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Balthazar 18/37

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Poached Eggs
Canadian Bacon
English Muffin


80 Spring St
(at Crosby St)
New York, NY

If copper-sleek tapas bar ñ led the vanguard of SoHo’s assault on Crosby Street, Balthazar was the well-tailored general arriving to survey the damage and pose for the photo op.

No longer restaurant of the week, as it was when it opened in 1997, Balthazar has nonetheless aged better than others in that category. Which is not surprising—owner Keith McNally’s résumé includes the Odeon, Lucky Strike, Pravda, and Balthazar sequel Pastis.

The brasserie is best enjoyed around 8 am on a weekday morning, when the place is empty and the waiters are still yawning; a good breakfast is a soft boiled egg, a tartine, and a big bowl of cafe au lait. Once brunch time arrives at 11:30, the place gets crowded and annoying.

The Balthazar eggs Benedict arrives naked, a little pile in the middle of the plate with no greenery. The english muffins are linked together by overlapping canadian bacon, and stacked on a bed of onions and potatoes. The muffins were extra chewy ... not good.

Other egg dishes on the menu include eggs Bella Donna with polenta and pancetta, and poached eggs Boudin Noir with blood sausage. But I don’t think I’ll be back to test them: the brunch is better at Pastis.

Submitted by JHC
September 9, 2001


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