(Note: This space is now home to The Usual)
I finally made it to my first Tabelog event and it was such a wonderful time. Dinner took place at Bread, an Italian restaurant located inside the Nolitan Hotel. I’ve never been to their previous location and learned that this new location opened on the corner of Kenmare Street a few months ago.
We were seated at a few tables towards the front. The place was nice and bright thanks to the large windows. I was offered wine right after taking my seat. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The menu looked really good.
Baskets of bread came out first and I didn’t even try it. Funny, since the place is called bread. I guess I was just saving my appetite for the good stuff.
It didn’t take long for the various shared plates to come out. They came out one after the other.
A plate of wild mushrooms and roasted asparagus were placed in front of me. The asparagus was cooked well and topped with bread crumbs for some added texture.
I enjoyed the cashew milk with the mushrooms which added a nice creaminess to the dish.
Another appetizer was the salmon tartar made with Scottish salmon, avocado, shallots, scallions, and citrus zest served with crostini . Now, I’m a big fan of salmon so it immediately caught my attention.
It was light and fresh, but the consistency was more on the mushy side due to the avocados. It was still pretty good. I also tried a bit spread on the toasted crusty Italian bread.
The pork belly was tender and juicy. It was served over a bed of broccoli rabe and topped with some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.
The arancini (stuffed rice balls) was served with aioli. The breading was crispy and the filling of arborio rice, saffron, and Tellegio cheese made for a creamy savory bite.
The grilled breaded shrimp looked very good. It was served over a zucchini slaw. Due to my supposed shrimp allergy, I had to skip this one.
The best part about going out with other food bloggers is that everybody takes pictures of the food! We even passed each dish around making sure everybody got a shot.
The other shared plates included beef carpaccio, fritto miso, and baby kale. I did not get a chance to try these. I was a bit distracted and caught up in conversation with my fellow foodies. I promise I’ll concentrate better next time.
The server made sure my wine glass was always full. It was a Albariño Bodegas Castro Martin. It was a refreshing and fairly crisp white wine.
It was time to move on to the main dishes. We had several choices. I was offered a taste of the pork chop and tagliolini. The tagliolini was dressed in homemade pesto. The pasta was cooked a nice al dente and the pesto was flavorful.
The Berkshire pork chop was a hefty size served with sauteed green and yellow squash and topped with poached apple.
I decided to go with the wild Branzino. It was described as a whole roasted sea bream, so I was expecting an entire fish as opposed to one fillet. It was simply made with citrus, herbs, preserved lemon and gremalata. A gremalata is a chopped herb condiment classically made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. The fish was served over crispy thin potato slices and broccoli rabe. It was good, but it would have been better with crispier skin.
Dessert soon followed. They included panna cotta, apple crostata, and chocolate molten cake. The menu listed tiramisu, but a bread pudding was served instead.
The crostata (Italian baked tart or pie) was filled with apples and cinnamon.
None of the desserts really stood out to me, but they were all satisfying. My favorite was the molten lava cake and vanilla ice cream. It’s just a classic combination.
The bread pudding was okay. It wold have been nice to try the tiramisu. I’ve heard great things about it.
It was a tasty and super fun dinner with the Tabelog crew. Thank you!