"This spot feels very Japanese."
"Wow, this place has such a Greek island vibe."
"I feel like I'm in Santa Fe."
Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner, who own Dimes, the new wellness-focused spot on the new Lower East Side, have heard it all before. Diners can't put their finger on the what locale the quirky feel and radiant aesthetic is channeling. And they're okay with that.
For their part, the pair pin the 20-seat restaurant's vibe not on any geographic influence but on a simple and effective philosophy: "It's designed around what and how we like to eat personally on a day-to-day basis--food that we are never going to get sick of," says De Sousa.
Vegetables to the face | Chef Alissa Wagner
Further adding to its intrigue, Dimes is located on the far side of the Manhattan Bridge, off a stretch of Canal Street that both the business world and traffic have forgotten.
Pickled salmon | Bellocq teas line the shelves
Find your way there for a sandwich of scrambled eggs, avocado, cheddar and pickled cherry peppers ($6); breakfast is served all day. Try a big, big lunchtime bowl of herbed barley, crunchy julienned carrots, apple slices, black sesame tahini and scallions ($11). Dessert is coconut orange cake with a drift of cardamom and orange blossom cream ($4).
Sabrina De Sousa | Juice of the day
The menu manages to bridge the gap for those who like house-made almond milk (add $1.50) in their cold brew ($3.50) and those who want bacon in their roasted cauliflower with orange zest and pistachios ($6).
When we finally pressed them to describe the space's unique aura, De Sousa and Wagner summed it up as a "female Japanese artist in the '60s making postmodern art in an adobe."
Works for us.