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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of Aug. 8, 2005: Egg, Bann.


Egg serves breakfast every day till noon.  

It might seem counterintuitive—masochistic, even—to open a breakfast-only joint in nightlife-loving Williamsburg. Especially one that flips its last flapjack by noon. But if anything can roust self-employed slacker-artistes out of bed, it’s Egg, a terrific new southern-style café that has quietly started operating mornings out of the garagelike premises of Sparky’s American Food, the hot-dog specialist with a gourmet aesthetic. Egg and Sparky’s don’t just share space—they share culinary philosophies and a passion for top-notch ingredients. Egg chef George Weld expresses his southern heritage all over his short, mouthwatering menu, along with his devotion to local and artisanal producers, from Anson Mills grits to Dines Farms sausage. Even the scrapple man gets a shout-out. There are fluffy pancakes, housemade sorghum granola, and mint-strewn caramelized grapefruit, not to mention country-friendly service. But the undisputed star of the morning show is Col. Bill Newsom’s Kentucky ham, an undersung American treasure that ham hound Peter Kaminsky celebrates in his recently published paean to pork, Pig Perfect. Served as a side or tucked into a buttermilk biscuit with melted Grafton Cheddar and a smear of homemade fig jam, the ultrarich, deep-red ham is a complexly ¦avored reminder of why breakfast is truly the most important meal.
135A N. 5th St., nr. Bedford St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-5151

Six years after Woo Lae Oak brought nouveau Korean cuisine to Soho, owner Young Choi expands to Hell’s Kitchen next week with Ban´n, the fourth outpost in her bi-coastal chainlet. Each table is equipped with a grill for the obligatory do-it-yourself Korean barbecue, but the menu at Ban´n gets more interesting when it takes inventive liberties with traditional flavors. To wit: seared foie gras over mung-bean polenta, buffalo carpaccio rolled in miso crêpes, and tuna tartare with Asian-pear sauce (pictured). The décor of the sprawling Worldwide Plaza space, though, employs traditional Eastern materials and symbols, from imported temple tiles and river stones to hemp-mulch screens imprinted with Korean calligraphy.
350 W. 50th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-582-4446


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