We all love breakfast for dinner, but five chefs on Wine Enthusiast’s annual 100 Best Wine Restaurants list are turning a morning staple—the incredibly versatile egg—into a nighttime standby with intriguing wine pairing opportunities. From luxurious, lobster-topped deviled eggs that beg for bubbly to a farm-fresh poached egg that matches perfectly with orange wine, these five restaurants egg-xemplify the trend (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). Bonus: we include five chef-approved tips for making perfect eggs at home every time.
“The egg is a seductive partner to wine,” says Liz Vilardi, co-owner/wine director of The Blue Room, “because its texture, taste and fat composition are so friendly to wine’s acidity and body.” Known for dishes packed with fresh, garden-plucked ingredients, the poached farm egg dish with gorgonzola polenta, mustard greens and spring onions is the ideal match for white wines, especially those “with long skin macerations,” says Vilardi, or “for those serious about orange or oxidative wines.”
All kinds of creative egg iterations appear at David Chang’s multicultural midtown Manhattan restaurant, alongside thoughtful wine pairings by Beverage Director Jordan Salcito. While the menu evolves frequently, popular dishes have included a lamb noodle dish with a soft egg accompanied by cabbage and chili jam, a grilled dry-aged ribeye steak with sesame, scallion and fried egg, or grilled asparagus with fried egg and Pickapeppa Hollandaise (it’s spiked with Jamaican hot sauce).
Several egg dishes enhance the menu at this Champagne-fueled Chicago restaurant, whose wine list is almost exclusively comprised of organic or sustainably produced sparkling wine. Along with a quiche Lorraine and croque madame to entice diners, there are decadent deviled eggs that come topped with lobster.
“They’re the perfect balance of comfort and indulgence,” says Chef Nate Meads, who matches the luxurious bite with a pour of the organic, 100 percent Chardonnay Dosnon & Lepage Recolte Blanche Champagne.
From bar snacks to main courses, this sleek Los Angeles eatery serves up a variety of egg dishes, including tiny but tasty deviled quail eggs topped with smoked trout that typically come with a “shot” of soup on the side. But the restaurant’s signature dish, the croque madame, is an inventive take on a brunch staple, piling yellowtail sashimi, prosciutto and a sunny-side-up quail egg high on top of grilled brioche bread.
“No pun intended, but eggs give you a lot of free range,” says Chef and Co-owner Karen Hatfield. “They can be used in so many creative ways, and since everyone grew up with eggs, that level of familiarity and comfort make them a real crowd pleaser.”
This Logan Circle eatery is famous for its Spanish-leaning wine list (95 percent of its selections hail from Spain), so it’s fitting that the tapa of choice is frequently the egg-based tortilla Española, arguably Spain’s national dish, and the restaurant’s signature plate. Another egg-centric treat for wine lovers is the montadito, an open-faced sandwich of foie gras scrambled eggs on top of grilled homemade country bread brushed with black truffle butter.
“I would highly recommend the montadito with the 2001 La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva that we are pouring by the glass,” says Wine Director Max Kuller. “The savory, creamy, earthy elements of both the wine and dish play beautifully, while the spicy tart fruit delicately slices through the richness. Oenophiles take note.”
Since Estadio features the star ingredient so frequently, Wine Enthusiast asked Executive Chef Haidar Karoum for five tips when cooking with eggs at home:
1. “When making a classic Spanish omelet, or tortilla Española, there’s a trick to giving the tortilla a luscious, creamy texture,” says Karoum. “Once the potatoes are cooked in olive oil, make sure they soak in the egg mixture for at least an hour.”
2. Always use the freshest organic eggs you can find, no matter what egg creation you’re whipping up. “To test for freshness, place an egg in a bowl of water. If it’s super fresh, the egg will sink to the bottom and lay on its side. If it floats, no bueno,” says Karoum.
3. “When scrambling eggs, try to use the best quality butter you can get your hands on and cook the eggs gently. Medium-low heat produces a creamier and more tender product,” says Karoum.
4. Wondering how to make easy hard boiled eggs every time? “A foolproof way is to place the egg in a pot, cover with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid and let the egg sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. Then shock the egg in an ice water bath.”
5. If you’re feeling adventurous, Karoum suggests creating a Thai-style fried egg. “Pour several beaten eggs into a pot of very hot oil, wait 10 seconds and carefully flip,” says Karoum. “The mixture will soufflé to about four times its size. Drain and serve the egg with steamed rice and nam prik. That’s a sauce made of chilies, garlic, fish sauce and lime juice.”
- 2The Blue Room
- 3Momofuku Má Pêche
- 4RM Champagne Salon
- 7Five Tips for Cooking Eggs at Home