I never thought I’d say this, but I just had egg yolk and I loved it! I’ve mentioned before my obsession with poached eggs, which would always require a meticulous surgical process of separating the whites from the yolk – but not here, not at Telepan.
Jay surprised me with a little (actually not so little) Saturday brunch at this quiet Upper West Side spot. He read somewhere they had the best poached eggs in the city, so I sat down with pretty high expectations. And they sure didn’t disappoint. From the first bite to the very last, it transcended any theory of decreasing marginal utility (sorry, I’m taking global economy right now). It gives Norma’s a run for its money in terms of the sheer quantity of food, but at the same time, has a delicate touch to each of its entrees, unlike Norma’s philosophy of sugar and excess.
We started off with cocktails. I had the Italian 77 (prosecco, St. Germain, lemon juice) whichI highly recommed for its refreshingly spritzy taste and texture. Jay had the Negroni Saignee. Don’t be fooled by its girly blood orange tint that’s shaken and dripped into a martini glass. There were enough shots of charbay vodka mixed in to break Jay’s tolerance.
But on to the food! We went with the $28 brunch prix fixe, which comes with two entrees each. My Apple Sausage Poached Egg and Jay’s Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Blintzes came out first. The blintzes were, as all blintzes are, heavy. But Telepan’s crepe wrapping and powered sugar toppings with figs were extremely light, countering the weight of the ricotta. The apple sausages were tender, without a single bite of the usual rubbery outter layer found on diner sausages. In between were duck prosciutto shavings and fresh watercress tossed in a light vinaigrette. And this brings me to the poached egg. A singluar egg rested on the bed of watercress, perfectly poached. Its translucence exhibited an unadulterated membrane and the ideal balance of runniness and solidity. As soon as my fork pierced its fragile glossy layers and the yolk slowly oozed out, I couldn’t bear to waste any of it. And to my surprise, the yolk was the lightest I’ve ever encountered and went surprisingly well with the watercress. I can write a novel about this egg, but I have two more blogworthy entrees to write about.
Our second courses were pear french toast and biscuits and gravy. By this time, I was stuffed, but the french toast was irresistible. Slices of pear were lightly caramelized between two thin pieces of warm, fluffy toast. Again, the caramel and brown sugar bacon were extremely light, so as not to powerpower the pear flavor. The main event of Jay’s biscuits and gravy was a set of poached eggs. I won’t scare you again with how perfectly cooked they were, but the sprinkled chunks of sausages and fresh biscuits played flawless complementary roles.
All in all, it was a delicious experience and I guess you can say life-altering in terms of my take on poached eggs. I can’t say I’m converted though, since I won’t be allowing yolk onto my plate unless its under the softly-lit, soothingly modern decor of Telepan.