Sunday, January 10, 2010

Veg Out NYC: Breslin Bar, Candle 79, Babycakes

The Breslin Bar at the Ace Hotel was decidedly gristle-heavy. Not a tragedy. We ate around the city. The bar itself? Warm with dark-clothed bodies perched on inviting library furniture. I said hello to a smoky tequila old-fashioned with brandied cherries.

Our first memorable meal came from Candle 79. There were so many ingredients we hardly knew at times what we were tasting and I wanted to edit the chef. If a couple of components were slashed from each work, one would only find it more successful.

 Butternut squash and wild mushroom-spinach ravioli with cashew ricotta, cashew cream, and make it stop already.

The portions were a third larger than optimal. We split these family-style between three people.

A smoked hummus plate was the simplest thing on the menu, with a roasted garlic bulb that we spread onto grilled paratha

Stuffed avocado, too complicated for its own good

Black pepper and balsamic grilled seitan, my entree selection and longest relationship on the table. Cornmeal onion rings and celeriac puree drove me home.

Porcini-crusted tofu with root vegetable gratin involved a paperback-sized block of tofu. Almost.

The Asian-inspired seitan special

I wasn't as impressed with Candle 79, but we still went away full and pleased. Dessert would occur the next day, with a Babycakes stopover.

The gluten-free carrot cake is spoken for.

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