Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend and a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Yesterday my boyfriend completely surprised me with a special date he planned! He was suppose to have off from work yesterday, but last minute had to go in a take care of something. Which I didn't mind because I had a meeting in the morning anyway, so I figured we would both be done nice and early and would be able to spend the rest of the day together. Before we parted ways I made him his favorite vegan french toast for a special v-day breakfast, which he loved as always, and I had my chocolate strawberry smoothie.

My meeting went great, and I was home nice and early, waiting for him to get finished. Well, he took much longer than we both had anticipated, so I was planning on just cooking a nice dinner for us at home. Well, you can imagine my surprise when he finally walked in the door and told me I had 20 minutes to get ready cause we were taking a train into the city (Manhattan) for dinner reservations! I was shocked because my boyfriend isn't the type to plan things and also shocked that he thought I could be ready in 20min!! I'm a girl after all! ;) Lucky for him, I was already showered and ready and just needed to get changed.

When we arrived into the city he brought me here:

Candle 79 is a vegan and organic restaurant that offers amazing local and seasonal foods. I have been here once before, and have also been to their sister restaurant, Candle Cafe, so I knew we were in for a treat!

Our reservations we at 5pm, and luckily we arrived 20 minutes early because it wasn't before long that a long line of people began to form outside the door!
Upon being seated we were presented with their Valentine's Day menu:

A choice of soup or salad, an appetizer, and entree and dessert.
After ordering they gave us a sample of a crispy wonton topped with coconut cream and a black berry.

I'm not sure what the sauce was, but this was delicious!
We both chose the soup instead of a salad. It was a saffron red pepper soup with vegetable dumplings.

It was an adult version of tomato soup with crispy veggie filled dumplings. Very delicious! For my appetizer I chose the grilled artichokes, asparagus, grape tomatoes, hearts of palm and picked red onions with a basil-pine nut pesto.

I love pesto so this dish was perfect for me. The artichokes were perfectly cooked and seasoned. Although I did push the pickled red onions to the side!

Tom opted for the grilled portobello with crispy polenta, tofu cheese and spinach on a tomanesco sauce.

We tasted each other's dishes and really liked both. I've had their crispy polenta here before and it was just as good as I remembered! For our entrees I rolled with the pumpkin seed crusted seitan over quinoa vegetable pilaf, sauteed chard, grilled chayote squash over a tomatillo avocado sauce.

The seitan and quinoa were delicious, but the sauce really threw me off. There was a ton of fresh cilantro in there and it was very overpowering, so I avoided the sauce and enjoyed the other components of my meal. Tom chose the house made tortellini with seasonal vegetables in a saffron-cashew cream.
He said he liked it, but it wasn't the best he has had. I didn't try the tortellini because I'm not a big pasta girl, but I tasted the sauce and some of the veggies on the bottom and it tasted pretty good.
For dessert they gave us a small menu with four desserts to choose from: Warm chocolate cake with candied ginger ice cream, Vanilla Flan, Mixed Berry crumble or an Ice cream Sampler. We both got the warm chocolate cake, but asked for french vanilla ice cream in place of the candied ginger.

Warm chocolate cake with chocolate fudge, vanilla ice cream topped with candided walnuts. HOLY YUM.
We both joked that we could have had four courses of just this!
Clearly, we hated it. All in all the meal was delicious!

I am so blessed to have Tom in my life! He always puts up with my crazy antics, health food obsessions and type-A personality. I am always the one planning things, so it was such a treat to have him make the plans and surprise me. It was such a great Valentine's Day!

Picture courtsey of LIRR

Hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day/Weekend! <3>
What was the highlight of your weekend?
xoxo Tina


  1. I'm so jealous that you went to Candle 79-he is a catch!!!!! I love it there, couple more wks til i'm in the city to head right over there and Pure Food and Wine!!!!
    Looks like a great Vday...have a great day!

  2. I've haven't been to Pure Food and Wine, but I've heard it's amazing!

  3. I heard Candle 79 is amazing and it is a must try for me when Im in NYC again one day! I would of SO had 4 courses of just that dessert!!! lol!!

    U guys look so cute together! I always say the same thing about mike, Im blessed, he also puts up with my healthy food obsessed lifestyle and my whole foods day long trips when we lived near one!

    Love u girl! xo

  4. Holy YUM is right! That monster dessert looks great and you look wonderful! Your very pretty! What nationality are you? I'm Greek!

  5. What a sweet boyfriend to surprise you with a vegan & organic restaurant!!! Candle 79 sounds absolutely fab! Glad you had a great Vday! <3

  6. Forget Seasons 52!! I want a Candle 79!!! No fair. you get all the good restaurants in NYC ;-)

    You look gorgeous. Such a great V-day!

  7. oh I love those kind of dates with specials menus. Looks so good! Glad you got a sweet surprise!

  8. Shut UP! I have always wanted to go there!! You're so lucky you have a boyfriend who would take you to a vegan restaurant (my boyfriend scoffs at all veggies. And SUSHI! He's not normal, I swear it).

    I'm glad you had a good holiday :)

  9. awwww what an AMAZING date!! you're boyfriend is so sweet and i'm soe xcited for you that he had such a great surprise planned!