I arrived at the Breadbar after a stressful day. If that weren’t enough, I more frazzled by traffic that I suspect was made worse by holiday shoppers. I walked through the door and was met with a warm welcome that took all my tension away.
I took a seat in the corner and ordered the pomegranate lemonade and told the waitress that I wanted to try the specialties of the house. She brought out a plate of house-made pickled vegetables that were a fantastic starter. Pickles, olives, carrots, cauliflower and more were crisp and zesty. The accent of rosemary really put this over the top for me.
Upping the stakes, I received two more appetizers; curried risotto croquettes and Shiseido peppers in a pot with edamame and sea salt. While I have a limited interest in those furry pods and their soy seeds, the Shiseido peppers are always a brilliant call, they were roasted to a nice consistency and just spicy enough to keep wanting more. The croquettes were warm and hearty with a side of tangy tzatziki for dipping. This savory comfort food was a perfect pick me up to the cold grey sky outside.
I encouraged more appetizers and received a small crock of four cheese fondue with bread and veggies. These carrots, asparagus and green beans were fresh and bursting with flavor, coupling them with the rich cheese was a really special treat. There were two wedges of bread that I saved for last. The bread was absolutely delicious and had a density to is that made it perfect for cleaning my crock.
If you go to the Breadbar for one thing, It should be the French Onion soup. However, you should not go there and subject yourself to such limitations. This soup was pure bliss and I kid you not when I say that I ate it and thought to myself, “I’m so glad I’m not having sex right now, as I’d be missing this.” If you know of any other soups that give a back seat to the physical act of expressing love, please let me know.
As I raved to the chef, I was asked if I would like to try his steak salad. When a man goes four for four, let him try for a fifth. The salad was striking in its presentation, a consistent streak here. The thinly sliced flank steak was rare and set adjacent to a bed of arugula, haricots, blue cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. The bitter greens played well with the tender steak, this is a dish I will go back for.
Just as I thought I would check out and call it a day, the chef brought me a plate of veal meatballs and pasta in an arrabiata sauce. I was clearly in the realm of leisure eating at this point. I was full to the point that I struggled to eat much of the pasta. However, the meatballs were so perfectly seasoned that I was not about to leave one on the plate.
All in all I was most taken by the fact with the farm to table feel the menu had as well as the sense of presentation that was charming and homey without a shred of pretentiousness. The staff was sweet and comforting too. The only thing that didn’t add up to me was that I was the only person there. Alright, it was later in the day on a weekday and I trust many of you had stockings to stuff. I just hope you aren’t missing out on this gem on 3rd street.
The Bread Bar
8718 West 3rd Street,