The food: egg dishes to love
While in New York recently, my husband E and I went to Colicchio & Sons in Chelsea for brunch on a Saturday after a walk on the High Line.
We made a reservation for noon but there was no need. The large two-storey room – lavishly decorated with, among other things, a floor-to-ceiling glassed-in display of bottles of wine – was empty when we arrived. As soon as we sat down, the over-attentive waiter asked what kind of bottled water we would like to start with – still or sparkling, and when I said that tap water would be fine, his lip definitely curled.
Undeterred by the lip-curling and his hovering, we ordered a meaty “BLT-E Sammie with Pork Belly, Oven Roasted Tomato, Lemon Mayo and Fried Egg” for $16 (above) and a vegetable-centric “Ricotta, English Pea and Caramelized Onion Frittata with Wildflower Honey & Arugula” (below) for $12.
Both these assemblages tasted as delicious as they sound, with the elements in each dish being of impeccable quality. Especially the succulent and tender pork belly in the open-faced sandwich and the fluffy, creamy ricotta that was layered between the arugula and the frittata.
To gild those two lilies, we also ordered sides of roasted vegetables ($5) and wood-fired potatoes ($6). They came from a large wood-fired oven situated on one wall of the main dining space, and were a nice savoury complement to the egg dishes.
Back home in Toronto a few weeks later, I was inspired by the memory of that frittata with ricotta to make my own version of some creamy stuffed Chard and Saffron Omelettes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London’s Ottolenghi.
The original Ottolenghi recipe calls for swiss chard and creme fraiche. I substituted arugula and Greek yogurt (sweetened with a tablespoon of honey) for those ingredients, but I otherwise adhered to Ottolenghi’s methods, including cooking some diced potatoes in saffron water to give them an enticing golden hue and saffron flavour. The herb-flecked omelettes made a lovely light meal that I will make again in the coming months to hold me over until I can return to New York to eat the good food – and drink the good tap water – at Colicchio & Sons.