Where to Bread + Butter, a new North End bakery-cafe from pastry chef Lee Napoli.
What for Bread + Butter sells sandwiches and salads that are a nice change of pace for the lunch crowd in the North End — think duck confit with caramelized onions and fig jam on baguette or a chopped Cobb. But the real reason to go out of your way is Napoli’s flaky croissants, delicate macaroons, fried-to-order beignets, and more.
The scene In a bread-and-butter-colored room — yellow walls, white brick — tourists hot off the Freedom Trail and freelancers with mobile offices come together. A patio with umbrellas overlooks the Greenway, where kids (and a few creepy adults) in bathing suits cavort in the spray of fountains. A fit man with white hair in dark green Under Armour makes notes on a document; a blonde with an Irish accent wearing all black comes toting a red satchel and a novel in search of tea. An attractive young couple eats in silence, a map of Boston protruding from the man’s back pocket. A quote from George Bernard Shaw is written on a chalkboard on the wall: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
What you’re eating A Nutella Danish. Because a regular Danish isn’t decadent enough.
Care for a drink? George Howell coffee is on offer here, although the iced version is weak. There are also house-made sodas in fruity flavors like pomegranate.
Overheard A woman trying to decide between a fill-to-order eclair and a chocolate croissant. Much oohing and ahhing when the chosen eclair arrives. A man asking about the provenance of the espresso beans, tourists asking directions, and names being called when orders are up, all set to a dreamy pop soundtrack. Thin girls ordering gazpacho and yogurt parfaits. “Is everything made in house?,” one customer inquires. “Yes,” says the woman at the counter.” “Even the chocolates?” “Yes,” says the woman at the counter. “You’ve gotta get here first thing in the morning when everything comes out of the oven. It’s like heaven.”
64 Cross St., North End, Boston. 617-248-6900. www.breadbutterboston.com.
Devra First can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.