Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Stories: East Village’s Dirt Candy Is Open

Come down to Dirt Candy for Chef Amanda Cohen’s Portobello Mousse with Pear and Fennel Compote + other delicious dishes!

Restaurant Name: Dirt Candy
Location: East Village
Years in business: Four
Status: Fully open and operational.
Damage: None to restaurant; flood damage at storage space for online store.
Losses: Entire food inventory; five days of service.
Owner: Chef Amanda Cohen

Prior to Sandy, had you ever had to deal with a disaster situation at this or any restaurant?

For Irene, we closed for that night, but it was one evening, and it really wasn’t a disaster.There’s been nothing like this.

When did you shut the doors to prepare for the storm?

On Sunday, we came in and prepared. We weren’t sure that we wouldn’t be able to reopen on Tuesday, so on Monday, we actually took in product orders. We  thought that the worst case might be that if we couldn’t reopen Tuesday, we’d be back by Wednesday. We wanted to be be prepared.

When did you first go back to the restaurant and realize the extent of the losses?

On Tuesday, we walked down here. I live about 20 blocks away, so it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, we realized right away that we didn’t have power. We didn’t touch anything, hoping that the refrigerator would stay cool enough, the freezer would stay frozen, and we wouldn’t have massive losses. But, by Wednesday, following up with Con Ed and  listening to all the news conferences, we realized the earliest we could possibly get power would be Friday. At that moment, we knew there was just no way we could save anything. So, Thursday morning, we came down and threw out everything that was in the restaurant.

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Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Stories: JoeDoe in the East Village Online + Open

JoeDoe owners and operators Chef Joe Dobias and Jill Schulster pose with their famous housemade Fried Matzo outside their restaurant.

Restaurant Name: JoeDoe
Location: East Village
Years in business: Four
Status: Fully open.
Damage: None.
Losses: Minimal amounts of food; six days of service.
Owner: Joe Dobias

Prior to Sandy, had you ever had to deal with a disaster situation at this or any restaurant?

I’ve been here for quite a few of them recently. I was here for the blackout in ’03. The restaurant I was working at on the Upper East Side lost everything there. That wound up going out of business, not directly as a result of that, but it was the final nail in the coffin.

Then, in 2006, I was working in Queens when much of it was blacked out for days. We actually wound up barbecuing in the street in front of that restaurant, serving $10 plates of food a night. So, I’ve been through things like this previously, and the idea that anyone in an official capacity was surprised by the intensity of this storm is ridiculous.

When did you shut the doors to prepare for the storm?

We closed down early in anticipation of it, losing all of Sunday night. Then, at 8PM on Monday night, we lost power. I hear people talking about losing tens of thousands in inventory, but we were fortunate. We were at the end of the week, and we close on Mondays anyway. Also, we’re extremely careful when it comes to ordering, so we were down to a very minimal amount of food.

What have your post-Sandy reopening efforts entailed?

We opened the doors on Thursday evening with candles and some friends at the bar. We only stayed open until 8:30PM and then, as soon as we shut the doors, we all left together. The city should not be unlit, and it was.

You could sense the angst as you walked the streets. Everybody looked un-showered, unclean, and really, really tired. And that’s when I started getting nervous.

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Hudson Valley + Long Island Restaurant Weeks Happening Now Post-Sandy!

Don’t miss your chance to dine for less and do good by supporting restaurants in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy!

We’re thrilled to report that, despite the challenges metropolitan New York area restaurants have faced with Hurricane Sandy, two amazing restaurant weeks are happening right now.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week kicked off on Monday, and runs through Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Restaurants will offer special three-course $20.95 lunches and $29.95 dinners. Participants include Harvest on Hudson, Tarry Lodge Portchester, and Zitoune, among many others. Book your tables early — and often!

On Sunday, Long Island Restaurant Week launched with $24.95 three-course dinners! Please note that due to Hurricane Sandy, many participants have decided to extend the promotion until Sunday, November 18, so that people who may not make it out this week may visit restaurants next week. Please call any restaurants before visiting to be sure they are open. Participating restaurants include Fifth Season, Luce & Hawkins, MP Taverna, and Stone Creek Inn. Make a reservation today!


Atlantic City Restaurants Open for Business Post-Sandy: Updated 11/16/12

As you probably know, many restaurants in the Atlantic City area affected by Hurricane Sandy are open for business. Some are accepting reservations online, while others may only be able to accept reservations via phone or in person because of outage issues in the area. Dine out and show your support to restaurants who have lost vital days of business, and check back for new additions.

Basilicos Ristorante (609-263-1010) See Profile >

Carmine’s – Atlantic City (609-572-9300) See Profile >

Dock’s Oyster House (609-345-0092) See Profile >

Ebbitt Room (609-884-5700) See Profile >

Fitzpatrick’s Deli & Steakhouse (609-653-8155) See Profile >

Il Mulino New York – Atlantic City (609-449-6006) See Profile >

Johnny’s Cafe (609-822-1789) See Profile >

Knife & Fork Inn (609-344-1133) See Profile >

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Atlantic City (609-449-1044) See Profile >

P.F. Chang’s – Atlantic City (609-348-4600) See Profile >

Palm Restaurant – Atlantic City (609-344-7256) See Profile >

Ram’s Head Inn (609-652-1700) See Profile >

Smithville Inn (609-652-7777) See Profile >

The Blue Pig Tavern (609-884-8421) See Profile >

Trattoria Il Mulino – Atlantic City (609-449-6004) See Profile >

Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery – Steaks & Seafood (609-347-7800) See Profile >