Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review Time: Candle 79=Meaning of Life

Oh, Candle 79. The mecca of veganism. It is almost as if a a vegan hasn't truly lived until she makes a pilgrimage to this glorious locale that lies on the Upper East Side of the big apple. This is why I, the usually non-pushy nerd that I am, positively forced my parents to take me here as soon as I learned that we would be traveling to New York. And goodness gracious, Candle 79, you did not disappoint!
If you go to Candle 79 (which you must do), make reservations unless you dig the idea of a two hour wait. It gets majorly crowded, but lucky for us, our early reservation scored us a prime table on the second floor of the restaurant with a beautiful view out of a giant window overlooking the city. I started of with a Crazy Carrot juice, mostly because I thought the name was adorbs but also because, being an abnormal teenager, I love love love fruit/veggie juices. I think it was carrot, apple, agave and ginger, but I could be wrong. It was delicious, but you could definitely taste the ginger. For me this was awesome, since I'm the kind of person who orders and extra plate of ginger just to eat raw when I go to a sushi restaurant, but it might have been a tad strong for some people.

The next thing our waiter brought out was a little plate of avocado roll-ups, compliments of the chef. Doesn't that sound fancy? Compliments of the chef. Anyway, this caused me a problem, because I think I may be the only vegan on the planet who hates avocado. I think it's a textural thing. So I didn't take a picture of the roll-ups, because I thought I would hate them. That is, until I put one in my mouth. I think Candle 79 must have some kind of special vegan magic, because those little avocado rolls were hella good. I was so sad that there was only one for each of us! 
Next thing we ordered were the dumplings. We got one order of fried and one order of steamed since we couldn't decide between the two. They were amazing. They had a ginger sauce (what else?) with ground seitan serving as the filling and black sesame seeds sprinkled on top.  
Fried dumplings; I didn't get a pic of the steamed

I was having trouble deciding between the herb baked tofu and the spring vegetable risotto, so I asked our waiter for help deciding. Our waiter was absolutely fantabulous! He helped me decide on the risotto. My mom went with the mushroom ravioli and my dad went with Candle's house specialty, the seitan piccata. 
Veggie Risotto

Seitan Piccata 

Mushroom Ravioli

Oh. My. God. My risotto was literally like heaven on a fork. I savored each bite as if it were my last meal. I now know pure bliss. It was also so nice to be at a restaurant where I could sample everybody's food! The ravioli was good, but my dad's piccata was amazing. I can definitely see why it's the house specialty. And how beautiful is the presentation of all the dishes?
Last but not least, I positively had to get myself a vegan cannoli. In my pregan days, cannoli was my very favorite dessert, and I was super psyched that I would get to have it again. It came with a scoop of oh-so-good coconut-based ice cream. There was honestly no distinguishable flavor difference between a Candle 79 cannoli and its non vegan counterpart. So good. 

I can truly and honestly say that my Candle 79 meal was the best one I've ever had. Any vegan who visits New York absolutely must pay a visit. 

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