The Dish

The thing about deviled eggs is that everyone seems to make fun of them ("The 50s called and want their party food back."),


Versus: The Hard and the Soft

The Dish

The thing about deviled eggs is that everyone seems to make fun of them ("The 50s called and want their party food back."), but nobody will admit their disdain for them. Why? Deviled eggs are both yin and yang in more ways than one; they can be as satisfying as street food, yet refined enough for a fine dining restaurant.

After having a conversation recently with someone who was shocked to hear that deviled eggs are popping up on menus around the city, we wanted to find out which ones were the most heavenly. We sought out two popular destinations: Seastar and Anchovies & Olives. We picked the latter only to find out later that their deviled eggs had become soft-boiled eggs. Instead of changing the dish, we changed the name: The Hard and the Soft. Which one satisfied our craving for stuffed eggs? It's in the details.

The Rivals

Seastar (left),

2121 Terry Ave., 462-4364

These eggs are as delicious as they are beautiful. Seastar's deviled eggs are spicy, creamy and topped with citrus salmon gravlox. The tang of the yolk, the spice of the mustard, the creaminess of the mayo and the saltiness of the salmon make these deviled eggs very satisfying, both in the appetite and nostalgia sense. These eggs will cost you $9 at dinner and only $6 during happy hour. For an extra couple bucks, you can up the fancy factor by ordering deviled eggs garnished with truffled ahi tartare.

Anchovies & Olives (right),

1550 15th Ave., 838-8080

Any egg that comes topped with a white anchovy is a sure sign you're in an Ethan Stowell establishment. We ordered what sounded like an interesting finger food. What we got was an artist's palette of soft-boiled eggs draped with white anchovy and a Serrano chili atop a bed of salsa verde made of parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. This edible work of art was almost too perfect-looking to eat. We got over that once we popped the first one into our mouth. The fat of the egg yolk cut the saltiness of the fish and the salsa verde gave each egg a refreshing zing. The artistry that went into preparing this dish is worth the $9 we paid to eat it.

The Champ

We'd be hard-pressed to believe anyone who said they didn't like the deviled eggs at Seastar. They're everything you want a deviled egg to be: fatty, dainty and nourishing with a kick of spice. The eggs at A & O were all of those things, but more refined. Both eggs had just the right amount of spice (aka the "devil" in deviled eggs) and were flawlessly executed, but we give the Versus crown to A & O's eggs for their freshness and artistry. If it's salty and sea dwelling, we're pretty sure Ethan will find a way to put it on an egg.

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