Dimes chef Alissa Wagner dishes on her long love affair with dairy

Photo: Stonyfield

At Dimes, a healthy eating hotspot beloved by downtown fashion and creative types in New York City, there’s a hang-out-for-a-while vibe that keeps the Chinatown eatery packed from morning to night—with regulars even keeping the late afternoon “slow” hours buzzing.

One reason? Regulars know that owners Alissa Wagner and Sabrina De Sousa have thought of everything. Wagner, who trained as a fine artist and did stints in art and fashion before becoming a chef, is all about discernment: from the decor (minimalist-chic, with spare walls and pale wood booths and chairs) to the sourcing of the ingredients (“We don’t stand on any one dietary philosophy—just quality,” Wagner says).

“We wanted to create that home away from home where you really could eat three meals a day and your body would thank you for it—because we know how much people eat out. So we wanted a place where you’d feel better when you left, you’d feel energized,” she says.

What’s on the menu? Carefully sourced vegetables, fruits, and meat—and wellness world faves like kombucha on tap, house-made almond milk for coffee, and a “pH Tonic” with chlorella, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and honey. Plus: a healthy dose of fermented foods.

“I love grass-fed yogurt because it’s so versatile—you can use it for breakfast or use it instead of sour cream, for a bit of tangy, cooling, refreshing flavor,” says Wagner, who uses yogurt throughout the day on Dimes’ menu (with inventive pairings like roasted cod with avocado yogurt, and shishito peppers with poblano yogurt).

We stopped by Dimes Deli, their tiny sister spot a few doors down Canal Street from Dimes, to chat with Wagner about her food philosophy and what fuels her through the long days of an in-demand entrepreneur (let’s just say she’s bringing back your mom’s favorite—a big cold glass of whole milk). Check out the video above for the whole story.

What’s the difference between regular yogurt and 100 percent grass-fed yogurt? For more information on organic, non-GMO, 100 percent grass-fed yogurt (made without the use of artificial hormones), visit stonyfield.com

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