Long before I started my journey into veganism, Candle 79 has been one of my favorite destinations. This lovely restaurant located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is extremely popular for its gourmet preparation of vegan meals which can be enjoyed by anyone who loves to eat delicious food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I was lucky enough to spend Mother’s Day at “Candle” with my husband, two teenage sons and my mother and father-in-law. Although my husband is “veganish”, I was the only vegan of the bunch and the others were kind enough to let me pick the restaurant. Anyway, it was a real hoot watching my in-laws read the menu with puzzled looks on their faces. Clearly, they never heard of foods such as tempeh and seitan. After we ordered, my younger son asked “Grandpa, what did you get?” to which my father-in-law replied “I have no idea”!
Upon our arrival at the restaurant, we were seated promptly and given a menu for drinks. I ordered a cocktail called the “Full Sun” which was made with Prosecco, lemon, agave, lavender spice bitters, and a rosemary tincture. It was served in a flute and it was lovely! The others ordered various fruited spritzers and some delicious homemade ginger ale. We shared a few appetizers which included the special salad of the day (mache, arugula, wild rice, leeks, fennel, candied walnuts, beets, balsamic strawberry dressing), the “live coconut pad thai”, and fried and steamed dumplings. They were all terrific! For my entree, I ordered the Mother’s Day special which was a tortilla lasagna made with black beans, caramelized onions and seitan and was topped with a tomatilla sauce, radishes, guacamole and pumpkin seeds. Just heavenly! My in-laws split the same tortilla lasagna and shared some of the other entrees with the rest of my family including the BBQ Seitan Sandwich (accompanied by a chipotle aioli, polenta fries and salad), the Mexican Tofu Scramble, and the Homestyle Quinoa Pancakes. We topped off the meal with three desserts: the “Live Berry Crumble”, the Mexican Chocolate Brownie and the Cannoli with soy ice cream. Yum!!!
Everything was delicious and we all agreed that the dumplings, the Mother’s Day special tortilla lasagna and the Mexican Chocolate Brownie deserve a special “shout out”!!! Candle 79 never disappoints and I highly recommend it to anyone who has never been there. I also love their less formal restaurant, the “Candle Cafe”, and I cannot wait to try their new restaurant, “Candle West”, located on the Upper West Side.