Candle Cafe: 1307 3rd ave. New York, NY

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I avoided trying Candle Cafe for a long time because it’s the sister of Candle 79, a restaurant that I am, errr, less than fond of..see my review of it here: https://bigforkinmouth.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/candle-79-154-e-79th-st-new-york-ny/     It was my dear friend’s birthday though, someone I love to try healthy places with, and I’m always hearing from people I trust who adore Candle Cafe. I thought this provided the perfect occasion to give them a fair shot.

I’m SO glad that I didn’t write this one off! We were seated right away by the hostess and started looking, with wide eyes, over a menu that had WAY too many appealing choices on it. (this is a good thing) Everything sounded great, from the specials to the salads, sandwiches, entrees and smoothies…and I hadn’t even seen the dessert menu yet.

I settled on the special wrap of the day: An artichoke heart and arugula wrap with grilled lemon basil tofu, tapioca cheese, basil aioli wrapped in a spinach tortilla with a side salad and roasted tomato salsa. It was really SOOOOO good. YUM. The tofu was crisp on the outside and soft and creamy inside, the ‘diet’ cheese was flavorful and actually pretty interesting, the veggies were fresh and had nice texture to them and the basil aioli was sweet, spicy and delicious. The only complaint I had about this dish was that the side salad contained quite a few pieces of brown lettuce. Now, I understand that organic produce doesn’t always look as perfect as non-organic, but brown leaves are kind of pushing it as far as I’m concerned.

For dessert we shared (admittedly, I ate 80% of it) the chocolate mousse pie with a chocolate cookie crust. It was out-of-this-world. Kind of like a cheesecake, but somehow a bit lighter than that. It had a rich, dark chocolate flavor and a smooth consistency. No one is missing dairy here for sure!

The bill here was more-than reasonable and I really liked the casual, earth/animal-friendly atmosphere. The wait staff was super polite and attentive and the vibe was much more chill than it’s sister. I’ll leave Candle 79 for the wealthy UESers who can afford a $25 ounce of avocado. I will definitely be back!

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