We pre-gamed foodie style. Ate first before eating again at the Yelp event.
Read more about Jennie's genius idea to go to Baby Brasa and our night's food hopping adventures in the next post.
The lower east side is the last remaining bastion of that hardcore, grungy, in your face artistry that a lot of New York City used to have. The last time I'd come to the Bowery was with my museum-loving buddy, and we were on a mission to visit as many little studios as we could in one afternoon. Jennie and I, both photo enthusiasts, were thrilled to see all the new street art by a collective calling themselves The New Allen St. I suppose they're Allen Street's counterpart to Brooklyn's Bushwick Collective?
The Nolitan Hotel is right in the thick of it. The lobby is small, but any hipster would love it. Old fashioned bikes line the railings, and there are big brown leather couches surrounded by books in the waiting area.
Bread's interior impresses no less. There are little reading niches, a nice floor space in front of the bar, and an open dining area to the other side.
We arrived during the initial rush to get to the free cocktails. Friendly, smart people team up and order drinks for their new allies, whoever gets to the bartender first. In record time, we were able to take our spoils back to our table. And that's where the high came crashing down.
We tried the Violette Nights (purity vodka, lavender, earl grey), Earth Reviver (pistachio infused dorthy parker gin, spirulina, aquafaba, lime), and Caffe Corretto (hot coffee, scotch, cinnamon clove, cashew crème). The Caffe Corretto was the best, and that scotch really put some hair on my tongue. I think, having come from Bemelman's Bar the night before, I was still expecting more.
The service was wonderful, as tray after tray was brought around to all in attendance. And as they came out, I noticed the crowd continue to dwindle.
We had the oysters first. They were warm and dry. Not good, unless you want everyone to get sick from spoiled oysters.
Next we had the polenta topped with truffles and parmesan crust. Excellent and the best bite of the night.
I thought the oysters were just a fluke, until the rest of the food was brought out. We had grilled shrimp, burned and tasteless. We had pizza bread, and mine was rock hard. There was a meatball sandwich that we dumped tabasco all over just to save the taste. Actually, it was tasteless, like they had taken tomato sauce straight from the can and dumped it on top of the meatball. Worst of all, the mayonnaise on top of the crab cakes was already spoiled. We had to spit that one out.
I think what happened was all the trays were left under the heat lamps too long. The food got spoiled and dry.
A Yelp event was supposed to garner good reviews of the place, but I think something really went awry in the planning. I'd still be willing to give Bread another chance, as long as I didn't have to spend for it.