By Tom McDermott
Not so long ago, Mission Impossible for home cooks was how to get their family to devour, or at least touch, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Too often they were left to languish on dinner plates throughout the land. But, as the Nobel Laureate sang, “The times they are a-changin’.”
Enter Dig Inn, which recently opened its first suburban location, an expansive, light-filled, farm-to-table restaurant in The Rye Ridge Shopping Center, where regionally farmed seasonal vegetables take center stage.
Dig Inn chefs make use of seasonal foods, make all meals from scratch, and serve mostly vegetables. The restaurants do not provide table service. Instead, guests order at the counter from a patient server. Simplified, seasonal menus are cleverly hung by clips near the order line. Each guest is guided through their choices by the server. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, but this is a lot easier and tastier than trigonometry.
The Market Bowl at lunch or dinner is the foundation of the menu, priced from $9.78 to $12.81 on the days that we visited. Guests choose one base item – farm greens, toasted farro, brown rice, or miso noodle, for example. Next come Market Sides – the aforementioned Brussels sprouts with maple and sriracha (Thai sauce), roasted carrots, Sicilian cauliflower, or a half-dozen other choices. Then come seven or eight protein choices – Happy Valley meatballs, wild sockeye salmon, grilled steak, and both herb-roasted chicken breasts or charred, boneless thighs. All animals are raised without harmful antibiotics and given space to roam.
Dig Inn also serves a Melting Broth, made from a vegetable base and kombu seaweed, fundamental to Japanese cuisine. Broth cups come straight up or with coconut matcha (from green tea), and hot lemon with whole egg. Bowls include Miso noodles, pesto chicken, and spicy curried vegetables. Portions tend to be generous; add a house-made dressing and you’re set to go or stay. The sky-it back room is particularly inviting.
Guests adding a side to a Market bowl pay an extra two dollars. Beverages include an assortment of teas, coffees, and expressos. Wine and beer is served, with mimosas and Bloody Marys available at brunch on weekends. A breakfast menu currently includes eggs, avocado toast, seasonal frittata and other items. There is also a Little Digs menu for little people, although Executive Chef Catherine Ross conceded that some bigger folk like them too.
While Ross has been with Dig Inn only a short time, she is already well versed in the Dig way and how to flatten out the learning curve for guests. As for training new staff, Ross said, “We had a Neat Team of seasoned veterans help with opening for about three weeks.
Best bets: while they last, add pinkish Chioggia beets to your meal, before their season ends soon. Not fond of chicken thighs? Take the leap: Dig’s boneless dark meat thighs are in a different class. Looking for value? Hint, a Market Bowl with a side or two can easily be shared by two for lunch or dinner.
For takeout orders, choose the Rye Ridge location at www.diginn.com
Dig Inn, 112 South Ridge Street, Rye Brook.