Years ago Wayne lived in a building near the zoo. One morning we walked up to the center of Adams Morgan and had breakfast at Avignon Freres. It was a perfect morning, and I had given free reign to my senses to take it all in. The café/bakery/restaurant was busy but not oppressively crowded. There was live music: someone playing baroque recorder music. In the air were the commingled fragrances of good coffee and baked goods. I asked for eggs Benedict, and when it was served it was so beautiful I could hardly bring myself to eat it. What made it so handsome was the use of black olive slivers sprinkled on the eggs and a couple of fresh parsley leaves.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I started to make the Greek eggs described in the previous entry. Something about the color of the black olives allows them to harmonize beautifully with the yellow of the cooked egg yolks, and the pieces of green leaf provide a cheery accent; the whole is handsomely set off by the brilliant white of the egg whites. There is something so fitting about the combination of those colors. It was one of those effects whose total impact was all out of proportion to the meager means used to achieve it.
I know I’m not the only one who misses Avignon Freres – and its bisque ice cream!