THE INCREDIBLE, EDIBLE EGG: Go Fish serves a swordfish steak finished with two eggs sunny side up.
A chef’s finishing touch is usually the diner’s first impression. We’ve been introduced to dishes adorned with lobster claws, rosemary branches, sails made of lavash, and seaweed that looked like antennae. Lately it seems the favorite final fillip in trendy kitchens is the humble egg. Avner Samuel at Aurora starts every meal with an elegant egg custard presented in its shell. Now that it’s no longer deemed decadent (turns out it doesn’t have all that much bad cholesterol after all!) and because it’s never out of season and mixes amiably with most savory foods, the egg is becoming to the entrée what the cherry has always been to the dessert. A stack of enchiladas culminating in a fried egg isn’t too surprising. We saw that in Santa Fe before we tried the sunrise enchiladas at Aparicio’s. But now Mercury’s Chris Ward is calling couscous “carbonara” and topping it with a poached egg and truffle oil. Chris Svalesen scatters little splats of fried egg across his swordfish niçoise at Go Fish. And Todd Erickson has been seen topping seared tuna with egg at Hector’s on Henderson. (Todd will try anything.) Even at York Street, where experiments are more tightly controlled, the egg (albeit duck) has been sent floating in a saffron sea of soup with sausage. We’ve heard rumors of fried eggs on hamburgers here—a cowboy version of steak tartare—and we know Kent Rathbun has dressed up deviled eggs with crabmeat and white truffles at Jasper’s. It all goes to show: the egg has definitely broken out of its shell.