BEST FRENCH TOAST - 1999
It might be more fair to describe this brunch item as bread pudding made from a single, gargantuan slice off a buttery loaf (brioche, perhaps?), which the kitchen staff must soak in custard--no trace of egg whites or skim milk, just yolks and cream and vanilla and a little orange zest to keep things lively. Your slice arrives with a perfect crust, and a center that, like really good bread pudding, is neither gooey nor tough. This being an upscale breakfast joint, they bring real maple syrup, too.