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Candlelight Inn - It's been seven years [Scarsdale]

I've lived in Westchester for 27 years. I remember way back when when the candlelight offered an atomic blast of heat called Charnobyl II. The days of that inside burning sauce is long gone. They know are reduced to four levels of heat. Mild, hot, very hot and chernobyl.

So after seven years since my last visit, I entered and to no surprise, nothing has changed. Cramped, crowded and dingy. A sign stating that no credit cards are accepted. Cash was in hand. I love heat, but wasn't in the mood to sweat, because the windows were open, the fan was on and it was about 80 degrees inside. Our waitress came over and I ordered a medium (10 wings 10 legs) $13.50. The waitress looked familiar, but I obviously did not ring a bell. She stated that the mild is considered very hot to most, so with my memories a little vague, I decided against very hot and went with hot.

The nice mound of wings came out and the shiny orange sauce glistened. The steam rose from the dish. My mouth watered. I bit into the first one with great anticipation. My last experience was not a great one, but I was drunk and it was takeout. So this would be magical. I tore the meat from the bone. and ate. I finished the entire dish and here are my thoughts about the hands down, widely observed "greatest wings in Westchester."

The wings/legs come connected. The ripping apart of these does not always go so well, with in many cases, 80% of the meat ripping off of one and going to the other side. Why? Slightly undercooked. I can live with that as they were cooked enough, had they been cut in half. The chicken itself tasted good, but that's not why we eat wings. We eat wings for the sauce. I ate 20 wings and there was absolutely and I mean no heat. They tasted more tangy, like they had been cooked and doused with Frank's Red Hot sauce (a mild sauce in my opinion). The bleu cheese sauce was like Ken's bleu cheese dressing. No chunks of bleu cheese at all. The four celery sticks that garnished the plate were unnecessary as they didn't offer enough diversion.

Overall, a rather unpleasant experience. I'd rate them a 5 out of ten. if that. Better wings can be had at Piper's Kilt, The Quarry Inn,Lazy Boy Saloon, The Eastchester Inn, Sherwood's (although not much better). I wont' lie, the mango habanero wings at BWW are much hotter and much tastier. Better cooked, although a little more pricey.

Honestly, if one wanted to recreate these ate home. Fry them, melt some butter and Frank's Red Hot and toss. Nothing special about the wings at all. Huge disappointment from the mecca of wings

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  1. damn jhopp, while I always admire your posts i'm gonna have to disagree with you here. Maybe you went on an off night who knows but I have been to candlelight 3 times in the past 30 days with no complaints. Each time I went the AC was on full blast and freezing inside. Each time I went I was seated rather faster then I have been there in the past. I COMPLETELY disagree with you on the blue cheese, their blue cheese is wonderful, It completes the experience there for me! You are right about their sauce levels but being a veteran there I know to order extra hot, the extra hot is what the regular hot should be and it is delicious. While I havent been going to candlelight for 10 years I have been for the last 3 years and the sauce hasnt changed, it is still wonderful, far from franks red hot! Lazy Boy Saloon is the only place I think has wings on par (and maybe...maybe slightly better than) Candlelight's wings. I think the packed crowds speak for themselves, no matter what time of day you go, candlelight is busy, crowded, and filled with faithful wing addicts like myself!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ryanallday

      Ryan, I knew it wouldn't take long for you to jump on this. They actually turned the A/C on just as we were finishing, but not too bad. Honestly, I was in the hospital about two months ago with an intestinal thing and while I put hot sauce on everything, I didn't want anything too hot. Next time, I think I'm gonna ask for very hot and slightly well done on the wings. Skin was just a little undercooked. The one thing I forgot to mention is that the size of the wings was very nice. I was stuffed and very happy I didn't order more food.

      I should also add my friend had the broccoli poppers which were very good, but her Balboa was dry and awful as she put it. Not even the gravy could save it...and the waitress told us it was her favorite sandwich.

      I'm partial to Piper's Kilt and Quarry because they are my hangouts, but honestly you should try the Eastchester Inn's wings. haven't had them in over a year, but they were the best around in my opinion a year ago.

      1. re: jhopp217

        I have never tried pipers kilt (i hear their burgers are great) or the quarry orrrrr eastchester inn but I will add them to my list. I live in putnam county but unfortunatley we are lacking in the wing department so I find myself in westchester (I lived in Yonkers for 10 years) very often for my wing fix. Honestly I have never tried the broccoli poppers at candlelight but everyone seems to be talking about them these days perhaps the poppers will take over the wings lol

    2. "the mango habanero wings at BWW are much hotter and much tastier. Better cooked..."

      What's BWW??

      I have to agree with you re: Candlelight. Not only are they not that hot, except for the "extra hot", but more important they are just hot without being GOOD.
      Really good wings make you go "wow, I wonder how they made this" rather than "eh, I could make better than this"

      1 Reply
      1. re: weedy

        "BWW" .....I believe jhopp was referring to Buffalo Wild Wings.

      2. I ordered very hot, crispy last time and they were great. IMO, ordering anything but hot or very hot at most places is an invitation for disaster though the wings should be perfectly cooked regardless of the heat level.

        12 Replies
        1. re: vinouspleasure

          they also should taste like something more than just dipping cardboard into hot sauce.

            1. re: vinouspleasure

              I did order hot and they were beyond mild and were under cooked.

              1. re: jhopp217

                apologies, I misread your op. that's strange, I think i went with hot and they were great.

                1. re: vinouspleasure

                  Next time I'm there, I'm going very hot and might ask them to do them a little more well done.

                  1. re: jhopp217

                    that sounds like the ticket. You might want to check out license 2 in thornwood, the sauce definitely wasn't' as good as candlelight but the wings, ordered crispy, were perfectly cooked and I feel better giving my business to a small, family business that's trying hard. Not worth a trip but if you're in the area, heading up or down rt. 9, worth a stop.

                    1. re: vinouspleasure

                      That's always been my deal with Candlelight. I live a block away from Piper's Kilt, whose wings sauce is better (only served hot) and the wings are always nice and crispy. The Eastchester Inn, which somewhat resembles the Candlelights, we don't care vibe, has incredible wings. Also, when Rockwell's were in the area, they were the best in the county. Went to a party once where someone brought 100 from Rockwell's and someone brought a 100 from Candlelight to a Super Bowl party...this was about ten years ago. Well at the end, the people who threw the party were somewhat badmouthing the person who brought the Rockwell's wings saying "look, the Candlelight tray is empty and there are about 60 left in the other one." Everyone laughed, until I flipped over the tray to reveal the receipt. The Candlelight's wings were the one they were laughing at. I think in a blind taste test the average wing would smoke them, it's just their rep. it's like Sal's pizza in Mamaroneck. Hasn't been good in 15 years, but if you go there, you feel it's great.

                      1. re: jhopp217

                        I'm definetly adding Pipers to the next wing tour jhopp :)

                        1. re: ryanallday

                          You won't be blown away, because I know you like heat and variety and they only serve them one way, but I think they're pretty good. If you've never been there, may I suggest the Eastchester Burger or my personal favorite, Bacon Bleu.

                          1. re: jhopp217

                            I have never been there, how is the atmosphere, good to bring my gf for a "date"?

                            1. re: ryanallday

                              Family place. Packed every night for dinner. I always sit at the bar. On the weekends, 5-8 it's usually mobbed. If you do go I would during the week, as sometimes on the weekends there is up to an hour wait.

            2. On my last visit to Candlelight, I was amazed at how much wings and a soda could cost. It was me and my 2 kids, we ordered 2 orders of wings, fries and soda. We had enough to take some home, but the bill came to about 45.00!. These days I am enjoying the wings at our local Planet Wings in Orangeburg. The sauce is ok, it's good enough. I also like that they have a smaller sized wing. 10 wings, a large soda, and an order of fries, 7.99! My favorite wings in the area are Bailey's in Blauvelt. They have the best hot sauce, screaming chicken. Super hot, and very flavorful.

              2 Replies
              1. re: michele cindy

                I must admit, I was shocked at how pricey the menu has gotten. It's not outrageous, but for what you're getting it's definitely a bit pricey. I only got wings and my friend got broccoli poppers and a sandwich. No drinks. Lunch came to $30. $40 after tip

                1. re: jhopp217

                  20 wings for $13 is a bargain, it's the same price at BWW and $18 down the road at Hurrican grill and wings!

              2. I haven't been to Candlelight in 2 years, so I'll have to check it out again, but I've always loved the wings there (extra hot). I eat Planet Wings on occasion just for the convenience...but never end up really enjoying it. It would be really sad if Candlelight is now worse than Planet Wings and BWW...both of whose wings I find to be mediocre.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Solstice444

                  Anyone tried so dam hot in Valhalla, they used to be very good

                  1. re: 51rich

                    I've been there a bunch of times, as you say, they were always good. I think the restaurant changed hands but last time I was there, same basic recipe. I do think there are quite a few better places.

                    1. re: ryanallday

                      right. and it's not "nice place" to go and sit... but the food is good for what it is.

                      1. re: ryanallday

                        How's their hot sauce compare to the Candlelights Chernobyl?

                        1. re: ryanallday

                          I really need to get there and try their wing challenge...especially if there isn't a time limit to eat it in. I've completed Quaker Steak & Lube's wing challenge and almost completed BWW's (fell a wing and a half short...I couldn't chew fast enough!), but individual places are more likely to have super hot sauce than those chains. I'm always up for a challenge!

                          1. re: Solstice444

                            Solstice, it is nothing like the chains competitions, the hottest BWW sauce is childs play compared to this. They warned us if we were going to throw up to please run outside LOL

                            1. re: ryanallday

                              Is it true that the Hurricane's wing challenge has wings with a sauce with a million schoville units? I thought that was technically illegal to sell "as is."

                              1. re: jhopp217

                                jhopp the hurricane wing challenge has extreme levels of heat, I never experienced such pain LOL, it is indeed hotter then so dam hots. It is not a chain-wide contest, the scarsdale location creates this death sauce in house from store bought ingrediants, we had to sign waivers to enter. the sauce is only made for the contest. the contests run every monday night during football season.

                                1. re: ryanallday

                                  I always wonder when they have these challenges, do they use natural ingredients, like a ghost pepper vs, a chemical version of capsaicin? Also, one note about this discussion that I see hasn't been brought up - the blue cheese dressing. I don't recall Candle Lights being anything to write home about, how about the other places. I have to say Baily's in Blauvelt has a decent blue cheese.

                                  1. re: michele cindy

                                    I hate those chemically sauces and the way they taste! I only like heat if it has flavor too :-)

                                    1. re: michele cindy

                                      The Tavern at Croton Landing located in Croton-On-Hudson has the best blue cheese I've ever had at a restaurant, their wings are also great but the home made blue cheese was amazing.

                                      1. re: michele cindy

                                        That was a huge problem for me at the candlelight. The bleu cheese was watery, almost had a vinegar taste. No chunks. At home I like Ken's or Marie's (although it does have a slight sour taste too). The bleu cheese at most places is generic, but pretty good. I honestly don't really notice it unless I don't like it and I love homemade bleu cheese. I almost always get it on my burgers too.

                                      2. re: ryanallday

                                        Back in my 20's I'd probably be able to tackle it, but a recent intestinal issue has me questioning whether I'd try it. Might be back in the hospital