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Restaurants with best warm appetizer bread?

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. 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

      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. 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

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

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joanie

              I second the Alchemist's focaccia...

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

                1. 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

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

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BackBayGirl

                      Oh yes, I'll second that one.

                    2. 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

                        Epi de pain?

                        1. re: trufflehound

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

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

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

                            Is that what was meant?

                            1. re: maryv

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

                              1. re: maryv

                                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. 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. Henrietta's Table has a good bread basket.

                            1. 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

                                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

                                  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. 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

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

                                2. Bertuccis!

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

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