They say that, in New York City, the only constant is change. While that may be true, my view is that the only constant is the better the restaurant, the smaller the space. This maxim bears out in the new kid to the East Village, The Dip.
Nestled between residential properties, The Dip asks its potential patrons to dip their bodies downward and into the literal hole in the wall that is this restaurant.
I’m being generous when I say the space can accommodate seven guests at once, maybe eight, if they’re malnourished. And there aren’t any tables, it’s all counter space and you’ll be lucky if you can snag a backless stool in a game of musical stools as customers enter and leave The Dip.
Their spare decor reflects the spare menu. There are five sandwiches to choose from, including a french dip, a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, and grilled cheese. You can order a French onion soup, fries, coleslaw, and/or some kind of salad for a side. As there’s no alcohol here, you’ll have to be satisfied with San Pellegrino or a Coke product.
All of this is fine because, small and spare as it may be, The Dip delivers big flavors.
MDP ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, which is enough for two people to feast on because there appears to be two chicken breasts crammed between the brioche bun halves. Cherry peppers and coleslaw adorn the sandwich, with a smear of mayo to do it justice. When I asked MDP how the sandwich is, he mumbled between bites very good so I’ll take that to mean the sandwich is, in fact, excellent.
I ordered the item to get at The Dip: the french dip sandwich. Delectable shaved steak rests aplenty on a toasted garlic bread roll, with gruyere and cherry peppers to round out the flavors. But the magic is in the deliciously salty au jus and thick, creamy horseradish on the side. Heaven on a foil wrapper.
We also ordered fries and coleslaw, which were nice addenda to an outstanding meal. The fries rival those of McDonald’s, but are far superior due to their just-right saltiness and crisp exterior. I found the coleslaw to taste fresh and feature just enough mayo without feeling too heavy.
While The Dip’s food is outstanding, it feels like they’re working out the kinks with fulfilling orders as of yet. The hipster-esque dude sitting next to me complained about being “here 15 minutes before [us] and they got their chicken first” to his model girlfriend. She demurred to comment on his chicken situation and went on to regale him about her eyebrow threading ritual as she stood beside him. In the end, he received his chicken sandwich a few minutes after we received our food and heartily consumed the fried chicken itself, but not the bun. Some kind of keto adaptation, I imagine.
Anyway, if you do attempt The Dip, visit on a nice day when you can take your food to go and eat at a nearby park or bench. A table is optimal if you order the french dip, so you have ample ability to, well, dip.
58 Saint Marks Place (Between First and Second Aves.)
New York, NY
Take the N to 8th Street or the 6 to Astor Place. Walk east.