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Best bread and butter basket?

Call me a glutton but the best part of dining out is the delicious warm rolls and softened butter basket served while anticipating for my meal to arrive, Nothing opens up my appetite more than a well done bread basket! Off the top of my head I've enjoyed Blue ribbon, Park avenue cafe, and Bouley for example. Basically, bread so good you don't feel guilty ruining your appetite.

My question is where are some of the finest bread baskets in NYC? It needs not to be baked in-house but it definitely needs to be fresh, crusty, delicate, and with a nice assorted selection. The butter: softened. Olive oils and olives are a huge plus!

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  1. We must be the same person. Bread baskets can easily make or break the meal for me and, just as you said, bread needs to be warm, crusty, fresh, and delicate with SOFT butter. Yes, olive oil is also important. If I start choking, it's darn, good oil!

    Actually, French Roast has great bread served warm but no oil nor assortment. Plum Pomidoro does as well but it's not served hot and there's no assortment. Olive oil at Plum is amazing. These are the two quick places that pop into my mind only b\c they are close to home and frequented the most. I realize these are the most least likely places and in a completely different league than the ones you've mentioned but I've encountered many pitiful bread baskets in some high end, wonderful places.

    However, let's see what I can remember when I am more lucid later today. Oh, Cafe Ronda is worth trying and Le Meridien which has a hot, assortment of home-baked bread. I recently had a fantastic bread basket at a place in Nassau County called Umberto's that has everything you just described but I'll limit comments to places in Manhattan.

    Thanks for the great post. Curious to see what the others say.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nativeNYer

      "I realize these are the most least likely places and in a completely different league than the ones you've mentioned but I've encountered many pitiful bread baskets in some high end, wonderful places."

      Nothing turns me off more than when I have to exert muscles and elbow grease into the butter dish with my butter knife. I popped a vein in Eleven Madison Park trying to
      scratch into the frozen butter dish. Definitely not sexy. But yes, I've enjoyed small cafes with smaller budgets versus high end establishments.

    2. Not a traditional bread basket, but I'll vote for Taboon. It's basically an appetizer in itself with great tzatiki for dipping - worth every penny and then some. Hot out of the oven, crusty outside, moist inside, salty...worth the trip alone.

        1. Olives at the W serves hunks of warm onion focaccia with two scoops of tapenade - one green and one black - in a pool of olive oil. We've had to ask our server NOT to send it to the table because it's too good and we end up devouring the whole basket.

          1. The gruyere popovers at BLT Steak and BLT Prime. Doesn't really fit your criteria but they are fantastic.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ESNY

              A hearty second on these - they are ridiculously good. Even better with butter and sprinkled with a pinch of their coarse salt.

              1. re: shortstop

                To add...BLT fish serves warm melt-in-your-mouth cheddar and chive buiscuits with maple butter. I usually end up not eating much fish there!

                1. re: hanabanana

                  They have sort of a light seseme galric/herb/cheese loaf at the fish shack.

                  not bad.