We first visited Candle 79 in April 2012. That was a chance visit.
This visit was no chance. We booked well in advance, just to make sure. After all, you don't travel all the way from Australia to dine at Candle 79 and then miss out due to a booking error. (We actually consciously stayed on the Upper East Side, not far from 79th St, so that the restaurant was in easy walking distance!)
This trip we dined at a number of great NYC restaurants. In my mind, this was equal best with only one other, and that was a Michelin 3 star restaurant, so that's a big call. We had a wide range of dishes including: "live" enchiladas; grilled mushrooms; angel's nachos; a pad thai appetiser, deserts, all complemented with a lovely organic/bio-dynamic tempranillo. This was, without doubt, the tastiest vegetarian/vegan meal I have ever had - possibly better than last time. Candle 79 is probably the best of its type in the US (we were chatting to one of the staff and they mentioned another similar restaurant in San Francisco, but that's the only one), and I don't know of anything comparable in Australia. Could I go so far as to say this is the best of its type in the world? Obviously I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.
I had such high expectations going there I was a little disappointed with our table placement. I could have asked to move, but I'm not that type - my back was sticking out into a serving thoroughfare, but as it turned out once the food arrived I forgot all about it. I only mention this in the event that someone from Candle 79 management reads this.
That said, I would absolutely l highly recommend Candle 79 to anyone, including non-vegetarian/vegan types. I still get a few funny reactions from people when I talk about my vegetarian "tendencies" (I'm not a full vegetarian, but don't eat most meats), but if there were more Candle 79's in the world I would hazard to say that there would be a huge increase in vegetarianism. Go there!!