Candle 79

Here is the review you have all been waiting for! My epic weekend in NYC would not have been complete without a trip to famed vegan eatery, Candle 79, and I am thrilled to report that it did not disappoint. Candle 79’s philosophy is “To share our passion of vegan, organic, and seasonal cuisine, while eliminating dependence on animals as a food source and minimizing our carbon footprint” – a mission I was happy to support with my huge appetite.

photo credit: ny times

Candle 79

154 E 79th St
New York, NY 10075

(212) 537-7179

Candle 79’s interior reminded me of an intimate dinner party, with its bi-leveled seating and dim and romantic lighting setting the mood for a perfect date night. There is a relaxing and laid back energy that hits you as soon as you step in the door, with a full service bar serving an interesting variety of organic spirits. My date and I were seated in an intimate nook by the floor to ceiling windows, which gave me an added opportunity to take in the New York City landscape.

photo credit: planet eye traveler

Although the service was a little slow our waiter was knowledgable and attentive.
The chef brought my date and me a little amuse bouche of quinoa, sprinkled with shredded carrots and topped with what I think was an avocado cream.

Off the menu quinoa amuse bouche

I loved this mildly flavored mini-app. This treat set the pace for the delicious items I was about to experience.
When it came time to order we started with some apps: the polenta fries and brussel sprouts.

Polenta fries served with ketchup and my special requested side of chipotle aoli

These fries (and we all know my sick obsession with any and every kind of fry) were absolutely marvelous and some of the most delicious and inventive kind of fries I have ever eaten. Hearty, crisp and perfectly greased, I would eat this whole order as a meal and be perfectly satisfied.

Herb-roasted brussel sprouts

Although brussel sprouts have many a hater, I absolutely love this vegetable and order it whenever I can. Candle 79’s take on classically roasted brussel sprouts was clean and modest, allowing the vegetable and not the seasoning to really shine through. Sometimes the simplest take on vegetable prep is the best and this dish was a homage to that philosophy. Not too greasy and perfectly charred, I had to force myself not to pop all of these in my mouth before my date could take a bite. Yummmm.
For our entrees we decided to split two menu items that looked especially promising: the Seitan Picata and the Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Cake.

Seitan Piccata: creamed spinach, grilled potato cake, oyster mushrooms, lemon-caper sauce

Although I normally stay away from seitan due to the fact that it’s pure wheat gluten, I had heard too many amazing things about this dish not to try it and risk the stomach-ache. Okay how do I even begin? This was UNREAL. Like maybe one of the best vegan dishes I have ever had in my life ever ever. Not only is it an absolute MUST ORDER but it would top my vegan bucket list if I lived in NYC. Seriously, numbah one. And I did not get a stomach-ache! Winning!!

Guys, this is seriously perfect. Melt in your mouth buttery and tender seitan, a crispy a delicate potato cake, luscious and rich creamed spinach, and the salty and tangy piccata sauce all dance together on your taste buds to create the perfect merriment of flavor, texture and heaven. Can we talk about how good this is for four more hours, because I literally could. Just order it. Trust me.

The chickpea cake was also excellent and a lovely textural juxtaposition to the creaminess of the piccata.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Cake - seasonal vegetables, red pepper-coconut curry, date spiced ginger chutney, toasted almonds

The gluten-free chickpea cake had a crispy fried crust that encased its tender and delicate center. The broccoli and cauliflower nestled underneath the golden patty were lightly steamed and tasted divine when dipped in the flavorful red pepper-coconut curry sauce surrounding the dish. I sincerely enjoyed this entrée but my heart forever belongs to that piccata. Swoon.

My dining companion for the night loved this dish which was so exciting because he is so far from vegan it’s almost frightening (he may or may not have had a mc rib earlier in the day – yeesh). He actually loved both of our entrees so much he left saying, “This vegan thing isn’t so bad after all…” WIN! I love when self-proclaimed “never could be vegan”s see how flavorful and hearty vegan meals can be!

Sadly we were both so incredibly stuffed we did not order dessert, but the new friends we made sitting next to us did and raved about the chocolate peanut butter bliss – the item I plan on beginning my meal with next time I have the pleasure of dining at Candle 79.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bliss - chocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse, chocolate shell, berry coulis

I had such a lovely evening at Candle 79 this past weekend. It lived up to all my foodie expectations, and then exceeded them. I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough for vegan and meat-eaters alike! This is a great place to take anyone who enjoys fresh, organic, seasonal and inventive cuisine regardless of their dietary preferences. I can’t wait to go back and try more!!  The seitan piccata will be in my dreams until then.

Hope everyone is enjoying the start to their Thanksgiving holiday! Can’t wait to share more NYC eats with you all soon!



Your Vegan Girlfriend


7 thoughts on “Candle 79

  1. Pingback: Mint Very Fine | Sticky Networks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s