BEST FRENCH TOAST - 2006
The kitchen at 240 Union depends heavily on the smarts of its cooks and its mesquite grills -- grills that were a symbol of the California Cuisine "revolution" of the mid-'80s -- and that's appropriate, because a lot of 240 Union's menu reflects both a fierce, sometimes funny intelligence and the slow, natural tempering of the Californian ideals of seasonality, center-plate proteins and locals-only bravado. So on the one hand, you have Colorado lamb chops glazed in apricot mustard, an excellent cioppino, farfalle with bacon and sundried tomatoes, and, occasionally, the world's greatest corndog made out of lobster chunks. And on the other hand, you'll find the most amazing piece of French toast ever, which serves as the base for 240's seared duck breast in peppercorn sauce and sour-cherry jus. It's a simple thing, just a long spear of battered and grilled bread stuffed with goat cheese so that the sweetness and the sourness combine with the sauces to make a flavor so much greater than the sum of their parts. But it's fabulous. French toast: It's not just for breakfast anymore.