I knew when I moved back to the NYC area I would have a ton of amazing options in terms of restaurants. However, that didn't prevent me from freaking out with excitement when my boyfriend showed me an extensive list of the top-rated vegan restaurants in the city. That's right, top rated. Because not only do they have vegan restaurants in the city, there are enough of them to be rated!!
Candle 79 was at the top of the list.
My first time to the restaurant was actually a few months ago. My boyfriend overheard me telling someone about my excitement to try Candle 79 with my cousin. So he surprised me and took me there on one of our first dates. I have to say, when I finally realized where we were going, I had a permanent smile the rest of the evening. Seriously.
My expectations were high and I wasn't disappointed. Literally everything on the menu is amazing. And you don't have to be a plant-based rock star to appreciate their food. Like I explain to people - good food is good food. Good flavor is good flavor. Whether it has meat or tempeh.....cheese or cashew cheese.....when food is good, it's just freaking good!!!
So in my pure and utter joy and excitement (and slight food coma), I didn't take pictures of the food that first visit. Plus, I didn't want my date to think I was completely nuts, taking pictures of food. However, now that he's aware that I'm completely nuts, we went back so I could take pictures!!
And eat. A lot.
First, we started with drinks. As we usually do. I got an amazing sangria and he got a "Rainforest" mojito-type drink.
The coolest part of his drink? Every time you bought one, a tree was planted in your name. So you could get wasted and plant a forest!!
I love when ordering five drinks at dinner isn't considered excessive or indicative of a potential alcohol problem........it's saving the planet!!
Okay, on to the good stuff. My dining partner wanted me to try everything at this place, and apparently wants to ensure I don't starve to death because he always orders food for an army when we got out. So for appetizers, we did not get one, or two, or even three. We got four appetizers.
First was nachos. Yeah you heard me. NACHOS.
They were awesome - seiten and bean chili, cashew cream cheese, salsa, and guacamole. To die for.
We also got the Seitan Chimichurri - this is one of Candle 79's signature appetizers. I'm not usually a fan of seitan, but this is so freaking awesome, I didn't mind one bit. The texture, the sauce - amazing.
Next was the appetizer special - a Chickpea Crepe filled with roasted veggies and topped with cashew cheese. Again, absolutely delicious.
Onion rings with chipotle aioli. Enough said.
We were both full from drinks and appetizers, but still managed to get a couple of entrees. I love tempeh and I can usually never find it out, so we got the tempeh. It came with a side of ratatouille which was also yummy.
We also got a raw zucchini something-or-other. I really can't remember because I was getting really buzzed through my effort in saving the rainforest...
It was awesome whatever it was!!
Now that we were officially stuffed, it was time for dessert. Because in my universe, there's always room for dessert.
I met a really nice guy sitting next to us - a fellow vegan foodie (we can sense each other). We chatted on and off throughout dinner. When it came time for dessert, he insisted that I try the carrot cake. He was actually nice enough to buy it for us!
Must have been my lucky night.
It was absolutely amazing - maybe the best carrot cake I've ever had. But what's dessert without chocolate? So we also got a peanut butter chocolate mousse cake.
Definitely my lucky night.
Love & Kale,
So tell me, what's your favorite restaurant? Ever been so excited about a particular restaurant that you had a perma-smile throughout your meal? Please tell me I'm not the only one.....