Tag Archives: Candle Cafe
If this blog were called Granola, I would love Candle Cafe. It is an earnest spot where Upper East Side vegetarians carefully hang their expensive purses on their chairs before tucking into plates of mush. (I saw lots of plates go by, and they all looked roughly the same: mushy.) This is a great place for a healthful bite, if one wants a break from butter and cream. The food is organic, and they have a blackboard listing the veggies on offer that day:
The decor is drab, with brown curtains and white walls. The narrow space is not unusual for NYC, but it is awkward to eat while people wait impatiently for your table.
The menu varied: edamame, spring rolls, quesadillas, stir frys, lasagna, salads. Lots of dishes with tofu and seitan, which is great for vegetarians needing a protein fix. They also have organic wine, as well as beer, smoothies, juices and juice cocktails.
I ordered the miso-ginger stir fry. While I waited, a loud woman loomed over me, complaining that her last batch of juice to go had apples, which she hadn’t wanted. The servers’ cheerfulness didn’t crack as they gave her a replacement bottle.
My stir fry came. It had lots of vegetables, including broccoli, red peppers, and mushroom, all on a bed of brown rice. The miso-ginger sauce was flavorful, and the tofu was fine. It was the kind of wholesome dish I could have made myself.
I can only assume that the glowing reviews on Yelp are from people who don’t cook at all and appreciate the options available at a vegetarian restaurant. Or who have been coming here for years and have a sentimental attachment. Or who don’t want to pay $3-5 more per entree at a more inventive vegetarian restaurant.
This place can’t hold a candle (ha) to Dirt Candy, Pure Food and Wine, or even V-Note just up the street.