Written by Katy Coffield | Originally appeared in Rando Miami
DIRT, Miami Beach's eagerly awaited "fine food fast" eatery, is finally opening its doors on Monday! The counter-service restaurant will nourish health-conscious consumers with locally-sourced, vegetable-forward items all day long.
Located on Fifth Street between Collins and Washington Avenues, DIRT's mission is simple and straightforward: to create innovative, delicious, healthy cuisine that you can feel good about putting into your body. DIRT is committed to serving up its local, sustainable food with an emphasis on personal, warm hospitality. The environment complements the food perfectly-it's bright, sleek, and uplifting.
With Executive Chef Jonathan Seningen and Director of Operations and Chef de Cuisine Nicole Votano leading the kitchen, guests can enjoy DIRT's chef-driven fare at any time of day. Breakfast will offer a wide variety of options, including savory or sweet market-run oatmeal. Chefs Jonathan and Nicole will collaborate to create each day's flavors based on what is at peak quality each day: picture black truffle-scented oatmeal with English peas and Parmigiano Reggiano topped with a fried egg, or sweet oatmeal spiked with honey-roasted pineapple, toasted coconut, and dried cranberries. Mornings will also feature a "create your own" option: start with local eggs from Sun Fresh Farm and Ranch on crunchy Zak the Baker multigrain toast or herb farro drizzled with olive oil; then add avocado, kale, caramelized onions, or roasted fennel; and if that's not enough, you can top off your sandwich or bowl with organic pepperjack cheese or house-made chicken apple sausage.
Lunch will include a vast assortment of vegetable-centric options, as well as a few classics with a healthful culinary twist. "I am really loving our seasonal bowl right now," says Chef Nicole. "It starts with a butternut squash cashew 'cream' which is topped with roasted vadouvan curry cauliflower, quinoa, and arugula. It's then finished off with pomegranate and spiced pumpkin seeds for some crunchy texture. It's the kind of dish that even a carnivore can eat without missing the meat."
DIRT has also carefully planned its beverage program, starting with highly skilled baristas who will handcraft espresso-based drinks using DIRT's very own private label coffee (house-made nut milk available at no extra charge). Not a coffee drinker? Start your day off with a chef-driven smoothie, cold-pressed juice, or a cup of JoJo tea instead. For a nightcap and during weekend brunch, DIRT will serve a very unique selection of wine and sake cocktails created by Chef Jonathan, in addition to 4 local beers on tap.
Transparency is also a vital part of DIRT's core values-all ingredients have been carefully selected by the two chefs. "Guests will know exactly what they're eating-nutritional information and ingredient origin will be displayed in the restaurant, online, and on printed menus. A focal point of the restaurant will be a large display used to inform guests about the origin of our ingredients. It will also highlight local vendors and partners with whom we work closely," says Co-Founder and General Manager Jeff LaTulippe.
"We're offering our guests a vast array of options," LaTulippe continues. "There's something for every dietary restriction or personal preference-paleo, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, you name it. But the best part is it's all delicious, approachable, and clean, down-to-earth cuisine...that's why we call it DIRT."
"We want to elevate the idea of what a counter-service restaurant could be, and we want our guests to enjoy themselves no matter what they choose to eat or drink," says Chef Jonathan. "We've put just as much care into selecting our sustainable wines and crafting refreshing cocktails as we've put into creating our salads, juices, and breakfast bowls."
Prior to co-founding DIRT, Chef Jonathan spent nearly 25 years crafting inventive, sustainable cuisine. He was most recently Executive Chef at Elizabeth's Gone Raw, Washington, D.C.'s premier vegan eatery, after cutting his teeth in some of the finest kitchens in New York City (Atlas, Artisanal, and Chanterelle) and Washington, D.C. (Le Paradou, Hook, OYA, and SAX).
Chef Nicole began her career at Bradley Ogden's One Market Restaurant in San Francisco before moving on to the Biltmore Hotel, Michelle Bernstein Catering, and the fast casual Crumb on Parchment, where she was also Executive Chef. Chef Nicole most recently helmed the kitchen at Fooq's in downtown Miami, which she helped build from the ground up, during which time she was included in Modern Luxury's 2015 "5 Chefs to Watch".
Beyond its sustainable approach to food, DIRT has already embraced a charitable approach to the community. The restaurant has established a relationship with Feeding South Florida and has pledged to donate the equivalent of 1% of its sales to the non-profit organization from the day the doors open. DIRT will donate healthy grab-and-go items to support Feeding South Florida's Backpack Program, which provides food packs for children who don't have access to meals over the weekend.
In addition to DIRT's commitment to delicious food and philanthropy, the eatery is the only restaurant south of Orlando to earn certification by the United States Healthful Food Council's Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) program, a nationally recognized mark of excellence for environmental stewardship, high-quality sourcing, and holistic nutrition.
For more information, please visit www.dirteatclean.com and follow @DIRTeatclean on social media.