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The best anytime egg dishes

NYC chefs break eggs outside the breakfast mold.

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Farmer’s eggs at Acme
Local ingredients and naturalistic plating are two hallmarks of New Nordic cuisine, which has infiltrated New York thanks to Noma cofounder Mads Refslund’s recent takeover of the Acme kitchen. You’ll find both at play in this light and savory creation, served in hollow eggshells on a bed of chicken wire and hay. A cloudlike puff of cauliflower foam billows out of the top, giving way to a layer of steamed baby cauliflower and, finally, a silken custard made from egg yolk and aged Parmesan. 9 Great Jones St between Broadway and Lafayette St (212-203-2121). $10.

 (Photograph: Alex Strada)
Photograph: Alex Strada

Huevos revueltos with Spanish anchovy at Casa Mono
Spain’s egg obsession is evident in several dishes on the menu at Mario Batali’s much-adored tapas joint, including this umami-rich twist on a scramble. The velvety, barely cooked eggs are tossed with just-popped Manila clams and chunks of bread that have been cooked with anchovies, olive oil and heavy cream until they’re soaked through with flavor. The medley is garnished with a cracker-thin anchovy bocadillo that crumbles into the eggs, giving them a salty crunch. 52 Irving Pl at 17th St (212-253-2773). $14.

 (Photograph:  Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Sopes with poached quail egg at Empellon Taqueria
It was the shape and versatility of sopes—little rounds of fried masa topped with various fillings—that sparked the imagination of chef Alex Stupak, who says they reminded him of the tartlettes he made during his days as a pastry chef. He uses the minicups of corn-based dough as a vehicle for tiny, slow-poached quail eggs, which spill their mild yolk into a bed of slightly smoky refried black beans cooked with serranos, epazote and bacon. Each two-bite shell is finished off with crumbly cotija cheese and fiery chili de arbol salsa. 230 W 4th St at 10th St (212-367-0999). $10.


 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The “original” egg roll at Nom Wah Tea Parlor
At most run-of-the-mill takeout joints, the namesake ingredient of the egg roll is barely evident, but Nom Wah’s improved rendition puts it front and center. Rather than simply working eggs into the batter, the kitchen creates thin egg crêpes to stuff with a savory filling including steamed chicken, bamboo shoots, carrots and mushrooms. These omelet-like bundles are then flash-fried in a secret-recipe dough, resulting in a flaky shell that clings to the delicate folds of egg within. 13 Doyers St between Bowery and Pell St (212-962-6047). Two for $3.95.

 (Photograph: Ken Goodman)
Photograph: Ken Goodman

Coddled egg with peekytoe crab and grits at North End Grill
Former Tabla toque Floyd Cardoz devotes an entire section of the menu to eggs at Danny Meyer’s latest endeavor, bringing haute finesse to dishes like a luxe Nova Scotia lobster omelet. His coddled eggs with grits were born from an improvised breakfast he whipped up one Thanksgiving morning, throwing in lumps of peekytoe crab, fat nubs of linguiça, and whatever else he was craving. Like much of the cooking at North End Grill, the kitchen-sink creation balances easygoing appeal (creamy grits pooled with yolk) with subtle spicing (fresh ginger, smoky pasilla de Oaxaca chilis), adding intrigue and depth. 104 North End Ave at Murray St (646-747-1600). $15.

 (Photograph:  Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Quail egg shooters at Fatty Crab           
Throwing back shots doesn’t have to leave you on the floor at Zakary Pelaccio’s Malaysian-style roadhouse, where you can order this flight of gorgeously speckled quail eggs as a bar snack or offbeat amuse-bouche. The tiny specimens are slow-poached in a water bath, cut open at the top, then topped with one of four house-made sambals: a funky sriracha; a spicy version garnished with salty fried anchovy; a sweet and chewy mix of dried shrimp, lemongrass and candied pork; and a five-alarm hot sauce that’s best saved for last. 643 Hudson St between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts (212-352-3592). $7.

 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Egg in a hole at Fedora
The classic egg-in-a-nest gets a daredevil twist from Au Pied de Cochon alum Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly, who boosts the dish’s hearty appeal even further by smothering it in tripe ragù. A thick, griddled slice of Sullivan Street Bakery sourdough pullman soaks up the egg yolk that gushes from its center, as well as the tomatoey sauce of offal, red-pepper puree and smoked paprika. A layer of melted Wisconsin cheddar adds to the richness, while arugula leaves scattered on top provide a bitter contrast. 239 W 4th St between Charles and W 10th Sts (646-449-9336). $14.

 (Photograph: Noah Devereaux)
Photograph: Noah Devereaux

Kamameshi with salmon roe at Robataya NY
Though grilled proteins and vegetables are the specialty of this atmospheric robataya, it’s imperative to end a meal here with this beloved Japanese rice dish. After cooking for 30 minutes in a traditional earthenware pot, the plump grains are topped with flaky hunks of salmon and glistening orbs of salmon roe. The eggs explode as soon as you bite down on them, adding bursts of fishy brine to the soul-enriching combo of rice and fish. 231 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves (212-979-9674). $15, serves two.

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Balut at Maharlika Filipino Moderno
Among the hard-to-find Pinoy specialities available at Maharlika is this fabled street snack, a fertilized duck egg cooked in its shell. Here, the 17-day-old eggs are slow-poached, then served with nothing but a pile of salt. Crack open the top to sip the mild, musty broth inside, then dig into the main event. While the egg white is bland and rubbery (some prefer to eat around it), the dark interior—an admittedly challenging mishmash of semiformed duck parts—is intriguing and flavorful. It reminded us of a duck stew mixed with a boiled egg. 111 First Ave between 6th and 7th Sts (646-392-7880). $4.

 (Photograph:  Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Potato-and-egg hero at Parm
Of all the Italian-American classics that Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone have put their stamp on, this hearty sub-shop staple may have the most anytime appeal. As is their trademark, the chef duo elevates the humble sandwich with careful preparation: The eggs are soft-scrambled, while the slow-roasted red potatoes are finished in a pan with garlic and butter right before they’re served. The two come together beautifully in a squishy hoagie, topped with roasted peppers and dripping through with a generous dose of melted provolone. 248 Mulberry St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-993-7189). $12.