The UES has a plethora of organic/vegan restaurants. Although I am not a vegan, I love the fact that these places always tend to take dietary restrictions seriously and usually have a gluten-free menu.
Having been to Candle Cafe and having heard such great things about its more upscale sister restaurant, Candle 79, I knew it was only a matter of time that I made my way over there.
It took some convincing to get my non-vegan, non-gluten free, ”do we really have to go to a vegan restaurant” sister to go here, but with a little persuasion I got my way. We grabbed a seat at the bar and got:
We were given these small spoonfuls of lentil “salad” upon ordering – what I considered an amuse-bouche. And since apparently not a lot of people are familiar with the word, here’s a lesson for ya’ll:
An amuse-bouche [aˌmyzˈbuʃ] or amuse-gueule [aˌmyzˈɡœl] is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so for free and according to the chef’s selection alone. – wikipedia
What we actually ordered:
This was served with ginger-jalapeno dressing & hearts of palm. I loved the play on a typical tartare and was almost convinced that the heart of palm I was eating could have been crab meat. Pretty much a perfect alternative to eating guacamole by the spoonful (yes – I do that).
Why was this not gluten-free. Ugh, killed me. These enormous ravioli looked amazing.
This was the gluten-free version of the grilled kale salad. The non GF version had spelt berries instead of quinoa. To be honest, I think quinoa should be a staple in this salad.
We were going to get a side of polenta fries (corn based & usually GF) but since they were fried in the same oil (cross-contamination) we opted to get dessert instead…
…& honestly, how could you pass up a gluten-free chocolate brownie? You just can’t:
It’s pretty clear why I wasn’t able to capture a photo of this thing – it was devoured the second it landed in front of us. You guessed it – amazing.
Hey, just because it’s vegan, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Words to live by.
Pros: Vegan & gluten-free menu. Organic ingredients. Gluten-free brownie.
Cons: If you’re looking for [cheese, meat - the real thing] you’re SOL.