Eggs Benedict has nothing on çilbir (pronounced chill-ber), a dish said to have been served in the Topkapi Palace kitchens of the Ottoman Empire as far back as the 15th century. Instead of hollandaise and toasted English muffins, with çilbir, you get poached eggs in garlic-laced yogurt drizzled with melted butter and warm Turkish bread on the side for dunking. Chef Orhan Yegen serves a first-rate version of the dish at his Astoria restaurant Lokanta for “breakfast,” which begins at the very Topkapi Palace sultan–like hour of noon on weekends only. The butter is infused with paprika, and the eggs are seasoned with Aleppo pepper, dried mint, and cumin. It sounds simple, but the combination of flavors is so absurdly satisfying it could inspire a phraseology campaign to amend the saying “Goes together like bacon and eggs” to “Goes together like garlic-yogurt and eggs.”
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*This article appears in the October 14, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!