154 East 79th Street
(Between 3rd and Lexington Ave., closer to Lex.)
Remember the days before the gluten-free diet when the odds for a great restaurant outing were really high? Chances were always good that you’d reach that point of dining bliss when the food and flavors were just icing on top of relaxed conversation with friends … and the waiter didn’t have to know anything about you, except that you prefer your salad dressing on the side. Well, dining bliss is possible again at Candle 79.
This elegantly designed vegan restaurant offers a gluten-free menu, and is on GFRAP’s list. We were immediately impressed with live food options and hydroponic edamame! (fyi, raw food is very "in" and very healthy, so get with it and try it!) Our dinner guest, Lydia, actually let out a long "mmmm" after taking a sip of the surprisingly delicious water … it was a great start. The waiters and staff are very informed about food allergies and intolerances, making it totally cool to ask questions and not feel bothersome. Since we were armed with a gf menu, the only questions we had came from our curiosity about the super yummy healthy stands-ins for butter and cheese … like creme fraiche made from almond cream?! And ground nuts acting as parmesan in their very popular lasagna dish. So delicious that we felt naughty, like you do after downing a rich dairy/meat-loaded dinner. When in fact, we were treating our bodies to perfectly friendly foods. I swear that the Black Bean Pumpkin Seed Burger w/ Maple Roasted Squash has the power to get your serotonin pumping … the healthy way.
Stuffed Collard Rolls w. jicama, cucumber, carrots, & hearts of palm
Hydrogarden Farm Edamame w. celtic sea salt
The main event!
(clockwise from top left)
Zucchini Lasagna – served cold, but serial vegetable killers can request it heated
Butternut Squash Risotto – Kelly’s favorite
Bunless Pumpkin Seed Black Bean Burger – meaty-like satisfaction
Leave room for dessert!
Tahitian Vanilla Tart with Coconut Macaroon Crust and Sorbet Sampler
Kelly [to our waiter, Bryan]: Does the sorbet contain corn syrup?
Bryan: No. Instead it contains a substitute from Florida Crystals. If you’d like, I could bring out a samp-
Kelly: Stop! [eyes shining] You had me at Florida Crystals …
(left) Soy capuccino made to creamy perfection.
The original Candle Cafe located at 75th and 3rd offers more casual food options like sandwiches and smoothies. There isn’t a gf menu, but there are some gf items available.
Candle 79 is so fresh, their menu changes seasonally. Also, they will soon carry Bard’s gf beer!
We’d like to thank Bart Potenza, Francesca MacAaron, and the cute waiters for their hospitality. Candle 79 is health food, healing food, and comfort food all served in the perfect setting for a most satisfying dinner out.
If you’d like to add some fabulous books to your kitchen shelf, we’d like to suggest the book of vegan recipes from Candle 79, The Candle Cafe Cookbook.
Also, Living Cuisine by Renee Loux Underkoffler, who consulted with the owners while they designed the Candle 79 menu. A great education on eating raw along with great recipes.