I actually heard about Candle 79 years ago. It has been raved about on the Runner’s World message boards and other vegetarian blogs and boards too, but it’s so far away from California that I knew it would be a long time before I would be able to visit. When Simple & Divine mentioned it I knew I had to make a stop there! Here is a link to the menu.
The restaurant is dimly lit which gives it a romantic and sophisticated feel. We were seated on the second floor right by the window. The picture above is a view from my seat. The menu has a good selection of wines and starters, but only 8 entree selections. I actually don’t mind that since all of the selections sounded delicious and I usually have a hard time making up my mind with a ton of choices 🙂
After we ordered the chef sent over this plate. Unfortunately, I forgot what the waiter said it was. Sorry. It was some kind of spinach on a toast and it perfectly whetted our appetites for the rest of the meal.
We ordered an appetizer to start: Smoked Hummus grilled paratha bread, olives, roasted garlic bulb, red pepper This hummus was amazing! It had great hints of red pepper and spices and a mildy smoked flavor that complimented the toasted bread. We actually ordered more toasted paratha bread to scoop up the hummus with because it was so good.The BF ordered : Moroccan spiced chickpea cake fall vegetables, red pepper-coconut curry, apricot-date chutney, toasted almonds Of course I ate some of his food (no surprise there). This was the best chickpea patty I have ever had, it puts my homemade ones to shame. The chickpea cake was excellently spiced and the outside was lightly breaded and perfectly crisp while the inside was softer and chewy. Amazing.I ordered the : Porcini Crusted Tofu garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, cabernet-wild mushroom sauce
The porcini crusted tofu also had a perfectly crisp outer breading that complimented the soft and flavorful tofu inside. It is so great to eat something that has “fried” qualities, but is still healthy.
The cabernet-wild mushroom sauce was light and more soupy than creamy, but complimented the mushrooms and string beans well. The garlic potatoes sat on top of the crusted tofu and was mixed with green zucchini to make a lighter version of mashed potatoes. I love sneaking veggies in with other yummy foods!
Since it was a fancy restaurant we decided to be fancy too and order wine. The BF and I both got a glass of: Domaine Sorin, Terra Amata Rosé (2007, france) crisp, sunny fruit, dry finish
So, while we were eating I overheard 2 men talking and one mentioned to the other that he had read his book. That is really all I got out of it since it was a fancy place and everyone was pretty respectful of their volume. As we were walking out the BF was waiting for me near the bathroom and struck up a conversation with a woman who worked at Candle 79 and I guess something about me hearing about the restaurant via blog or online or something came up and I got in the conversation when I came out.
She told me that one of the men talking near me was the founder of Whole Foods and the other was one of the authors of The China Study!!!
How cool is that?! It’s actually a book I have been meaning to read so I think this is a sign that I should get it immediately. I was so excited and happy after hearing that – I am such a nerd.