The Trend: High-End Bread Pairings
Le Bec Fin
French Laundry refugee Walter Abrams revamped Philly's grand dame of dining with a smart tasting menu and a budding bread program run by pastry chef Jennifer Smith (another Thomas Keller alum) and sous-chef Steve Eckerd. They match the cheese course with a series of exquisite house-baked breads like dark-fruit "Newtons" and a hypnotic chocolate rye begging for gooey Old Chatham Camembert.
The Restaurant at Meadowood
St. Helena, Calif.
Christopher Kostow's Michelin-starred eight-course tasting menu includes mind-blowing bread pairings—recent examples include Middle Eastern grilled duck hearts matched with puffy, wheat-germ-dusted Egyptian baalaadi bread, and a pumpernickel that adds subtle tang to the lemony slow-poached veal shoulder with roe, pickled kohlrabi, and dill.
Dominique Crenn's 40-seat eatery features a parade of delicate breads paired with her signature, intricate courses, like tomato, chèvre, and lardo with oat-topped brown-rice rolls, and a buttery brioche that adds richness to her vegetable-centric Dominique-in-Wonderland scene of wild foraged mushrooms sprouting from pumpernickel soil and pine meringue.
Restaurant Guy Savoy
Bedecked with epí-baguette wreaths, poppy baguettini, and olive ciabattas, the bread cart at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace is as lavish as you'd expect from one of Sin City's most expensive restaurants. Pick from 16 varieties of bread or opt for the chef's pairings (including for the 9- or 13-course menu), like a seaweed baguette whose subtle morine flavor sets off oysters in ice gelées.