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Posted by Alison on 10/19/2009
I went for the first time with my friend Saturday night and needless to say am SO glad that I did. She lives in the area and I have wanted to try it for awhile now so it was a go. We didn't have a reservation, but we were happy to eat at the bar...I feel like that always lends to a more authentic experience anyway plus you have someone to keep you entertained while you eat! Both bartenders, Josh and Mikaal, were a delight and our food from start to finish was excellent. We ordered the nori rolls and beet salad to start and an amazing pumpkin-encrusted seitan special with the polenta fries for an entree. Neither of us go without dessert, so the chocolate peanut butter mousse was a MUST and it was to die for. They said it was made with agave, not sugar, but it tasted too rich and delicious to be true! As I was mentioning how excited I was about the release of Alicia Silverstone's new vegan cookbook, the GM told me she was there a few days prior because they hosted her book signing. That was it for me!!!! I rated the food a 4.5 because I'm not sure if everything they use is organic and it was a little pricey for the portions, but for good food I will pay. I walked out of the spot feeling 100% satisfied and not the least bit bloated. Light and happy! Hallelujah Candle 79, you're officially my new fav spot on the UES.
Posted by Alice on 09/11/2009
This restaurant is amazing, and they treated us soooooo well. Its hard to find a vegetarian only restaurant in NYC where you can order anything you like from the menu. My Dad was even able to have a sugar-free dessert which was a bonus for him. We were given a complimentary bottle of champagne as it was a special occasion, we were very surprised and thought how lovely and welcoming they were towards us. Thank you so much Candle 79 for such a great experience xxx
Posted by anonymous on 07/13/2009
We went to Candle 79 last night for the 2nd time in 5 years. We are staunch vegetarians and live on the Upper East Side, but had had a bad experience there the first time. It was repeated last night. We were told by the host that almost any entree could be made to order, so we sat down and ordered drinks. But when we were ready to order, the waitress told us that that was absolutely wrong. In fact, only the salads could be made to order. Everything else had pre-made sauces or was, in fact, pre-made and could not be altered. What a disappointment! For a $20+ vegetarian entree I expect much more from a restaurant.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/22/2008
I'd agree with practically all of the previous reviews. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, the portions are on the small side. Sure, some items taste better than others. But Manhattan and good food will be pricey no restaurant excels at every dish. The quantities were smallish, but not outrageously so. We had the artichoke appetizer with onion rings few and not good. However the asparagus and artichokes made up for that. ($14) The split pea soup of the day ($8) was tasty and spicy and in a decent amount. Seitan chimichurri($9) was superbly grilled and surprisingly good-our first experience with seitan. Entrees: paella was OK, sort of dry and bland ($20) special was grilled seitan cutlets ($21) since we love grilling, we loved these rice and sesame encrusted tofu was good ($21). All of the entrees could've used some sort of sauce for more flavor. The entree portions were not big but not tiny by any means. We added grilled potato cakes in horeseradish creamvery good but only two. ($7) Service was the best prompt water refills, timely exchange of silverware & plates appetizers & dishes spaced out properly. Attentive waitress. Offer of dessert and check presented unobtrusively. Decor was distinctive (we were near bar) and dark. Very nice for couples. Overall, we (3) vegan virgins had a terrific dining experience and for $100 before tax/tips we were stuffed.
Posted by Sprocketboy on 05/19/2008
My wife and I were at Candle 79 on Saturday for dinner and had an excellent experience. This was my third or fourth time there and I have always found the service to be excellent, the food interesting and imaginative and the environment relaxed and comfortable. I enjoyed the grilled artichokes with cornmeal onion rings very much, the wild mushroom salad was fine but the Moroccan chickpea cake, with apricot-date chutney was outstanding. Although the place was very busy service was prompt, although it took a little while to get the desserts. I would go back again. I have a friend who is a serious cook at home and after I introduced him to this place he has brought other people as well. Prices are not cheap but the ingredients are first-rate and the presentation is as well.
Posted by perri on 05/16/2008
My husband and I went to Candle 79 after becoming addicted to their casual sister restaurant Candle Cafe. We figured we'd enjoy a night of upscale vegetarian. We were promptly seated, and then endured a pretty miserable experience the rest of the night. Their main problems are extremely bad service and outrageous pricing. First service. Sparse & extremely slow. Our drinks showed up well after our "amuse bouche" and our appetizers hit the table. (And those two courses weren't braking any land speed records). A table of three actually got up and left the restaurant when they finally ran out of patience waiting for their drinks and appetizers. Second - the food. Everything was "not bad", but really, not that good either. We had the grilled artichoke appetizer that came with a few slender onion rings. Grilled artichokes were tasty, but the onion rings were dead cold. Not appealing. We shared the excellent special a generous serving of fried seitan w/potatoes and vegetables. Our other entree , the Live Zucchini Enchiladas, was so small that we both reflexively laughed outloud when it came out. We actually thought they'd made a mistake and given us an appetizer size portion as it was SMALLER THAN OUR APPETIZER! I am totally willing to pay for a good meal, but $20 for three finger-sized bits of cashew cream is a real insult to any intelligent diner. I have no idea how the friendly, warm and yummy Candle Cafe could've spawned such a hideous offshoot. We won't be returning, ever.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/24/2008
Good place for brunch. Try the brunch burrito. I liked it.