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Where is your favorite bread basket?

gltsoi Apr 29, 2007 07:51 PM

There's nothing like a great bread basket. It can be one excellent roll, still hot from the oven, or a glorious assortment of savory and sweet breads. I love the basket at Harvest in Cambridge and the warm baugette at Brasserie Jo. Where's your favorite?

  1. anitab May 2, 2007 03:09 PM

    While I enjoy a mix of items in a bread basket, what I love most is simply good bread and butter. I think Petit Robert delivers on this better than most - excellent baguette with a slightly sweet butter. If I don't stop myself, I can easily go through a couple of baskets by myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: anitab
      tatamagouche May 2, 2007 03:18 PM

      On that note, I had an excellent piece of bread with wonderful butter, slightly whipped, at Pigalle the other night. The bread had something of the texture of potato bread--one huge slice, the size of say a serving of meatloaf.

    2. Karl S May 2, 2007 03:01 PM

      Honorable mention to EVOO for its twist on grissini - theirs are completely addictive.

      1. m
        makonna May 2, 2007 01:25 PM

        For Easter, we had brunch at Flora, and her bread basket had the loveliest scones. Flaky, yummy and o so delicious. So they have my vote!

        1 Reply
        1. re: makonna
          bosox May 2, 2007 02:24 PM

          Abe and Louie's, definitely. They have your standard white French bread, bread sticks, and crispy cheese sticks, but they also have whole grain bread and this incredible crackle bread. But it's not your ordinary crackle bread - it's made from raisin pumpernickel bread! (The consistency is like a bagel chip - crunchy and DELICIOUS).

        2. m
          mollyditty May 1, 2007 08:08 PM

          One of my all time favorite bread baskets was at Lumiere. a couple years back, but it was amazing and perfectly warmed and the varieties they had were all delicious. also, the butter was perfectly salted, but still so sweet.
          wow, thanks for the reminder!

          1. limster Apr 30, 2007 07:04 PM

            A few to add to the great list here:
            The soft turkish bread dotted with sesame at Brookline Family Turkish Restaurant.
            The flatbread at Helmand with a variety of dips.
            The variety of foccacia and other breads at Campania (haven't been for a while).

            1 Reply
            1. re: limster
              SEH May 2, 2007 08:14 AM

              Oh yea, that flatbread at Helmamd is wonderful.

            2. b
              bachslunch Apr 30, 2007 02:49 PM

              I'll strongly second the bread at Sel de la Terre, which to my mind has the best breadbasket locally.

              Some of the steakhouses have good breadbaskets as well, including Abe & Louie's, Capital Grille, Smith & Wollensky, and that non-chain high-end place in the Back Bay whose name the moderators don't want us to mention. And there should also be a shout-out for the popovers at Anthony's Pier 4 (though whether it's worth eating their awful, overpriced food and enduring their snarly service to get one is another question).

              1. MC Slim JB Apr 30, 2007 10:55 AM

                Most of the fine-dining places in Rozzie offer fresh, chewy, big-hole sourdough or Tuscan bread from the nearby Fornax Bread Baking Co., awesome. Best spread on that block is probably at Nuvo, a chickpea, sundried tomato, and garlic spread (similar to the Franklin's), very nice. Via Matta has a superb bread basket, always an interesting mix of flatbreads, rolls, and yeastbreads. Similar offering at Excelsior, though there's not much else I like about that place.

                I think the popcorn drizzled with truffle oil at OM is an interesting alternative to a bread basket. I was served something similar as an hor d'ouevre at the Bubbly Bar recently, and thought, "Oh, nice way to rip off OM", until I realized that the black bits in it weren't burned popcorn, but actual shaved black truffles: *much* nicer than OM's version, dizzyingly good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  tatamagouche Apr 30, 2007 03:58 PM

                  COMPLIMENTARY black truffle popcorn! Holy crap!

                  1. re: tatamagouche
                    MC Slim JB Apr 30, 2007 06:50 PM

                    Holy crap, indeed!

                    They also couldn't seem to shovel enough lobster salad canapes (in which there was a lot of lobster) on little rice-cracker rounds at us, either, and I thought lobster prices were rising faster than gas prices. Definitely a steal. Little rabbit rillettes with blackberry sauce on baguette rounds were my other favorite. At least two other canapes which I missed out on (something bright green and spready on baguettes for one), plus the usual Bristol warm nuts mix and rice cracker/wasabi peas mix. Well worth the $10-12 a throw for sparkling wines for the great snacks, elegant setting, and very solicitous service.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB
                    linz May 1, 2007 06:57 PM

                    did they change it from white truffle? that's good cause just about everything there was drizzled with white truffle something, bu tthat popcorn was SO GOOD

                  3. b
                    bear Apr 30, 2007 08:10 AM

                    Love the bread at Sel and also at Hammersley's, which I think is sourdough buckwheat.

                    1. b
                      B. Savarin Apr 30, 2007 07:37 AM

                      I have to mention Cafe Polonia. The bread itself is nothing to write home about, but instead of butter or oil, they serve a crock of softened lard studded with bacon. God, it's delicious. Who really needs arteries anyway?

                      I second hotoy's comment on Troquet's butter -- best I've had this side of Paris. I think they import it from Normandy.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: B. Savarin
                        tatamagouche Apr 30, 2007 07:57 AM

                        Oh yeah, good stuff that.

                        1. re: B. Savarin
                          gltsoi Apr 30, 2007 08:01 AM

                          "softened lard studded with bacon" awesome, I'll have to get there soon. How's the rest of the menu?

                          1. re: gltsoi
                            B. Savarin Apr 30, 2007 08:10 AM

                            Decent. It's split between traditional Polish food, which is pretty good, and "frenchified" food which is less successful but not bad for a hole in the wall. The borscht is excellent. Good selection of Polish beers, too.

                            1. re: B. Savarin
                              tatamagouche Apr 30, 2007 08:30 AM

                              mmm, IMO it's better than decent. The goulash-stuffed potato pancakes and the kielbasa are terrific--heavy as hell, but terrific.

                        2. c
                          cambridgeMike Apr 30, 2007 05:52 AM

                          magnolia's in inman square has great homemade muffins. corn, zuchhini, banana nut, etc. served warm and fresh.

                          1. SEH Apr 30, 2007 05:45 AM

                            Atasca. They serve the Portuguese cornmeal bread with EVOO w/ soft roasted garlic and a small dish of olives. Add some red wine and I could have that as my meal.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: SEH
                              tatamagouche Apr 30, 2007 06:42 AM

                              They do? Guess I need to get back there--I don't remember that!

                              I love SDLT's, used to like Henrietta's a lot but haven't been there in ages. Love Union's cornbread.

                              But where has all the focaccia gone? Seems like it had its heyday and no one serves it anymore--and I LOOOVE focaccia. Anyone know where to get a good hunk of that these days?

                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                beksis1 Apr 30, 2007 06:52 AM

                                Last night I had an excellent piece of focaccia at Teatro.

                            2. hotoynoodle Apr 29, 2007 10:34 PM

                              sel de la terre. although troquet has the best butter.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                DowntownChick Apr 30, 2007 05:16 AM

                                Upstairs on the Square has amazing butter.

                                1. re: DowntownChick
                                  gltsoi Apr 30, 2007 05:19 AM

                                  But what is does the bread basket look like?

                                  1. re: gltsoi
                                    DowntownChick Apr 30, 2007 06:30 AM

                                    The bread looks like french bread but tastes more like sourdough. It's soft on the inside and hard and crispy on the outside. It's delicious. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. I think they only serve the butter upstairs and serve olive oil with the bread downstairs.

                                  2. re: DowntownChick
                                    MB fka MB Apr 30, 2007 07:17 AM

                                    The bread basket at brunch is awesome.

                                    And that butter is top-notch.

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