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Restaurants with best warm appetizer bread?

shivohum Dec 2, 2006 03:13 AM

Any recommendations for restaurants with wonderful, warm bread, possibly including dips or oils, preferably (but not necessarily) served for free before the meal? Thanks!

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  1. opinionatedchef RE: shivohum Dec 2, 2006 05:04 AM

    there are VERY FEW places with interesting out-of-the-norm bread. sibling rivalry has bob kinkead's v famous irish soda bread w caraway and raisins; campagna in waltham makes some wonderful and v unusual breads. union square bar and grill serves a fresh hot-out-of-the-oven small skillet of cornbread that is good. EVOO serves their addictive salty skinny bread sticks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: opinionatedchef
      twentyoystahs RE: opinionatedchef Dec 4, 2006 06:27 PM

      I just had that Irish soda bread at Sibling Rivalry, and I have to say it was delicious. In fact, it was so exceptional it got me looking around for an Irish soda bread recipe, to try and duplicate his rendition. Really good.

    2. BostonZest RE: shivohum Dec 2, 2006 12:50 PM

      Sel De La Terre has a very nice bread basket featuring a sampling from their boulangerie. I'm very fond of the anise fig loaf. It is served with a good butter.

      Central Kitchen does a board of breads with their garlic bean spread. If we had a table of friends with us, we'd add some of their lovely marinated olives and let everyone take their time deciding what to order.

      My husband is the bread lover. I'll have to ask him to remember his favorites.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BostonZest
        BostonZest RE: BostonZest Dec 2, 2006 03:30 PM

        Sorry, I missed that your post requested "warm" bread. My suggestions are not warm but they are wonderful. Husband added the Bristol lounge to our list. They have a nice basket with a mix of breads including my fav-- a seeded lovash.

        He also enjoys the bread and olive oil at Trattoria Toscana. In fact, we will head there for lunch today, thanks to your question.

      2. tatamagouche RE: shivohum Dec 2, 2006 01:14 PM

        You can also order one of Sel de la Terre's petit gouters, which really round out the bread basket--I'm fond of both the eggplant-goat cheese spread and the balsamic-roasted shallots and garlic.

        1. l
          lexpatti RE: shivohum Dec 2, 2006 03:59 PM

          I just love Olives in Charlestown, it's frocaccia with olives in olive oil (maybe even roasted garlic too) - delicious.

          1. Joanie RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 12:22 AM

            Alchemist Lounge in JP has very tasty focaccia, I think it's warm.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joanie
              eatanddestroy RE: Joanie Dec 4, 2006 05:28 PM

              I second the Alchemist's focaccia...

            2. r
              rmperry RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 01:17 AM

              Sweet Basil in Needham has great bread and serves it with pesto for dipping. It's wonderful. I could make a meal just on that.

              1. h
                horrible RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 01:37 AM

                The Helmand makes flatbread in the main dining room. It comes with some great dips/sauces as well.

                1. t
                  tomaneng RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 02:05 AM

                  Probably out of the way for you but Stone's Public House in Ashland (chef/owner Matt Murphy) serves the most scrumptious basket of house-baked irish breads. A couple of varieties of soda bread and a brown I think. Comes with a crock of capital "B" butter. You know, the kind they still serve in Europe that we used to get from the milkman. Oooooh I think I'll have ot go there now.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tomaneng
                    trufflehound RE: tomaneng Dec 4, 2006 01:56 AM

                    I lament that Matt has left Stones. Somehow the room isn't as warm anymore.

                  2. b
                    BackBayGirl RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 02:09 AM

                    Mmmm...Union Bar & Restaurant's corn bread in the iron skillet. So moist and yummy and WARM!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BackBayGirl
                      BostonZest RE: BackBayGirl Dec 3, 2006 02:15 AM

                      Oh yes, I'll second that one.

                    2. MC Slim JB RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 02:30 AM

                      Gougere at No. 9 Park. I can't recall if these are served in the dining room or just at the bar, but they kick beer nuts to the curb.

                      Biba used to do the most outstanding one in my memory locally, followed closely by its sibling Pignoli.

                      For a few more weeks, Caffe Umbra serves its good pointy French rolls (are there are name for those?) with excellent butter.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                        trufflehound RE: MC Slim JB Dec 4, 2006 01:57 AM

                        Epi de pain?

                        1. re: trufflehound
                          MC Slim JB RE: trufflehound Dec 4, 2006 07:10 AM

                          "Bread ear"? I'm afraid I don't understand this reference. Is this a synonym for gougere?

                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            maryv RE: MC Slim JB Dec 4, 2006 02:58 PM

                            There's a picture of pain d'├ępi at http://foppish-baker.blogspot.com/200...

                            Is that what was meant?

                            1. re: maryv
                              BobB RE: maryv Dec 4, 2006 03:36 PM

                              Sounds like it. Clear Flour makes them pretty regularly if you want some for your home table.

                              1. re: maryv
                                MC Slim JB RE: maryv Dec 6, 2006 05:21 PM

                                Ah, TruffleHound may be referring to the Caffe Umbra rolls, which look like they could be made in the style of pain d'epi. The term refers to the fact that the loaf looks like an ear (sheaf) of wheat, not a human ear.

                        2. SeaSide Tomato RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 02:52 AM

                          I really like the home made breads and white bean spread at LaStoria in Stoughton. It's a great start to what is invariably a very good meal there.

                          While I may not make it a celebration destination, it's definitely a go-to spot for the Stoughton area for reliable and interesting dishes and I'm not sure if I've read much on it here.

                          1. s
                            stefanc RE: shivohum Dec 3, 2006 03:51 PM

                            Henrietta's Table has a good bread basket.

                            1. j
                              jcanncuk RE: shivohum Dec 4, 2006 02:49 AM

                              My fave is La Morra with their fresh ricotta in just enough good olive oil to dive into.....I'm drooling thinking about it.....

                              I have to also second the vote for Matt Murphy's Irish bread basket....yum! (Not served warm though)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jcanncuk
                                MB fka MB RE: jcanncuk Dec 4, 2006 06:39 PM

                                Another vote for La Morra.
                                At brunch, Upstairs on the Square offers a sweet and savory "bread" basket that is off the hook. cheese and chive biscuits, mmmm.

                                1. re: MB fka MB
                                  BostonZest RE: MB fka MB Dec 4, 2006 08:22 PM

                                  That was the one I was trying to remember! Thank you. The moment you said cheese and chive biscuits my taste buds stood at attention!

                              2. gini RE: shivohum Dec 4, 2006 12:33 PM

                                Not warm, not bread, but the butter at Troquet is amazing. I would slather it on fruit and eat it. Imported from Normandy; I think I remember limster saying that.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gini
                                  emmie RE: gini Dec 4, 2006 05:40 PM

                                  I always feel weird because I finish the scoop of butter they give me before I finish the roll!

                                2. t
                                  tamerlanenj RE: shivohum Dec 7, 2006 03:35 PM


                                  1. t
                                    twentyoystahs RE: shivohum Dec 7, 2006 04:04 PM

                                    Yep, no question that's the best thing served at Bertucci's.

                                    1. s
                                      shivohum RE: shivohum Dec 9, 2006 02:10 AM

                                      I'm going to have to add that I like the bread at Sabur... warm rolls with some kind of garlic aoili. Pretty tasty.

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