French Toast ($12)
Bread pudding french toast is deftly executed; the bread is crunchy and brown on the outside and tender inside, not mushy or soggy. It's only mildly sweet, too, not a sugar bomb at all. The fresh fruit and cream it was topped with was an unusual and lovely touch.
Smoked Salmon Tartine ($14)
Kayser and his cohorts wisely use his extraordinary bread (specifically his tourte de meule, a large loaf made mostly from sourdough) as the foundation for most of the breakfast menu. Sometimes this works brilliantly, like when they toast a piece of bread and layer it with Smoked Salmon ($14) over a schmear of crème fraîche, nestle a perfectly cooked, just runny enough sunny-side up egg on top, and dot the whole thing with fried capers and shaved onions. Magnifique!
Nutella Tartine ($9)
A sweet tartine topped with Nutella, bright strawberry preserves, and sliced strawberries was the perfect child's breakfast in adult form. We felt a little guilty liking it so much, but not enough to keep us from cleaning our plates.
Egg & Sausage Tartine ($12)
The closest thing on the menu to an American breakfast sandwich had way too many things going on: sweet sliced sausage, overcooked scrambled egg, caramelized onions, and basil pesto, all cloaked by fontina cheese that turned leathery.
Egg & Artichoke ($11)
The artichoke is mild and a bit spicy in this tartine.
Egg and Asparagus Tartine ($13)
The crunchy asparagus gets overwhelmed by overcooked scrambled egg.
Smoked Salmon Cocotte ($14)
The egg here was tender, if not especially creamy, and it featured the same winning fish and fried capers as the tartine.
Parisian Ham ($13)
This cocotte fared less well, with way overcooked eggs (including a chalky ball of yolk) and a bread topping that comes with over-melted Gruyere.
Daily Bread Basket ($10)
The bread basket is, as you would expect, extremely serious, a mix of baguette and slices of larger loaves, and would make a great breakfast on its own. It comes in a perfect little burlap bag with some butter and preserves.
Viennoiserie Basket ($10)
Less successful was the Viennoiserie. With one brioche, one croissant, and one pain au chocolat, the burlap bag that held these three items should have been fuller. $10 is about the cost of those pastries put together; shouldn't we get some added value for the burlap? A "basket" suggests abundance, which we loved in the bread mix. We would have liked the same feeling in this one. As for the pastries themselves, the brioche is as tender and rich as can be while being bread, not cake; the croissant and pain au chocolat could stand to be more buttery, both for flaky texture and flavor.
A solid cup of coffee, rich and not astringent in the least.