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Candle 79 Featured in Today’s New York Times Dining Section

Today finds New York City vegans’ beloved Candle 79 (ranked #1 in SuperVegan’s Resturaunt Guide) in the Pages of the New York Times Dining Section.

So, how did they do? Okay, I guess. You be the judge.

As for my take on the situation: It has always struck me as peculiar when self-described “foodies” approach vegan food with misplaced apprehension; as if the food was an alien substance not based in reality. So, I find it quite odd that Frank Bruni (or Pete Wells, Dining Editor of the Times) would approach the food served at Candle 79 in this fashion. While I do not think that the review is “glowing” by any stretch of the imagination, I do feel that the write-up does give the deliciously decadent restaurant it’s much deserved due.

You can read the review by visiting the Dining Section in today’s times (may require login) or by catching the audio slide show.

What do you think of the review? Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below.


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I agree. I also dislike when critics compare every dish to what it would taste like if it were a “regular” dairy/meaty meal. I don’t think most critics have a vocabulary for vegan food that doesn’t center on comparing the vegan dish to a non vegan dish. Why not just talk about the food on it’s own merits instead of bringing meat or dairy into it.

  2. Comment by


    on #

    Very true about the limited vocab. Bruni seems uncomfortable even using anything but the most literal definition of “creamy.” If Candle’s hummus (arguably some of the best in the city) can’t be described as creamy, I don’t know what can.

  3. Comment by


    on #

    I always find it amusing (not really) when vegan restaurants are criticized for referring to dishes by their corresponding non-vegan equivalents. This is surely not done for vegan’s benefit, but rather for the “undecideds” who need the comfort of such labeling. I prefer to distance myself from meat, eggs, dairy, etc., but I certainly don’t fault vegan establishments for attempting to be inclusive and non-threatning to non-vegans.

  4. Comment by


    on #

    What seems most lacking in reviews of this nature is the idea that a person can go vegan after previously having enjoyed the taste of meat. When you get paid to eat food and write about it, I could see it being hard for you to understand that for some people, one’s politics/morals are more important than what’s on their plate.

  5. Comment by


    on #

    I am outraged that he insulted the chimichurri!!! They are delish!

  6. Comment by


    on #

    Not only do all these critics compare these dishes to their “regular” meat counterparts. they seem to think that since it’s a vegan restaurant, the food is held to a higher standard. You ever notice how when a dish is not up to the critics expectations, it’s always said that it’s because it’s vegan. Has no one ever had a bad meal at a non-vegan restaurant? These critics seem to think that just because you add meat to a recipe, it’s gonna come out great. Come on, just like over chewy seitan and water logged tofu, there’s plenty of gamey smelling meat and still pink chicken. And, lets be honest, what causes more cases of food poisoning, tempeh or seafood?
    OK, I’m done venting.

  7. Comment by


    on #

    The review seemed to be pretty positive, so why was there only one star? I was expecting the place to get trashed when I saw the rating.

  8. Comment by


    on #

    Agree with kerstycakes, the chimichurri is really a star.

    I love Candle 79. This would explain why we couldn’t get a reservation on my birthday this week. I was surprised they would be so busy on a random Wednesday.