Manhattan, New York – BREAD

Restaurant: BREAD
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch/Italian/Sandwiches
Last visited: September 11, 2011
Location: Manhattan, New York (Nolita)
Address: 20 Spring Street
Subway: Spring St
Price range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!

Food: 4 (Based on items I tried)
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Modern Italian menu
  • Italian paninis
  • Home made bread
  • Organic eggs
  • Pasta/Mains at dinner
  • Homemade desserts
  • Local favourite
  • Busy at peak hours
  • Casual/cozy/quaint
  • Cocktails/wine
  • Online ordering here
  • Brunch Sat. & Sun. 10:30am-5pm
  • Daily Lunch Specials until 5pm
  • Lunch/Dinner menu
  • Sun-Wed 9am-12am
  • Thurs-Sat 9am-12:30am

Recommendation: BREAD Tomato Soup, Prosciutto di Parma Panini

The three kitchen staples: milk, eggs and bread… and maybe butter. So I had my taste of Milk and Egg, so now it was time for BREAD. Unfortunately I didn’t get reservations for Butter, so I’ll have to save that for Follow Me Foodie to New York round 2!

I discovered BREAD as I was waiting for my table at Lombardi’s Pizza. It was dinner time and the place was packed, but all the restaurants in the Nolita area are almost always packed with expected line ups. The name BREAD caught my attention, but the style of the restaurant is what really kept me interested. I was easily charmed by the porch like seating area and modern cottage like atmosphere, so I put it on my “hope to try” list.

Well that “hope to try” list came sooner than I thought! It was coming to the end of my New York food trip and restaurant selection was getting crucial. It was time for another brunch spot and I had narrowed my list down to Prune, ABC Kitchen, Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, and BREAD. By process of elimination I decided on BREAD and that was due to the extra bit of convincing from some locals. On a side note, doesn’t that guy kind of look like a young Ashton Kutcher?

Anyways I was hoping to check out their dinner menu, although it looked more like a brunch spot. The night time crowd was perhaps even bigger and they do offer a full bar and separate dinner menu. It’s a cozy and quaint restaurant, but it’s still quite spacious with group dining in the back.

I came in expecting a menu full of different kinds of homemade breads, and almost just bread, but that wasn’t really the case. The bread is well known here, but it’s not a bakery and more of a neighbourhood restaurant. The lunch menu is rather limited and simple, but the food is fresh and homemade. The menu is Italian inspired with a focus on paninis for lunch and pastas for dinner, but it’s American in style. The place is trendy, the portions are fair, and the prices are reasonable and affordable for the area, which makes BREAD an easy local favourite. Personally I would value it more as a local than I would as a tourist, but I still loved the vibe and enjoyed my brunch and BREAD experience.

On the table:

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice – ($3.50 a la carte) It was the simple details of freshly squeezed orange juice that I appreciated. It was really good orange juice, but of course this varies depending on the season. I prefer pulp, but this was pulp free and it was naturally sweet and not very tart at all.

Complimentary Bread

  • At BREAD, they start you off right with of course bread!
  • It was served with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
  • They called it a Ciabatta bread, but I actually wouldn’t have guessed it.
  • It almost looked like a sourdough, which would have been random.

  • It was served cold and it was super moist, stretchy, fluffy, but still dense and not crusty.
  • It was very soft, doughy and chewy and not salty, sour or floury in flavour, but it almost seemed half baked it was so moist.
  • The bread almost peeled in layers and there were no apparent large holes like a traditional Ciabatta bread would have.
  • I really loved the bread, but it was very different from most Ciabatta I’ve had and it was unexpected.

Eggs Normandy3/6 (Good)

  • With Smoked Salmon. All brunch served with any juice and coffee, or tea $15
  • It was served with roasted potatoes and a Mesclun Salad.
  • The brunch menu is very limited to about 3 options of eggs benedict and this one came recommended.
  • Being from the West Coast (Vancouver, BC) I’m spoiled with smoked salmon, so this just didn’t do it for me. It was good, but it’s hard for me to be unbiased about it.
  • The salmon was very salty and it had a couple bones in it, which is pretty taboo.
  • It was almost like toro (tuna belly) and it wasn’t smoky, but just salty.
  • I could have used a lot more hollandaise sauce which was very tangy with lots of lemon. I prefer mine creamy, buttery, thick and rich too and not just lemony.
  • The best part for me was the crispy thin toasted English muffins which were chewy and spongy and they seemed homemade and good quality.

There was a nice runny egg yolk sauce, but an excellent eggs benny needs and excellent hollandaise.

  • The potatoes were crispy with tender, creamy and moist centres and well seasoned with chives. They had great flavour.
  • The Mesclun salad was fresh and simple and easily dressed with super fruity olive oil and lemon.

**Prosciutto di Parma Panini4/6 (Very good)

  • With Mozzarella and Cherry Tomato on Ciabatta $11 a la carte
  • Lunch special: 1/2 sandwich and soup $11
  • This was the most recommended panini.
  • It was a thin crispy Ciabatta bread that was still a bit spongy and not hard or tough.
  • It seemed different than the complimentary Ciabatta, but I couldn’t tell because it was panini pressed.

  • The sandwich fillings weren’t generous, but they were fair.
  • The quality of ingredients were fresh and good, but I was hoping for Heirloom tomatoes over cherry tomatoes and perhaps a few added basil leaves.
  • The prosciutto was salty and buttery, but not too salty and there was enough to give the panini a meaty bite.
  • The buffalo mozzarella is actually hand made mozzarella and it was springy, spongy and a bit chewy and it was done pretty well.
  • It was simple, but the ingredients were good with a balanced ratio and I really give credit to the home made bread and cheese.

**BREAD Tomato Soup4/6 (Very good)

  • $6 a la carte
  • The soup is a house favourite and popular choice.
  • It wasn’t rich or creamy and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was no dairy or flour, but I’m not sure.
  • I could taste the infused onions and garlic, but it made for aromatics more so than flavour because it wasn’t necessarily garlicky.
  • It was really fresh and I could taste the fresh pureed tomatoes, pulp and skins which is what I prefer.
  • It was quite acidic and tangy and topped with a fresh Parmesan Ciabatta crouton and basil leaves.

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Bread on Urbanspoon

4 Comments

  • KimHo says:

    The three kitchen staples: milk, eggs and bread… and maybe butter.

    You missed bacon! :)

  • Linda says:

    i wish this place had more brunch options and with one 3 benedicts, it’d be hard for me to choose.. although i do usually order hash – was any of that on the menu?

    i probably would’ve gone with something like the prosciutto di parma panini instead of something more traditional for brunch.. i love prosciutto and i really like that you can get it with soup as a combo.. for the price and the quality, i definitely think it’s worth it :)

    no dessert for brunch? lol

  • Bow says:

    Well, I add a fourth staple: Xtra Virgin olive oil rather than butter. The eggs Normandy don’t do anything for me but I like the prosciutto panni(and basil leaves would be nice). Unlike Vancouver, the sheer numbers of diners in NYC, can make any reasonably good restaurant successful. Where I live in North Van, it’s an “Earl’s/Catcus club clone” or all you can eat sushi…not enuff diners to support good Chinese, Japanese,Vietnamese, or any hi-end places. Only down by the Quay are Italian and French places…alas.

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