At the F&W Best New Chefs party (and various after-parties) on Wednesday night, the ever-expanding cult of David Chang—Best New Chef 2006, pork-bun king, owner of Manhattan's always-jammed Momofuku and Momofuku Ssäm Bar—grew by a few orders of magnitude. Chang's face, Chang's name, Chang's pork buns were ubiquitous. The 1000 buns he and his staff heroically assembled at the party got snapped up fast, and no surprise there: They're insanely delicious, and they're tapping into a pork zeitgeist of epic proportions.
As much as those pieces of pork-and-carb heaven hit the spot on Wednesday night, I can't help thinking they would have made an even better hangover breakfast the next morning—or a few nights ago, for that matter, after I woke up from a similarly long, food-laden, wine-soaked night in Toronto. After a late dinner at Colborne Lane—the much-buzzed-about new restaurant from chef and quasi-molecular gastronomer Claudio Aprile—I headed back to my hotel, the Drake, which also doubles as Toronto's epicenter of hipster nightlife (bands in the basement every night, parties in the lounge, and endless ways to delay sleep). Breakfast the morning after was a fresh-tasting but entirely too healthy blueberry smoothie from the Drake's street-level cafe.
True bliss didn't come until a little later that day, at Czehoski's, a scruffy-chic restaurant and bar I'd been hearing so much about; it opened two years ago in a space that used to be a Polish butcher shop. As I thought about Aprile's highly cerebral dishes from the night before, I couldn't have been more content to be eating a perfect bacon cheeseburger. No Changian pork bun this, but so simple; so luscious; so elusive.