First, an apology for this picture: it’s blurry. I’m not sure why it’s blurry, must have been in the wrong mode, or not enough light, or whatever it is that makes a picture blurry. Forgive me. (If you click it, it gets bigger but even blurrier. That’s a choice you’ll have to make on your own.)
What the picture lacks in focus it surely makes up for in content: this is the truffled egg toast at ‘ino. I’d heard many things about this dish. Amanda Hesser writes about it in “Cooking for Mr. Latte.” (She has a recipe that recreates it, which I’ll soon attempt.) My friend Alex B., when she heard I went to ‘ino a few weeks ago, said: “Did you have the truffled egg toast? WHAT? YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE TRUFFLED EGG TOAST? ARE YOU CRAZY?”
So today, when stumbling around the Village, looking for a place to lunch, I suddenly realized: “Why Adam! This is a perfect opportunity to have truffled egg toast at ‘ino!”
And so I did and it was a sublime experience. I don’t use the word sublime lightly. I wouldn’t use the word “sublime” to describe, say, the pecan bars I made the other day. Those were just tasty and comforting and sticky and gooey but surely not sublime. The Thai food I ate for dinner was really good—peanut and coconut curry—but still not sublime. If you want sublime, go to ‘ino. Get the truffled egg toast.
This paragraph will put to the test my abilities as a food writer. I am going to try to describe, the best I can, the sensation of eating truffled egg toast. So first you have this thick toast—it’s ciabatta bread they bought from down the street at Blue Ribbon. It’s hefty and has weight to it, but isn’t difficult to cut through–like really crusty French toast but crustier and not as buttery and no maple syrup. On top of that is some kind of cheese. I don’t know what kind of cheese. I am failing as a food writer. (Acually, on second thought, I’m not sure there was cheese. Maybe the cheese was egg?) Let’s talk about the egg. Is it poached? Is it fried? I think it’s poached. Again, I’m a failure. But then there’s a drizzle of truffle oil—you can see it melding with the yolk. Around the plate is scattered cut-up asparagus and then all over it, as if matter from another planet, is sprinkled salt and freshly cracked pepper. I say “from another planet” because the salt and pepper really stand out here in a peculiar otherworldly way. You’ve put salt and pepper on eggs before, sure, but here they feel (dramatic music plays)…different.
It’s the melding of all these flavors—the truffle oil, the yolk, the pepper, the salt, the egg, the toast—that makes this unlike anything you’ve ever eaten. It’s bizarre. It’s exciting. It’s food you never knew existed that once you eat it you can’t remember a time that it didn’t exist. It’s that good.
And that’s truffled egg toast. I’ve eaten it, now. Why haven’t you?