Saturday, April 18, 2009

Candle Cafe

Being laid up with a sinus infection (thank you, air travel) might not be the best time to write about a great dinner, but even my currently impaired sense of taste can recall with ease the deliciousness of the meal I had at Candle Cafe. For the record, we ate here on our very first night in NYC, but since I started my Manhattan blogging with our first full day, this one got lost in the shuffle. Not to worry; Even out of order, CC is a fantastic foodie haven. In fact, it may have been the best meal I ate on the east coast.

I'd been to Candle 79, the Cafe's more fancy sibling, so I was prepared for the high caliber food. What I wasn't prepared for was the warm, welcoming atmosphere, and the reasonable prices. These things can fall by the wayside at 79, but are present in abundance at the Cafe, and alongside amazing food to boot! Speaking of which, I had what CC calls the "Good Food Plate" which is comprised of any four sides, and two sauces. I went with quinoa salad, sauteed greens, steamed greens (love my greens!), and grilled tempeh. Alone this would have been delectable, but when paired with the savory gravy and tangy tahini sauce, I was in heaven. My friend, on the other hand, had the porcini-encrusted seitan. It's earthy scent wafted over the table, igniting our appetites, and the fact that mashed potatoes were part of the deal made it all the more appealing. Needless to say, we were both very happy.

Of course, there's always room for more happiness! Mine came in the form of the most rich, chocolatey dessert I've had in a long time: The chocolate mousse pie. With a scoop of chocolate ice cream, it is any chocolate-lover's dream. Magnificent. My pal, after much decision making (everything sounded so good!), went with the bundt cake and was not disappointed. This reminded me of the Entenmenn's chocolate chip crumb cake of my youth, and that is high praise, my friends.

We waddled back to the hotel, smiles on our faces. I think it's fair to say that Candle 79 is no longer on my list of must-eats in Manhattan. I mean why spend more for the same great food you can get at Candle Cafe? I, for one, don't require a fancy-pants atmosphere or attitude to enjoy my meal, and I doubt you do either. It's CC for me and my others! Moving right along, there's only one other place I went in NYC, so look out for that soon. We're still not back to SF eats though, because there were lots of yums in Philly and at home in the Jerz too. Stay tuned!

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