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desiring Friday brunch + dreamy banana cream

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Restaurants & Bars 2

desiring Friday brunch + dreamy banana cream

Windy | Feb 26, 2005 12:48 PM

Shocker and I had been trying to get to Desiree ever since I discovered they were serving brunch (i.e., eggs) on Fridays and finally made it yesterday. It was an ideal place to catch up on gossip, in a quiet room we had all to ourselves with soft music and lots of drinks. As he said, it's not really brunch unless you have three beverages in front of you, lining up all our glasses.

The main reason we were there was the soft scrambled eggs, served with tiny potato croquettes and bites of nettles in phyllo. These did not disappoint.

Why are these eggs so good? We tried to imagine how they were made--double boiler? (or remembering a NY Times feature on cooking with Daniel Boulud) a stick of butter? I wish I had eaten them with a spoon so that nothing was wasted, or watched them being cooked.

We also ordered the usual egg salad sandwich, this week with diced celery. The bread seemed a little more buttery, but we finished every crumb and the pickled peppers accompanying it. It was fine, but did not produce the level of glassy eyed bliss as the soft scramble. (Have I mentioned that I don't really like scrambled eggs or egg salad?)

We only regretted we hadn't ordered the third egg option, a bacon and dandelion salad with a poached egg. At least we regretted it until our third plate arrived, a beet and radicchio salad.

The salad was the most beautiful in recent memory. Faintly wilted radicchio that might have inspired Florentine art; elegant wisps of red and white and green. Fried threads of shallots provided texture. Dried cherries and balsamic dressing but especially the radicchio perfectly married.

Brunch wasn't cheap ($42 for 2, with lots of liquids, a healthy tip and a cookie; more than I usually spend for lunch there) but we left happy and full. Probably a good idea not to go too early so that the desserts and all the lunch items are available too. But really, you're there for the eggs.

***

After I got home, I got a call from a pregnant friend craving a tuna melt and drove over to meet her at Tyger's. I wasn't hungry but did manage a bite of her raspberry pancake, which was pretty good (the syrup was not). Another friend from Germany loves Tyger's. Like Hungry Jack's in Noe Valley, it's a good old-fashioned American breakfast, and the place and the people who eat there seem exactly the same, no matter how much time has passed. Predictability being a good quality, especially early in the morning.

We also picked up tea snacks at Destination Bakery on Chenery. She insisted I try their banana cream tart. I'm not a big fan of banana cream anything, although I've been known to eat the giant chocolate banana cream one at Tartine, when forced to. But this is an exceptional bite.

It's small (for which I give it points), 3 or 4 inches in diameter, costs only $2 and has a divine shell, made with almonds. Filled with sliced bananas, a thin, almost imperceptible, layer of custard, and topped with Chantilly cream. Unadorned, divine.

We also had a slice of carrot cake, which was fine but not in the same category.

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