I’m always thrilled when a new healthy and/or vegetarian place opens up closer to home. I live near the Upper West Side of NYC and was excited to hear that the East Side’s well-known vegan restaurant Candle Cafe opened up a West side location on April 1st. My man and I dropped in for a quick dinner last night and snapped a few shots of our meal.
We started with a couple glasses of Zinfandel which was recommended by our server as one of the wines people have enjoyed so far. Unfortunately, neither of us liked it. But, we drank it. I’m not one to send back a glass of wine, and I liked it better once I had my food.
For an appetizer, we ordered the grilled focaccia which was soft, lightly toasted and brushed with a roasted garlic olive oil. It was simple and delicious! It also came with a miso-tahini spread that we both loved. The nutty tahini flavor really stood out, and this was a winner for a light appetizer.
My man ordered the Southern Plate because he couldn’t resist trying the one menu item that looked the least likely to appear on a vegan restaurant menu. The barbequed seitan, macaroni & cheese, chili, coleslaw, and cornbread was a winning combination and he really enjoyed it. I took a few bites too and thought the BBQ seitan was the winner of the night. It had great soft texture like BBQ thin-sliced pork and the sauce was smoky and sweet. The chili, coleslaw, and cornbread were also solid. The mac & cheese could have used a little more seasoning, but we loved the realistic cheesy texture (thanks to Daiya cheese).
I ordered the Spaghetti and Wheatballs that was prepared with a truffled tomato sauce, roasted garlic, spinach, and cashew parmesan. The sauce had a nice spicy kick to it and I loved the fresh spinach mixed in and cashew parmesan. The wheatballs weren’t my favorite texture-wise, but they tasted good and I broke them up into smaller pieces and gobbled them down once they were covered with that awesome tomato sauce.
As for atmosphere, we loved the soft lighting inside Candle Cafe West and the sparkly gold bricks lining the walls of the front interior. Our servers were sweet and welcoming too.
We’ll definitely be back! I am so happy to have another veggie-friendly restaurant closer to home and there’s plenty more menu items calling my name.