Five years ago!! I cannot believe it's been five years since I've been to Candle 79, one of the top vegan restaurants in the world! I was so excited to take my boyfriend, Wes, there so he could experience it too. He is not vegan, so I was interested to see what he would think.
This quaint, unassuming restaurant on the Upper East Side hasn't changed much in the past five years. I recognized its red awning and cherry red doors upon arrival. Inside, I have to say, it feels a bit outdated. That cherry wood and olden-day color scheme feels like you are back in the 90s and seeing that the restaurant is over 20 years old, maybe it just hasn't ever been updated. In any case, a remodel is definitely overdue!
Interestingly enough, the lunch menu had some similarities as they've kept some staples on the menu for years. Before we ordered, they served little muffin bites that were tasty.
After some hemming and hawing, we we started with the Hydrogarden Farm Edamame. This edamame was topped with chili powder, sea salt and a lemon slice. Nothing special really.
Wes started with a creamy tomato soup, which was the soup of the day.
For my entree, I went with the Wild Mushroom Crepe. Oh my goodness, this was to die for. Filled with spring vegetables, wild mushrooms, spinach, tempeh, and poblano peppers, it was fantastic. And the garlic truffle aioli pulled it all together. I loved it. The salad with fennel and arugula was delicious too.
Wes went with a safer lunch -- the spaghetti and wheatballs. This was a big bowl of spaghetti topped with seitan meatballs, truffled tomato sauce, roasted garlic, spinach, and cashew parmesan. For spaghetti, it was pretty darned good.
After all of that, we did not have room for dessert. Other items on the menu that sounded delish were the Angel's Nachos, Grilled Kale Salad, Black-Bean Pumpkin Seed Burger, and the ever-famous Seitan Picatta.
The service was fine. The food was great. And the prices were expensive at $20 and $23 for a lunch entree. But, hey, I love this place and I hope it is still here in 30 years -- but, with a new, hip design.
May 24, 2011
154 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021