Eggs in Purgatory arrive to the table as a ragu of spicy tomato sauce and chunky sausage on top of polenta enriched with mascarpone. A rich dish of French toast bread pudding is made with sticky buns from the in-house bakery (from which the mixed pastry basket comes). The star is a dish of house-smoked trout on top of a potato latke with pickled beets and a pile of shaved fennel.
On the savory side, there's house-smoked trout on latkes, roasted squash salad, brisket hash, and Cajun eggs benedict. I'd like to single out mascarpone brown butter polenta as the decadent base for the eggs in purgatory ($14). Two semi-runny eggs over polenta are peppered with house sausage, swimming in a spicy-sweet tomato sauce adding a Southern Italian dimension. It's an utterly satisfying breakfast dish seemingly half the restaurant ordered.
The oaty, cinnamon-scented crumble on top is so good that some people break off in crisp-edged hunks to savor by itself, and the crumb is so tender you have to eat the muffin out of the paper wrapping. It's riddled with sweet-tart, collapsed berries and pockets of cream cheese which leave your lips smeary and a little obscene -- especially if you get to the bakery early enough in the morning to buy the muffins when they're warm. And if you find yourself balking at the $3.50 price, remember: It's not breakfast -- It's brunch.