Walking around Nolita on a Saturday afternoon and trying to find somewhere to eat lunch is like trying to get tickets to Jingle Ball in the late 90s. You’ll wait an hour in the cold for the privilege of entering, and once you finally get inside you’ll be jammed up against a bunch of people who all seem a little too excited about what’s going on. Was it really worth it, just to see LFO perform - or in this case, linger over an avocado toast at Cafe Gitane?
Well, you can stop dialing Z100 in the hopes of winning those elusive free tickets, because Bread is here. Actually, it’s been here for a while - and if you’ve been ignoring it, now’s the time to change that.
Bread, despite occupying a not-huge space on Spring and Elizabeth, manages to never be massively crowded, even at peak times. The space feels like an art gallery, and the food is routinely just what we’re in the mood for. Unlike so many restaurants, Bread’s weekend lunch offerings don’t revolve around watery eggs and overly-sweet French Toast with a side of feeble home fries prepared by the clearly hungover. Sure, you can have (pretty good versions of) those things, but you can also have a nice salad, soup or, sandwich like a civilized person. Heck, you can even have a piece of salmon!
Our move is the lunchtime soup and half sandwich combination, from which you can select from an impressive list of Italian paninis. The place is called Bread, after all. Soup-wise, go for the tomato, which is parmesan-topped and is a contender for the city’s best.
Bread has night-time utility as well, and we like it in particular for a group dinner, for which you can book a semi-private room in the back. No one will be mad at the salads, pasta, or the volume of bars in close proximity.
Maybe you’ll even bump into Elvis Duran and the Z-Morning Zoo.
We know a good tomato soup when we see one, and this is just that. Bread’s namesake bread makes for an excellent dipping vehicle.
Our favorites are the Italian Spicy Capocollo Sandwich and the Free Range Chicken, which both have a little spicy kick. The traditional prosciutto and mozzarella works too.
It comes with poached shrimp, grape tomatoes, roasted asparagus, avocado, and a light dressing. A healthy salad that doesn’t involve kale or taste like dirt. What a relief.
Not technically a food, and technically something you could make at home for 50 cents by chopping up cubes of fresh ginger and putting them in hot water, but do you have a pretty mason jar mug to put it in? Anyway, it’s perfect on a cold day. Add honey.
If you come for dinner with a group, get a bowl of the pesto pasta to share. Or get one for yourself at lunch, whatever.