I am a sucker for dining outdoors when the weather is mediocre or better. Which in New York is May through October (plus/minus), with exceptions for undesirables, such as thunderstorms and … well, you never know what sort of undesirables the city is going to offer up. Let’s leave it at that.
The rest of the time, I seek out restaurants such as the Barking Dog Lunchonette on 77th and York in the UES, because no matter how mediocre the food is, the setting makes it: Always-available outdoor tables; lots of dogs to oggle; and whether you’ve just come off a Park run or stumbled out of bed, it’s good fun.
Anyhow, I ordered “Spinach-potato-dill pancakes with poached eggs, salmon caviar, and crème fraîche” ($9 and change), thinking I ordered fancy potato pancakes plus novel condiments. (I love novel condiments.)
Instead, I got actual pancakes baked with spinach and herbs, topped with the poached eggs … My first thought was: Weird. What did I get myself into? The subsequent thoughts were about process and novelty factor: So does this mean we break the yolk for our “syrup” and, alternatively, whoa, so an actual savory version of the pancake actually exists, just like the French crepe?
It doesn’t work, not exactly, quite yet. I say, keep trying …