It’s Easter weekend and that means eggs are everywhere, and that’s fine by us. Eggs are the most versatile, delicious ingredient you’ll ever encounter. In fact, if we were stuck on a deserted island and had only one food we could bring, the egg would be it. When we see farm fresh egg on a menu, there’s a good chance we’ll be ordering it. Here’s a look at how chefs around town are treating eggs this weekend.
First up is the coddled farm egg, a dish from FIG that’s quickly become legendary. Mike Lata loves eggs, and he proves it by serving them up in style. They take a Sea Island Farm Egg and bake it with celeriac cream and brown butter in a cocotte until the yolk is runny and the white is set. It's presented with parmesan-topped stone crab, English peas, and morel mushrooms and garnished with croutons and sea salt. “It started as a basic dish, but we played around with the ingredients to make it into something light and tasty. The dish has taken off," says Chef de Cuisine Jason Stanhope.
At Tristan, Chef Nate Whiting has concocted a Lowcountry carbonara, a spinoff of the classic Italian dish, which can be described as bacon and eggs over noodles. “The Lowcountry version uses thinly cut onions that are slowly cooked and resemble pasta,” he says. On top of the onion “impasta,” a quail — cooked sous vide — is centered and topped with a sunnyside up quail egg. The whole dish gets dressed with bacon crème sauce. It’s currently featured as an appetizer on the menu for $13.
On Ken Vedrinski’s menu at Trattoria Lucca, you’ll find the egg featured in many a dish, but our favorite has to be the cauliflower sformatino, which he describes as a cauliflower custard. The egg is cracked into the center and the dish is steamed so that the egg stays runny and the cauliflower sets. It comes with crispy guanciale (jowl bacon), parmesan vache rosso, and arugula. That appetizer is $9.
If you want to go old school this Easter weekend, you can head to The Glass Onion for a plate of Jennie Ruth’s deviled eggs. Co-owner and chef Chris Stewart says they sell about 70 a day. His secret for making a great version of this potluck classic? Buy really good quality eggs. Theirs come from Celeste Albers of the Green Grocer on Wadmalaw or from Annie Keegan at Keegan-Filion in Walterboro. His recipe is modeled after his grandmother Jennie Ruth’s. After she passed away, he was looking in the fridge to figure out what she used and eventually figured out it was mustard, mayonnaise, and pickle relish. At GO, he uses a bell pepper and onion relish instead of the classic pickle relish. He recommends eating them with a garden salad so you get some protein while you’re waiting on your food to come out. “Frankly, I think they’re good with anything.”
One of our favorite ways to encounter an egg is on a pizza. At Monza on King Street, you can add a farm fresh egg to any pizza you want for $2. Chef Will Fincher thinks most heavily meaty pies can benefit from the addition of an egg. His favorite is the Fangio, which has fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, jalapeños, fresh sausage, and onions. “It’s a perfect combination,” he says. The pizza is popped into the blazing hot oven, and, once the base sets, they crack an egg over the middle. The egg sets on top until it’s just runny, making for a delicious sauce that you can mop up with your pizza crust. They get their eggs from Sidi Limehouse and his crew at Rosebank Farms.
A more exotic treatment of the egg can be found at Kim’s Restaurant in West Ashley. Sit in the front of the restaurant and order the Stone Bowl from the Korean menu. You’ll find yourself face to face with a extremely hot bowl that’s filled with rice, thin pieces of Bul-Go-Ki, and steamed vegetables. Right before it comes to the table, they crack an egg on top of the rice. Once it’s set down, start mixing the egg into the rice and vegetables, add some spicy chili sauce, and you’ve got yourself a most amazing pot of food that you won’t soon forget. It’s $11.50 and lives on the very bottom of the Kim’s menu. But don’t overlook it.