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Nougatine - Sublime Breakfast Experience (long review with photos)

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My SO were fortunate enough to have a few days to explore NYC earlier this month. We had 5 days, so we made the most of it and booked our itinerary full of well-reviewed restaurants by Chowhounders. One of our favourite experiences was at Nougatine for breakfast. Other restaurants we sampled included WD~50 (mediocre, at best), Jean Georges for lunch (strong, classic fare, though a bit heavy for my palate), Perilla (good entry - great portions and great price point) and the best of the lot – Degustation. You can search for my other posts for other reviews of those restaurants.

We made breakfast reservations and arrived around 10AM. My SO was ambitious (and famished) ordered the French Toast, as well as the egg white omelette with fresh herbs. I ordered the Eggs Benedict with a side of pork sausage.

When the plates arrived, I was very impressed by the presentation. I had never seen a French Toast (FT) plated like a piece of artwork. They were made with bread rounds that were drenched in buttermilk or cream. It was amazing – simply the most decadent FT I had ever sunken my teeth into. When you cut into it, the milk oozed out of its centre. In contrast, the toast was crunchy and not at all soggy. I have no idea how they managed to achieve this consistency – but I was blown away, as was my SO. The SO claimed that this was the BEST FT they had EVER had and was light-years beyond its closest competitor.

French Toast Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...

Sadly, the omelette was a slight disappointment when held in juxtaposition to the FT. The omelette had a very oily texture – and it seemed to have been poached in oil. Typically not the method I would have preferred my omelette to have been prepared.

Omelette Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...

The Eggs Benedict (EB) was another strong entry. The hollandaise sauce was sheer perfection. The French toast was crisp and held up well under the perfectly poached egg. The egg managed to be perfectly cooked in terms of the egg white, while allowing the yolk to be silky smooth and runny. It simply boggled the mind when one tries to imagine how that was achieved! (Perhaps I have lower expectations than some, but I was simply astounded). Alongside the EB came a wonderful slice of heaven – the hash brown. Though a bit oily (I would have preferred less oil), it was such a sight to behold. I had never sampled scalloped potato/hash browns before and it was such a novel idea. The side of sausage was another pleasant surprise. It was not at all greasy and had an excellent texture. The meat inside was course and substantial. It was also nicely seasoned and had the perfect amount of heat.

Eggs Benedict Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28531775...

I would highly recommend trying Nougatine for breakfast. Combine the excellent food with the stunning views and great service - and you have an unbeatable combination. And thank you to the Chowhounders that recommended this find. I will definitely return.

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