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Bread & Butter in the Heights

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lazylghtng Mar 3, 2010 01:21 PM

Sifton panned Bread & Butter, formerly Petit Marche, in today's Times. Haven't seen much reaction to B&B on this board since it opened so I thought I'd chime in with my own thoughts.

I have only been there once, however, we also did take-out one night. Overall, it is a good addition to the neighborhood. I thought Petit Marche was inconsistent and its strongest days were long behind it -- the original chef was terrific, but he only opened the place rather than stick around for the long haul. Those who followed were all over the map, imo. My understanding is the original chef is now behind Bread & Butter.

Anyway, I thought the lobster roll was excellent -- lightly dressed, bright and clean, full of juicy, generous chunks of meat. I would have preferred a skinless butter-griddled roll, but at least it was top-loading. The clam roll uses plump Ipswich clams. My wife loved it. I have an aversion to anything cornmeal-crusted -- like these clam bellies -- so it wasn't to my taste despite the high quality.

The salads are all terrific -- we've had three and they were all well-balanced and flavorful. I know it's just a salad, but it's amazing how many restaurants screw them up. Anyway, B&B does a nice baby romaine and blue cheese, etc; a good straight up mixed greens with dijon vin. that benefited from crunchy green apples and watermelon radish; and a kick-ass bastardization of a Greek salad with beefsteaks, feta, cukes, olvies, dill, and red wine vin.

My burger was very good, if a bit underseasoned, but big, juicy as can be, and perfectly cooked as ordered. Not sure it needs to come stock with bacon and caramelized onions as opposed to them being optional add-ons...sure, i could have held off and ordered sans accoutrements, but I didn't have the discipline even if I thought it was gilding the lily! The spicy ketchup was a nice touch.

Great mac and cheese -- really sharp and rich. Nothing else to say here -- not sure how many cheeses, blah blah. Still, a properly rendered classic. and worth the carbo/fat load.

Haven't had much in the way of grilled/roasted meats yet. Curious if anyone has had the short ribs or lamb shank. Ditto the fish. I did have the seafood gumbo, however, and I loved it. Sifton took a shot at the lack of discernable roux -- I suppose he was thinking of soulful New Orleans roux (what else is there?). I didn't catch that. To my palate, it had deep flavor.

Anyway, that's my $.02. The menu is expansive and lots of fun with several variations of mac and cheese, charcuterie, oysters, glazed bacon and other small bites, as well as lots of mains. That said, the lone disaster were the figs stuffed with almonds and blue cheese which were overcooked and dried out. Still, it is a great local spot and I suspect they are taking a piece of Jack the Horse's business. I happen to like Jack's a lot, but Bread and Butter offers a wider array of choices and a more down and dirty, crowd-pleasing menu. Jack's is more refined and also benefits from a cozier space, though. It bears mention that B&B's staff aims to please and the owner is very much on-site and present. That goes a long way for me.

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Bread and Butter
46 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201