There's some big brunching to be had at Recipe, the tiny 26-seat eatery on the Upper West. The menu is filled with gems, but a recent decision to go the seemingly boring route—the French toast en cocotte ($9)—turned out to be a highly worthy one. Brioche from Tomcat Bakery gets that perfect crunchy sear on the outside, almost like a brulee, yielding the richest melt-on-the-tongue sort of bread pudding insides. Chalk it up to an extra-long vanilla soak, perhaps.
Also delicious? The topping. It's not whipped cream, as it may look to be—it's a custardy mascarpone combined with summer berries. Maple syrup is almost extraneous, but then again, local syrup is never a bad thing. The portion is small enough to share as an appetizer, so do just that--you'll end up giving away as many bites regardless.