I know what you're thinking: crostini aren't meant for brunch! And generally, I wouldn't disagree. They're perfect for appetizers, or to accompany wine, to be sure, but these aren't your average crostini. And while Gottino's homemade waffle with bananas and walnuts ($10, below) and steamed scrambled eggs ($9) make for perfectly fine, more typically brunchy dishes, it's these crostini ($7, two to an order) that kept us coming back for more.
The basic formula is a winner no matter which way you spin it: great crusty bread, beautiful figs, honey, goat cheese, and a smattering of chopped almonds. The base is sturdy enough to hold its ingredients, but pillowy enough to maintain textural balance, letting the chew of sweet fig halves and almond's crunch take center stage. And while the honey isn't anything unusual, the caprino is of a whipped variety so gently tangy, buttery, and delicate that it seems as if it could linger on the palate for hours. Consider me guilty of asking for two orders back to back, and, as subtly as possible, swiping my finger across the plate to catch any fallen bits.
About the author: Nikki Goldstein Nikki Goldstein is a freelance food and nutrition writer living in New York City. Aside from her Gadgets and Brunch columns here at Serious Eats, you can find her writing in SELF and the New York Post's new iPad edition, The Daily. Even in her 500-square-foot studio, she devotes an entire walk-in-closet to all things gadget-related..