Best French toast - 2000
jou jou at the Teatro Hotel
There's no better way to start a downtown workday than with breakfast at jou jou, the more casual but still classy Kevin Taylor eatery in the Teatro (the higher-priced spread, Restaurant Kevin Taylor, is but a doorway away). The lighting is soft, but the classic breakfast menu is a real eye-opener. For starters, just feast your eyes -- and then your mouth -- on the super-sweet French toast. The kitchen takes a dense, spongy brioche, slices it thick, batters each piece with a custardy egg mixture, and then fries everything in butter; the pile of golden goodness that results is decorated with caramelized sliced bananas and sided by a top-grade maple syrup. Toss in some of jou jou's melt-in-your-mouth maple-cured bacon, and you're ready to greet the day.