We had read about omelet soufflés but never tried one until last night, at Ouest where they serve it truffled, with mousseline sauce. And we finally understand the fascination… stunning on the plate, light as air yet intensely flavorful.

They are made by separating the eggs, beating the whites until foamy, then folding in the yolks (and whatever other ingredients you choose to add). Then you bake the mixture until it rises and browns. You can eat them at any time of day. You can also make them savory or sweet, depending on your mood.

We had them as an appetizer at Ouest, which remains one of the few destination restaurants on the Upper West Side. Dark and clubby, the bottleneck entrance leads into a surprisingly spacious interior, with an exposed kitchen that adds to the atmosphere but doesn’t take all the focus from where it should be: on the food. We loved Tom Valenti’s masterful classics. And we also had our literary celebrity sighting of the year: Joan Didion.

How do you like your omelet souffles, and who makes the best one you've had?