Dig, the chain formerly known as Dig Inn, is better known as a quick, nothing-else-is-around office worker lunch spot than as destination dining. But for the company’s first full-service restaurant opening next week, they’ve brought in a highly credentialed team known for their fine dining chops — people who, if all goes as the company hopes, will help establish the Dig brand as more than just a place for weekday lunch.
Running the show at 232 Bleecker is chef Suzanne Cupps, who used to work at Gramercy Tavern and Untitled, where she was heralded for her vegetable-focused dishes. The director of operations Katie Bell previously worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Agern, while beverages come from Theo Lieberman, an Eleven Madison Park alum.
Cupps was persuaded to take on the project after a chat with Dig founder Adam Eskin, convinced that he wanted to change the way people eat with a focus on eating more vegetables, she tells Eater. Before her job offer, she’d only visited the fast-casual chain a couple of items.
“It’s hard to get people to eat vegetables in just one way, and I got that excitement from [Adam] that he wanted to do something different over here,” Cupps says.
At 232 Bleecker, she’s working with many of the same farmers and producers that she did at Untitled. Many of those vegetables will be cooked in a central, wood-burning hearth, like charred cauliflower, grilled carrots, and banana squash with pumpkin seed mole.
Even in the meat dishes at 232 Bleecker, vegetables will play a starring role. That’s on display in dishes like the grilled chicken, which is served with sweet potatoes, black garlic aioli, and a hot sauce made with aji dulce peppers; and the roasted blackfish that comes in a green curry with turnips and fingerling potatoes.
Cupps will also be making pasta from scratch, a first for her as head chef. There’s a lasagna with three cheeses, plus a tagliatelle with crab, Jimmy Nardello chile peppers, and einkorn, a type of wild wheat that’s used in dishes in Provence, France.
“What I really love about project is that it is both a continuation and a culmination of my work at Annisa, Gramercy Tavern, and Untitled,” she says.
Dig’s first full-service restaurant was made possible in large part due to a $15 million investment from Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments. Picking Cupps to lead this new vegetable-focused restaurant seemed like a natural fit considering her meteoric rise through the ranks at Meyer’s Untitled.
When the new restaurant opens on Monday, it will seat 55 people, with some additional seating on the patio on Carmine Street. Dig currently has over 30 locations in New York and Boston, with plans to open a Philadelphia location as well. This however marks Dig’s first foray into formal dining.
232 Bleecker will be open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5-11 p.m., and from Sunday to Tuesday from 5-10 p.m. It will open for lunch and brunch sometime in January.