Last Saturday, I was invited to a dinner organized by Tabelog, a website that is more than just a restaurant review site like any others: they have created a community of foodies that I enjoy to meet as the conversation is often centered on food. This time, we were at Bread in Nolita, located inside the Nolitan Hotel. In fact, this is their new location, opened a month ago, after moving from their original one close by, on Spring street.
I did not know the previous restaurant, but this space was nice, simply decorated but with a je ne sais quoi that made me think about a setting overlooking the Mediterranean sea. When we arrived, the place was empty: well, it was not the case at all when we left, the dining room being packed, as was the bar area with people waiting for a table.
Food wise we were there for a treat. We of course started of with...some bread, the focaccia being my favorite one.
Then, we had dishes to share. We got:
Roasted asparagus made with garlic, olive oil, parsley, citrus zest and homemade breadcrumbs. I am not a huge fan of vegetables, but really enjoyed it.
Wild mushrooms (cremini, oyster and shiitake) cooked with shallots, parsley and cashew milk.
Salmon tartare composed of the fish and avocado (always a good pairing with salmon or tuna tartare), shallot, scallion and citrus zest. Served with crostini, it was perfect for a Summer dinner as refreshing.
Grilled breaded shrimp. You can definitely see the European touch as they served the head that I admit did not try. I liked it as the shrimp was perfectly cooked. I even liked the zucchini slaw that came with it, looking like spaghetti.
Fritto misto that was a mix of seafood and vegetable fritters. There were shrimp, bream (fish), mushrooms, asparagus and squash. This was a perfect dish to share and each pick was like the lottery: besides asparagus that was easy to spot, you never know what you would get. It was crunchy and deliciously greasy.
Beef carpaccio served with arugula and shaved parmigiano. The beef was just very, very thin and I missed the truffle oil that it was supposed to have. However, I liked the saltiness the cheese added to the beef when eaten together.
Pork belly with a roasted tomato sauce and a broccoli rabe pesto: quite good and delightfully fatty.
Arrancini or rice balls made with taleggio cheese and served with a lemon aioli. This was good, crunchy, with the rice having a yellow color from the saffron it is cooked with. My only regret was that there was not enough cheese...
Baby kale salad served with pear, sautéed wild mushrooms, roasted pistachio and crispy quinoa. Alright, so I did not try this one, but my fellow bloggers liked it.
We then had to pick a main dish. I went for the spaghetti alla chitarra that were fresh saffron pasta with sautéed shrimp, cherry tomatoes (I made sure they would not squirt all over me), olive oil, garlic and a saffron seafood broth. I loved that dish: the pasta was al dente and delicately smothered by a fantastic sauce that I could have simply eaten with a piece of bread. The shrimp were also perfectly cooked.
Jodi went for the fresh taglioni with pesto. Usually, I am not a big fan of pesto, but I have to say that I enjoyed that dish.
I also tried their pork chop that was delicious and looked spectacular, topped with poached apples. This was another dish I usually do not like, but not at Bread.
People at the table also got the wild branzino that looked really good,
as well as the large portion of lasagna (I did not try any of these dishes).
With the meal, I got a glass of red wine that I believe was a Montepulciano.
Last was dessert. And we tried a bunch...There was a crostata, a panna cotta, a chocolate lava cake as well as some sort of bread pudding. All desserts were very good, but my favorite was the chocolate cake, as well as the panna cotta.
Enjoy (I did)!
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