March 3, 2005 3:38 AM | By Adam Roberts | 1 Comment

(Blurry) Truffled Egg Toast at 'ino

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?

1 Comment

I made Amanda Hesser's version of this for the second time this morning.
Note: the truffle oil is important. But don't buy that much -- I have a 2 oz. bottle (I think) and you just need a tiny sprinkle.
It's delicious even if you overcook them a little bit like I did the first time.

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