Cooking with Dimes

Writing & Production – Sam Wittwer
Photography – Maggie Shannon
Publisher – Need Supply Co.

Before arriving at the apartment of Dimes co-founder Sabrina de Sousa, where I’d be chatting with her and her business partner Alissa Wagner over lunch, I expected I would be waxing poetic about the appetizing scents lingering in the hall just outside her apartment door. Dimes, the endlessly raved about Chinatown restaurant that has made Sabrina and Alissa as famous as the who’s who of New York’s creative class that dine at the eatery on a regular basis, is known for its scrumptious and healthful dishes. While good food was on the horizon, what hit me as I crossed the threshold was a sense of déjà vu.

Just a few blocks east of Dimes, Sabrina’s home feels like a secret back room of their popular Chinatown restaurant – one where tabletops have become art and chairs from the café intermingle with pieces from Enzo Mari. For lunch, Alissa assembles a deceptively simple salad of pickled red onion, feta and sweet fresh peaches while Sabrina grabs a bottle of chilled Cabernet Franc to complement. Mars, the resident pup, watches over us with the wide smile of a dog who has spent the morning socializing at the dog park. The scene is characteristic of what more than one article has described as ‘Californian’ – a term applied as a coded way of saying ‘they use a lot of avocados.’ There is something to this of course, as avocados are featured prominently on their menu (as they should on most menus, I believe), but Dimes’ approach to health and wellbeing extends far beyond the contents of the plate. Health, the Dimes way, is fueled not just by delicious food, but by art, music and a laugh with friends.

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