A +/- Look at NYC Food

Telepan: Summer Menu

I’m not a huge brunch person. But half way through the Coddled Eggs dish at Telepan on Sunday night- I thought… if brunch eggs were like this- I could be converted. Had a really delicious dinner at Telepan the other night, Bill (JUdson Grille) Telepan’s greenmarket restaurant on the Upper West Side. And you might say the secret ingredient was eggs. 2 of the five dishes we ordered had some type of egg topping it. If you like eggs for dinner, or on your salad, this is the place to go. Not just good for eggs, it’s also got one of the best prix fix menu deals for a restaurant of this calibur in the city. For $55 you can choose one item off each of the four sections of the menu (Appetizers, Mid Courses, Entrees, and Dessert). For $65 you can add a cheese course to that. I remember reading when they first opened, you could just choose four items off any section… I’m sure leading to the four entree fat man meal. They’ve since changed the menu to address that problem, but allow you to supplement a different course for an extra charge.

I have to say, usually when I look at a menu, a few things jump out at me, and ordering is not too difficult (especially since my wife and I share everything). But this was the closest we came to a fight… There was not a single thing on the menu that didn’t look good- and it was difficult to decide what to get, and how much of it. In the end we choose 5 dishes (3 as a part of the prix fix, and an extra mid course and extra entree). A lot of food, but I can’t think of one dish I would have been willing to give up.

The meal began with an amuse bouche of three items. A pastry puff filled with cheese (how could that be bad???), a crostini topped with mushrooms and beans (also good), and a chilled carrot soup topped with olive oil, which was really delicious- and reminded you that the meal you were about to eat is one made with really fresh ingredients. The menu at Telepan changes based on the seasons and what the best available ingredients are- so don’t expect the menu to be exactly the same when you go.

What we ate, and the porn- after the jump….



I don’t normally order foie (I know it has it’s huge followers) but something drew me to this dish… probably the combo of rhubarb and duck prosciutto. It was served with duck proscuitto, and rhubarb salad, beet marmalade and walnuts. All the elements were really delcious seperately, and really good eaten together.


The dish that drew us to the restaurant in the first place. I’ve never had coddled eggs before, but if you like poached eggs, you will love these. Served on top of collard greens and scrapple and covered in a pork broth/sauce. I’ve never had scrapple before but I’ve read about it… and dreamed of the day I could try this Pennsylvania Dutch creation. It’s made taking pork trimmings (or scraps) and cornmeal, making it into a pudding, and frying it. This scrapple was probably made with better ingredients then most, and tasted like a really delcious pork hash. I expected the outside to be a little crispier, but the collards, sauce and broken egg probably made that impossible. Sooooo good (and not light!)


Another egg dish (the picture was taken after the poached egg was broken over the top and mixed into the pasta); this one was a pea carbonara, made with house cured pancetta and egg fettucine, topped with a poached egg. As delicious as it sounds… better then the pasta dishes at a lot of good Italian restaurants. 


The halibut was perfectly cooked, with a nice crust on the outside… delicious and flaky on the inside- but the real star was underneath. Chanterelles, wild spinach and crisped gnocchi, which were exactly what they sound like. Little gnocchi, seared on the outside to give them a little bit of a crisp. Amazing.



Pork 4 ways, with mashed peas and organic grits. This was a slight disappointment… not because it wasn’t good- but because one of the four ways was not some sort of roasted pulled pork shoulder with crisp skin. It’s our favorite, and we were expecting the dish to have that element. Instead it came with a pork back rib (fall off the bone good- and the best piece), pork sausage, and two slices of pork (maybe one being pork loin and other being from the leg? not exactly sure). The dish was delicious, and my wife described the grits as the best she ever had… so don’t be discouraged- but make sure the cuts of pork are what you are looking for before ordering it.


So many greenmarket restaurants ruin good chocolate desserts by feeling the need to put some fresh fruit like substance over them or in them… If you like fruit, that’s great- but for chocolate lovers, it always upsets us. Lucky for us, the huckleberry gelee that came with this dessert was on the side, allowing the hazlenut chocolate, peanut butter, and peanut brittle ice cream to be eaten on its own. Although I will admit, afterwords we ate the gelee by itself (it was delicious!). Great dessert.

What a great meal… it’s always a good sign when everything on the menu looks good- but oftentimes, the food doesn’t live up to the menu. Telepan’s food tasted just as good as it looked on the menu… so if the menu looks good to you- then definetely check this place out.

THE + (What people who love this place would say)

  • You love greenmarket restaurants where the menu changes based on the best available ingredients
  • You love poached or coddled eggs. If you love breaking a good egg over stuff, then you will love the Pea Carbonara and the Coddled Eggs over scrapple (provided you like pork of course). There’s also a roasted asparagus dish with a poached egg as well. In the winter, there was a hen of the woods mushroom dish with a poached egg. We will be returning in December for that one!
  • You love the Upper West Side and the type of sophisticated restaurants that are starting to pop up there
  • Great price for an expensive restaurant. $55 gets you four courses and an opportunity to try many things from the menu. The portions are slightly larger if you order ala carte, but don’t worry, the prix fix is plenty of food. If you order ala carte, the meal becomes more expensive. Appetizers and salads are $9.50 to $19, Mid Courses are $15.50 to $26, and Entrees are $26.00 to $36.00.


  • Service. Once we ordered, the food came out at a perfect pace, but the restaurant was also empty by the time we left. We could tell it is definetely a relaxed service atmosphere. It took awhile for the waiter to take our order, and on a busier night, I wouldn’t be surprised if the dishes came out slower. Not a negative… as long as you’re prepared for it.
  • You hate the Upper West Side. The UWS is not exactly party central, and Telepan is no exception. If you are looking for a scene, or excitement (that comes from something other then great food), or a young energy, then this is not your place. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a destination restaurant, if what you are looking for is great greenmarket food, and aren’t bothered by the “adult” environment.

Telepan, 72 W. 69th St., 212-580-4300


July 5, 2006 - Posted by | Food: American (New), Food: Greenmarket, Location: Upper West Side, Price: Expensive, Price: Very Expensive

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