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Best Bread and Butter?

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I'm constantly amazed at how many good restaurants in town have uninspired bread for the table. Even many french restaurants don't seem to be springing for quality baguettes.

Though one shouldn't fill up too much on the stuff, bread with premium quality butter is one of my favorite things.

What restaurants would you recommend for the best? Ideally with good butter (not olive oil or tapenade or land o' lakes). Thanks.

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  1. Cafe Boulud offers 3 or 4 different breads. All are delicious -- so much much so that I have to school myself not to overdo and ruin my appetite. No olive oil or other spreads, just a generous portion of quality butter.

    I also love the rosemary rolls at Veritas (I think they come from Amy's Bread) also accompanied only by plenty of excellent butter.

    1. Bouley and their bread cart can't be beat. They have boules (I think) of about ten different kinds of breads, and you can choose which you like. Some of the varieties I remember are garlic, fig, and olive. If you're looking for good bread, Bouley is definitely worth the trip.

      1. Daniel

        1. I'll second Bouley for fantastic bread - plus you can get it from their bakery across Duane St from the restaurant and grab some. The baguettes are terrific, but the miche (huge, round bread) is fantastic. It's huge at is $18 or so, but you can buy halves or even quarters. It's my favorite - great wheaty, sourdough taste.
          Grab some fancy, high fat butter and you're in business.

          As for restaurants, Frank Bruni posted about the bread at Sfoglia and claimed it was amazing....

          1. Del Posto had ridiculously good bread when I went several months ago. Several different types. Served hot with soft room temperature butter and that heavenly whipped lardo. Not so sure about the rest of the food, but their bread can't be beat IMO.

            And I agree with the above posters re: Bouley. Good selection (though not as tasty or as warm as what I had at Del Posto that time).

            1 Reply
            1. re: tupac17616

              Not sure if it's the same breadmaker, but the bread at Babbo is absolutely fantastic. Proper amount of salt, a nice amount of chew... it's actually one of my favorite things about the place.

            2. Bouley is great, as is Danube.

              But Balthazar and Pastis are right up there. Balthazar only serves one type, but the bread is superb, and they serve it with good butter. The challenge is not to have too much before dinner!

              - Sean

              1. Nice Matin has a fabulous bread basket. And they refill it for free! I admit I shoved the extras in my purse...
                Not sure about the butter, though.

                1. Definitely Bouley! I could go there and eat the bread alone. So many choices! My favorites are the apple bread and the garlic bread--real chunks of garlic baked inside of the bread.

                  1. Forget all of the above. Good not great. Chanterelle has everyone beat. The best sourdough rolls on the planet served warm, with choice of an american micro-creamery butter (unsalted) or a french butter from Normandy (sprinkled with fleur de sel). Unreal. My mother cannot shut up about it 2yrs later. The entire state of CA now knows about the butter and bread here b/c of her.

                    1. I was just at the Westin Turnberry Resort and Spa in Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland and was intrigued by the hotel's dining room's Bread Cart...similar to the cheese and Aperatif carts you sometimes see here (they had those as well).

                      They offered a sundried tomato country bread, a foccacia, a poppy seed loaf, a multi-grain loaf, an olive loaf and something else.

                      Here in NYC, I like the bread and butter (specifically the shape and of the butter) at Eleven Madison Park.

                      Blue Hill at Stone Barns offers little bread "books" of which the pages are removable to butter individually. The bread is sometimes a bit hard, but the butter is excellent.

                      I haven't had the butter at Per Se, but it comes from a tiny farm in Vermont of which Thomas Keller purchases about 80% of her yearly product. Must be nice to be kept in business by one guy.

                      1. I like the bread at Blue Ribbon Bakery.

                        1. I absolutely love the bread from Bouley. So many choices and it tastes so good. Their butter is nothing spectacular but it's fine.

                          I don't like Eleven Madison's bread too much. It's ok; nothing special about it but the butter's maple leaf shape is different enough to be memorable.

                          1. I recently had very good buttermilky buns at Craftsteak. I also like the little Brazilian cheesbreads at Churrascaria Plataforma. I fill up on them every time, despite promising myself not to.

                            1. Gramercy Tavern has great bread - and great cheese, an excellent combo!