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Best free bread in NYC restaurants?

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mabelmaguire Apr 7, 2010 04:59 PM

I'm interested to hear where New Yorkers think there is the best bread delivered gratis to the table (or with your takeout). I'm not so much interested in the fancy restaurants - more so in the little reasonably priced spots (and not just in Manhattan, but Brooklyn and Queens too) you love to go to because they serve really delicious bread! Any comments gratefully received.

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  1. hcbk0702 RE: mabelmaguire Apr 7, 2010 05:20 PM

    The easy response is Per Se, but I guess that won't be helpful for your query. However, they undoubtedly have the best bread service in NYC. The long-departed Alain Ducasse at the Essex House was serious competition a few years ago, but I think Per Se was still the best.

    Still pretty upscale, but Scarpetta has an excellent bread basket.

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    Per Se
    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    5 Replies
    1. re: hcbk0702
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      uwsister RE: hcbk0702 Apr 7, 2010 05:44 PM

      I came in the thread to say Scarpetta. It's not exactly cheap, but you can get out of there without spending too much money if you stick to starters and pasta (which are better than mains anyway, IMO.)

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      Scarpetta
      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

      1. re: hcbk0702
        k
        kathryn RE: hcbk0702 Apr 7, 2010 07:03 PM

        Thirding Scarpetta. You can even order just a pasta and soup at the bar, and they'll bring the whole bread basket to you.

        Do the gougeres at Eleven Madison Park count?

        Overall, I find that upscale restaurants are the ones that do it best since the bread is baked in house, served warm/fresh, with a variety of butters and spreads. And the butter is room temperature. My favorite thing is when they give you a little dish of salt, too.

        I think Del Posto is supposed to have a good bread basket and they serve you whipped lardo.

        Maialino has a nice bread basket that includes the pizza bianca from Sullivan Street Bakery.

        For something lower end, Blue Ribbon Bakery?

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        Eleven Madison Park
        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

        Sullivan Street Bakery
        533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        Blue Ribbon Bakery
        33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        Maialino
        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: kathryn
          i
          inclouds RE: kathryn Apr 8, 2010 10:26 AM

          Second Blue Ribbon Bakery.

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          Blue Ribbon Bakery
          33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

        2. re: hcbk0702
          m
          metfan630 RE: hcbk0702 Apr 8, 2010 02:19 PM

          Scarpetta - mini stromboli! I came in to write this one as well. Needless to say, I think the people like the bread basket.

          Del Posto - I went there shortly after Scarpetta. While I loved the food, the bread basket was nothing memorable.

          I always like Lugar's a lot, dipping that pretzel-esque bread in their steak sauce, yum.

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          Del Posto
          85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

          Scarpetta
          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: hcbk0702
            m
            mjm1218 RE: hcbk0702 Apr 21, 2010 02:46 PM

            I'd agree. Bread service at Per Se was impeccable. I never made it to the Alain Ducasse at the Essex house. How does it to compare to the one at the St. Regis?

            Another for Scarpetta.

          2. u
            UES Mayor RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 04:49 AM

            A Voce!!!! Sooooooooooooooooo delish! Yes I know its fancy place but that's my vote.

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            A Voce
            41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

            1. w
              Will4Food RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 05:58 AM

              Bouley. Hands down!

              1. b
                benoit48 RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 06:32 AM

                It's not exactly on the same level as EMP, Per Se, or Bouley, but I got a salad to go at Le Pain Quotidien, and they gave me basically half a loaf of descent bread to go with it.

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                Per Se
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                1. s
                  sholli RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 10:25 AM

                  Bouley Upstairs, which I think is the same as at Bouley itself, although obviously less of a $$ commitment for dinner. It's both interesting and fantastic, to the extent that I've ruined the subsequent dinner at least once.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sholli
                    d
                    dietndesire RE: sholli Apr 8, 2010 03:14 PM

                    Really? Have not been in awhile but I was a big supporter back when.
                    However, I do not recall ever eating bread there.
                    If I go back will have to take notice. Then again, if it is that nice it would seem it
                    would jump out.

                    1. re: dietndesire
                      s
                      sholli RE: dietndesire Apr 9, 2010 06:57 AM

                      They don't give you tons (but will refill) and tend to give you a few different types of bread, all sliced. It was exceptionally fresh and just better/more interesting than usual. Definitely made an impression.

                      1. re: sholli
                        w
                        watsurf RE: sholli Apr 22, 2010 08:20 AM

                        Upstairs is so hit and miss. Sometimes they are on their A game, but usually they are playing their D game. This includes service, the food itself, and the presentation.

                  2. s
                    stephaniec25 RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 04:15 PM

                    Another for Scarpetta!!

                    I also love the the bread at Angelo's of Mulberry in Little Italy - it's perfectly gooey and charred black on the crust just how I like it!

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                    Scarpetta
                    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: stephaniec25
                      c
                      Cookiepuss RE: stephaniec25 Apr 8, 2010 06:24 PM

                      I like Maloney and Porcelli's. I haven't been there in a while, but always loved their variety, including crackers and mini pretzels. I also like Calle Ocho. They serve fattening little biscuits, warm and yummy.

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                      Calle Ocho
                      45 W 81st St, New York, NY 10024

                      Maloney & Porcelli
                      37 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022

                    2. r
                      rrems RE: mabelmaguire Apr 8, 2010 08:05 PM

                      Scarpetta, hands down.

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                      Scarpetta
                      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                      1. LeahBaila RE: mabelmaguire Apr 9, 2010 06:11 AM

                        Del Posto, Peter Luger Steakhouse, L'Ecole (at brunch), Bar Americain, Commerce

                        www.thelunchbelle.com

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                        Del Posto
                        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                        Bar Americain
                        152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

                        L'Ecole
                        462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                        1. kelea RE: mabelmaguire Apr 9, 2010 11:02 AM

                          Another for Scarpetta and Calle Ocho's brunch bread basket is amazing too!

                          -----
                          Calle Ocho
                          45 W 81st St, New York, NY 10024

                          Scarpetta
                          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                          1. b
                            breezymom RE: mabelmaguire Apr 20, 2010 08:52 AM

                            Kennedy's -Breezy Point, NY--they serve a semolina twist with sesame seeds that is to die for--even the breadsticks and flatbreads that are in the basket as well are not to be missed. All the bread comes from Moretti's Bread Store on Avenue N in Brooklyn. They line up down the street at this place on holidays, and they close when they sell all the bread for the day--whcih can be fairly early! They make fabulous rolls as well. Even their Irish Soda Bread is great--which is pretty good for an Italian bread Store!

                            1. NAtiveNewYorker RE: mabelmaguire Apr 20, 2010 09:03 PM

                              Commerce. Six different types. VERY fresh. Including a homeade prezel. It's an outstanding bread basket,

                              1. f
                                fatema RE: mabelmaguire Apr 22, 2010 11:17 AM

                                Another for Scarpetta and Maialino

                                -----
                                Scarpetta
                                355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                Maialino
                                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                1. g
                                  gurud RE: mabelmaguire Apr 22, 2010 11:21 AM

                                  I think hands-down the best "free" bread is the assortment served at Casa Lever....

                                  1. ttoommyy RE: mabelmaguire Apr 22, 2010 12:16 PM

                                    I was at Felidia this past February and the bread was very, very good. Just thought I'd throw this into the mix since many of the same places are being repeated.

                                    And who are we kidding here...the bread sure isn't "free" at any of the restaurants mentioned above. It's all accounted for in the price of the rest of the meal...every last crumb. :)

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                                    Felidia
                                    243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

                                    1. s
                                      starvedARTSTAR RE: mabelmaguire Apr 22, 2010 07:16 PM

                                      I'm Putting-in for Bouley, simply delicious breadibles...

                                      haven't broached Per Se yet, but something tells me Keller serves up some serious bread as well.

                                      seems to be some of the best are coming from Restaurants that can afford to give a little delicacy away - though there are definitely some great cheap-ys too - Free Cornbread at Sylvia's in Harlem MMMM

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                                      Per Se
                                      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: starvedARTSTAR
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                                        eeee RE: starvedARTSTAR Apr 22, 2010 08:11 PM

                                        I personally like the free bread, tomato sauce and ricotta that comes at Apizz - in my mind, it basically substitutes for a pizza, and deliciously to boot!

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                                        Apizz
                                        217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                                        1. re: eeee
                                          s
                                          stephaniec25 RE: eeee Apr 23, 2010 07:30 AM

                                          I agree with Apizz I forgot about that.

                                          -----
                                          Apizz
                                          217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                                      2. s
                                        susan robin RE: mabelmaguire Apr 23, 2010 10:04 AM

                                        The bread at Peasant is good enough to make me eat carbs!

                                        1. m
                                          Moiraboira RE: mabelmaguire Apr 26, 2010 07:12 AM

                                          Commerce for sure. I go there just for the bread

                                          1. m
                                            mjm1218 RE: mabelmaguire Apr 26, 2010 11:21 AM

                                            I just went to Scarpetta last night. The bread was amazing! I was able to take home a few pieces of the kind with salami and cheese.

                                            -----
                                            Scarpetta
                                            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

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