Flat White

10 Elizabeth Street bet. Prince & Spring Street

My friends Georgina and Bomyee, and I decided to meet for brunch yesterday at Public, an industrial yet elegant Australian/New Zealand-inspired restaurant in Nolita. It was 2:00 p.m., a.k.a. prime time for the brunch crowd, which meant that there was a 45-minute wait. We planted ourselves at the end of the bar and, when the bartender asked what he could get us, Georgina said, "I'll have a flat white." A what? I asked. "It's like a cappuccino," she explained, "without too much foam." Apparently, it's an Aussie thing. Out of curiosity, Bomyee and I each ordered one too. A flat white is less foamy than a cappuccino and less milky than a latte. It's basically made by pouring the wet "microfoam" found in the bottom of a pitcher of steamed milk into a double shot of espresso. The result is smooth, creamy, and velvety. Really nice. I'd order it again.

Soft-Boiled Egg & Cappuccino

65 Bleecker Street bet. Broadway & Lafayette Street

Believe it or not, it's not that common to find soft-boiled eggs offered on a breakfast menu, but I can always count on Le Pain Quotidien. I figure it's because the cooking time requires a level of sensitivity and precision that some kitchens can't handle. (For example, there's a noticeable difference between a 3-minute egg and a 4-minute egg.) Personal preferences vary: I like mine with the yolk runny–but warmed up–and the whites just set. Though it's served with a small variety of breads, my favorite one to dip in the yolk is still the baguette, dabbed with softened, salted butter. It's good to have a nice sit-down breakfast before work every now and then, just to collect your thoughts and have a "civilised" start to the day.