We love discovering options for eating healthy in the city. Our pick for summer 2014 is a little spot right in the heart of Chinatown. Besides…juicing and scouring menus to find something on lighter side is exhausting. At Dimes, a new health focused eatery by Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner, every dish you order from the kitchen, leaves you feeling satisfied, full of energy and like you have made a good food choice for the day ;).
For us, Dimes is just a short walk over the Williamsburg Bridge. We picked a gorgeous early summer morning to make the trip to Chinatown for breakfast. (Tip: these ladies know what’s up, the spot is bustlin’ on the weekends so get there early!)
If you don’t follow them yet, make sure to check out the Dimes Insta feed (@dimesny). That’s where we spotted the strawberry banana acai bowl and it was the first thing we ordered off their delicious menu. Alongside the strawberry banana goodness, its was topped with goji granola, bee pollen and mixed with house-made almond milk. For our morning eggs we shared thesunny up egg tartine with shaved asparagus and unbelievable house made-ricotta, with a side of fresh sliced avocado. (Did we mention we LOVE house made ricotta). To round out our meal, we opted for the big salad with greens, roasted plum, charred corn and candy cane beets tossed in a basil vinaigrette.
We were so enamored with our wonderful morning breakfast, we couldn’t wait to ask Sabrina and Alissa to get us some more details on their locavoristic kitchen, cooking tips and their favorite spots in the city. Check out their responses below.
xo Jenna and Nicole
1. Where did find inspiration for the healthy hangout concept come from?
Alissa: Sabrina and I were always looking for places to eat that were both fun and healthy and there was just nothing around. We always ended up at Whole Foods because it was the only place you could grab a salad that was filling. We wanted to create the type of place where we wanted to eat, and spend time everyday with a lot of delicious, healthy options.
2. What is your role within Dimes?
Alissa: I’m the chef and run back of house operations.
Sabrina: I deal with Front of house operations, branding and accounting.
3. What’s your favorite part about owning a restaurant?
Alissa: We have so many local regulars that eat at Dimes everyday - I love feeling like we’ve created a real neighborhood spot where everyone knows each other. Its creates such a fun, friendly atmosphere.
Sabrina: Its definitely rewarding to walk in there and know that our customers are content. I’m really proud of what we bring to the table. :)
4. Summer is hot, what are some necessary wardrobe pieces while at Dimes?
Alissa: loose clothes you can move in. Right now I’m into vintage silk short pajama sets. I’ll wear the shorts with a cotton top and the top with cutoffs or linen shorts.
Sabrina: Short dresses and a high ponytail!
5. What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Alissa: I love thai chilies for heat…..red-veined sorrel is an amazing way to bring a fresh, citrusy brightness to a dish…..the leaves are so beautiful.
6. Are you looking forward to any exciting summer escapes?
Alissa: I’m trying to plan a trip to Greece and Turkey but it may have to wait until fall. I will definitely be hitting local beaches in the meantime….dreaming about sand and sun.
Sabrina: Im going to Amalfi for a wedding in a few weeks. Can’t wait!
7. What made you choose your location in Chinatown?
Alissa: Sabrina and I both live here and saw a great opportunity to fill a void and contribute to our neighborhood. There were very few dining options when we opened but that seems to be changing rapidly.
8. If you could eat anywhere for the rest of your life where would it be?
Alissa: Sitting in the middle of my own dream garden and chomping fresh off the vine!!
Sabrina: Definitely anywhere in the mediterranean
9. In your opinion what’s NYC best kept secret?
Alissa: Foot Haven on Pell Street. Fantastic foot reflexology and massage that is insanely affordable.
Sabrina: The Mela Foundation, Dream house!
10. Who inspires you in business?
Alissa: I’ve had the opportunity to work for some amazing women business owners - Kazusa Jibiki, the owner of Lovely Day where Sabs and I met, as well as Eunice Lee, owner of Unis. Seeing the incredibly successful businesses they created was always so inspiring to me. I always knew I wanted that for myself one day and learned so much from them. They made going after your own dreams seem really possible.
Sabrina: I love it when I hear what our generation are doing in New York. We’re so incredibly lucky to be in a platform of wonderful opportunities, if you’re focused, of course.