Shirred Eggs and Black Truffles ($18)
The mold is coated in butter and Parmigiano Reggiano before it's filled with eggs and cooked slowly over a water bath. Accented simply with chopped truffles (in the eggs and shaved on top), that Reggiano, thyme, and no shortage of cream, it emerges wobbly and delicate and perfect for slathering on the baguette "soldiers" served alongside.
Salade d'Agrumes ($14)
With perfectly segmented grapefruit, blood orange, and tangerine in an olive oil dressing with pomegranate, mint, and pistachios; straightforward and refreshing, it's by far the lightest dish you'll find.
Crépinettes et Huîtres ($16)
The first-couse showstopper, and a must-order if money's no object. The soft and intensely fatty balls of truffled pork sausage arrive next to Fisher Island Oysters, briny and sweet and already mignonetted.
Brioche French Toast ($17)
It may be the last thing an adventurous eater would choose on this menu, but it's excellent: housemade brioche soaked in a custard and then griddled to a buttery crisp, and topped with a Salvatore Bklyn whipped ricotta so creamy you could be forgiven for thinking it was a tangy sort of butter. A judicious pour of syrup touches everything with maple without drowning it in sweet.
Slow Baked Ham in Hay ($22)
Just that: fresh hams brined for 10 days, and then steam-baked on a bed of fresh-cut hay. They're served with eggs, creamy Anson Mills grits, Tuscan kale, and remarkably tasty biscuits Nasr and Hanson make from house-rendered lard. In our opinion, the hay-steam worked a little too well—something touched by hay is grassy and appealing, but something that verges toward tasting like hay, less so. Still, the quality of the biscuits (some of the best we've had since Brooklyn Star's fire), perfect eggs, and grits made us want to take another chance on this dish.
As a plate of food, the perfect poached eggs, tangy dill hollandaise, and tendrils of smoked salmon were right on; but the latkes themselves (though, we were told, they're cooked in clarified butter for a hotter fry and better crisp) were too thick and potato-y for our taste.
Duck Hash ($9)
How's this for a side dish? The skillet of crisped-up duck bits and potatoes could be a brunch dish in itself (we're imagining a fried egg on top). We wanted just a bit more crisp in the potatoes, but they're swimming in duck fat; it's hard to complain.
Roasted Prime Rib au Jus ($42)
While Minetta Tavern is known for its burger and clubby feel and impossible reservation policy, it should really be known as one of the best steakhouses in the city. To this end, it may be worth skipping brunch altogether and diving into the Roasted Prime Rib au Jus. This picture tells you all you need to know.
Pots de Crème ($9)
On the menu from opening day, they're three perfect thimblefuls to end your meal. The coffee was the standout (though we won't say a word against the vanilla and chocolate).