIRT

For those concerned with the environmental impact of their meals, look no further than Dirt--a fast casual eatery that’s committed to serving up meals that are seasonal, organic, and local. Vegan and vegetarians love it for the avocado toast, santorini salad, and berkley beets wrap. Omnivores and the paleo crowd fawn over the dirty steak and cheese (served in a collard wrap) and curried cauliflower bowl.

232 5th Street, Miami Beach; 305-763-8548

Best Dishes to Celebrate Summer

By Alexandria Guerro | Originally appeared in Doral Magazine

For those looking for a healthier treat that bursts with flavor, DIRT is Miami's newst groundbreaking succes that can be described as "fine fast food." Executive Chef Nicole Votano, uses fresh, seasonal ingredients.  For their summer offerings, the sustainable eatery collaborated with local tea purveyors behind JoJo Tea. The DIRT xJoJo Tea Salad by TIco combines local greens from Sun Fresh Farm & Ranch tossed with broccolini, English peas, asparagus, multi-colored carrots, and sauteed mushrooms. The salad is then lightly tossed with JoJo's fresh matcha green tea and lemon vinaigrette and finished with pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds. 

232 5th Street, Miami Beach, FL, 33139

8 Superheroes of Miami’s Dining Scene

8 Superheroes of Miami’s Dining Scene

At this fast-casual health-food haven in South Beach, an array of organic, affordable options are on offer, including customizable quinoa bowls and greens topped with proteins like grass-fed beef or free-range chicken, creative sandwiches, cold-pressed juices, smoothies and espresso drinks. Outfitted with wooden furniture, marble countertops and metallic accents, the cool decor is just as chill as the veggie-forward menu.

GETTING DIRT-Y WITH IT

GETTING DIRT-Y WITH IT

It’s time for all of you to get the dirt on Dirt restaurant nestled on 232 5th Street, Miami Beach. I’ve been on a gluten-free and clean food kick for the past year (I know, I’m a little late to this party) and I’ve been hooked on Dirt since its opening — because the eats are a triple threat: Delicious, healthy and inexpensive.

Eating Clean at Dirt: Serving Fine Food Fast

Eating Clean at Dirt: Serving Fine Food Fast

Since opening in November of 2015, DIRT has been successful in its mission to serve high-quality, well-executed dishes that you’d expect at a sit-down restaurant.

The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has also recognized the restaurant for innovative design and architecture. Housed in a bright, airy space on a busy section of South Fifth Street, it is an example of how counter-service can be elevated to meet the standards of customers typically accustomed to a typical restaurant setting.

4 South Florida restaurants to try right now

By Carlos Frías | Originally appeared in Miami.com

There's no need to save tasty dining for the weekend.

Here are four restaurants to try today from "Dining Discoveries" food writer Linda Bladholm. Mom-and-pop restaurants are the heart of Miami and Bladholm gives us an inside look at what makes these special.

Her column highlighting South Florida restaurants appears weekly in the Miami Herald.

DIRT EAT CLEAN

"Whether you adhere to a vegan, vegetarian or Paleo diet, there is something for all at Dirt Eat Clean in South Beach. It’s a hip café with all-day smoothies, housemade juices and nut milks flavored with cocoa powder. Most of the menu is plant based with vegetables the star." (Read more)

232 5th Street, Miami Beach (at Washington). 305-239-3000, dirteatclean.com

DIRT Restaurant in South Beach

By Santiago Cardona| Originally appears in Miami Food Tours

If you’re in South Beach looking for local and healthful food, there is no question that the one place you should head to is DIRT. Helmed by Chef Nicole, who was the executive chef at Michelle Bernstein’s Crumb on Parchment and Fooq’s, the food coming out of the kitchen is not only conscious of its environment and community, but also downright inspiring. While trying to adopt a mostly local approach to its food offerings, the menu manages to be seasonal and flavorful, relying more on the essence of the ingredients instead of the things that are added to them.

Walking in, you are treated by an apt Florida sculpture that pin-points which ingredients are coming from where in Florida. Conversely, DIRT is also extremely transparent as to which ingredients aren’t local and also highlights where they are from. “There are some ingredients that you just can’t find locally,” mentioned Nicole. “We don’t want to miss out on some amazing micro-seasonal produce that other cities get.” Ingredients like rhubarb and leeks, amongst others,  are hard to find locally, but still produce incredible dishes. These are the type of dishes and ingredients Nicole is referring to. DIRT works with small, organic, local farms using practices that support and sustain the earth, and the DIRT team meets with their farmers personally to ensure that standards for produce and how it is grown is mutual between both of them.

The harissa-spiked Hummus served with olive oil grilled Zak the Baker toast was an apt way to start the meal. The hummus has a great, ultra-smooth and -creamy texture, while maintaining a subtly spiced flavor that quickly became one of my favorite hummuses in the city. The grilled bread served to dip into the hummus took it over the top, as I’m sure we all know how great Zak the Baker bread can be. Next came the quinoa-crusted fish Po- Boy. Served with zucchini jalapeño slaw, local tomatoes, basil leaves, and Greek yogurt remoulade, this sandwich was an exercise in how to properly lighten up a notoriously heavy dish. The quinoa breading properly mimicked the cornmeal breading you normally see on Po-Boys, and the fish was as great as what can be expected from locally caught fish in South Florida. The delightful slaw added a refreshing and somewhat spicy element to a sandwich that was extremely balanced. - See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

Most impressive of all was the Spring Plate, which allows you to choose a protein and have it served alongside greek yogurt and olive oil smashed potatoes, spicy grilled broccolini, with herbs and shaved vegetables. Nicole wouldn’t stop raving about how special her eggs were, so I definitely decided to go with that as my protein. Nicole was right about her eggs, which were as pure tasting as any eggs I could imagine and had a golden yolk that essentially acted as its own sauce on the plate. The mashed potatoes were perfectly seasoned and somewhat lumpy, yet balanced due to the extra tang coming from the greek yogurt. Bringing it all together was the charred broccolini, which added a different aspect of flavor to the dish while adding some texture as well. Overall, this was a great way to highlight the ingredients the season has to offer.

Even though DIRT is trying to appeal to those looking for healthy alternatives in South Beach, there is no doubt that what is coming out of the kitchen is some of the best local food in the city. By focusing on maintaining the integrity of the ingredients, DIRT brings something new to the beach. Something that the beach was missing.

Food Editor, Santiago Cardona

- See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/dirt-restaurant-south-beach/#sthash.xfAmOHbq.iU1KaZ9n.dpuf

Where to Spot a Celebrity in Miami Any Day of the Week

By Ashley Brozic | Originally appeared in OceanDrive Magazine

DIRT: When David Beckham is in town, you can almost always find him at DIRT, South Beach’s hippest healthy food spot. It’s a favorite of stars looking for a casual and healthy bite, especially in the AM. 232 Fifth St., 305-763-8548

6 Healthy Salads That Will Keep You Energized This Summer

6 Healthy Salads That Will Keep You Energized This Summer

Billed as a "fine food fast" eatery and wellness bar, Miami Beach’s DIRT has been serving up a delightful assortment of vegetable-centric and seasonal dishes since its inception last November. Currently on deck is the DIRT x JoJo Tea Spring Salad by Tico, a bright blend of veggies finished with matcha tea-infused vinaigrette. When you visit, be sure to order a cup of passion fruit kombucha or private label coffee made with house-made almond and Brazil nut mylk. 

DIRT Named Best Inexpensive Restaurant in Miami

DIRT Named Best Inexpensive Restaurant in Miami

There's so much to love about DIRT, not the least of which is that no single item costs more than $16. Such prices are rare in South Beach, especially when you consider Dirt isn't serving just run-of-the-mill fare. Indeed, this fast-casual concept is committed to offering clean food that's locally sourced whenever possible, and best of all — it tastes amazing.

DIRT Launches Seasonal Summer Menu Inspired by Light, Fresh Flavors and Locally-Sourced Ingredients

DIRT Launches Seasonal Summer Menu Inspired by Light, Fresh Flavors and Locally-Sourced Ingredients

Miami Beach’s “fine food fast” casual eatery and wellness bar, DIRT, debuts a new menu with the warmer weather of the Summer months in mind. The menu is rooted in seasonality, using many local ingredients to create light yet satisfying dishes filled with crisp refreshing flavors and vibrant colors.

A Dozen Delicious Dishes

By David Rosendorf | Originally appeared in Edible South Florida

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In South Florida, it can also be the most interesting. Do a little exploring, and you’ll find several ways to start your day that are a lot more exciting than a bowl of soggy cereal.

 

Jalisco Bowl at Dirt

Why We Love It: Fast casual no longer has to mean junk food. At Dirt, you order at the counter, but you get fresh, clean stuff like their Jalisco Bowl: a hearty but health-conscious breakfast of quinoa or farro.

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