When it comes to Italian dining in New York City, there are plenty of options. So what makes a place special? Let’s start with the name.

The culinary minds behind Bread & Tulips said the name came simply from the fact that they love great bread. That is why every meal begins with the chef’s fresh, homemade Italian bread and every table is adorned with a lovely tulip.

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When you first walk into the restaurant, you immediately feel transported into a fine, rustic Italian countryside where your favorite Italian relatives have invited you over for dinner. The service at Bread & Tulips is as warm and friendly as the candle-lit atmosphere.

We started off our meal with two selections from the Antipasti menu. The Burrata & Heirloom Tomato tasted market-fresh, considering they don’t make the burrata in house. The dish was accompanied with a ramekin of sea salt that further enhanced the flavor of the vine-ripened tomatoes.

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Next up was the Grilled Octopus. The tentacles were thick and meaty, served on a bed of gigante & garbanzo beans drizzled with olive oil. Every bite of this dish was deliciously cooked to perfection making it the most memorable dish of the evening.

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When it came to the entrees we had a difficult time deciding what to order because there were so many amazing options to choose from. From the pizza, to the pasta, to the main courses, everything sounded better than the last. We opted for a vegetarian pasta dish, which was one of the newer items on the menu, that turned out to be wonderful.

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The fresh extruded penne pasta was tossed with a porcini & crimini ragu and a delicate ricotta salata. Every savory bit of it was comforting and made you feel like you were at home dining at mom’s kitchen table.

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When it comes to Italy, the last thing that might come to mind is a duck from Long Island, nonetheless, we chose to go the local route with our final entree order. The chefs “Italianized” the duck by adding  mascarpone polenta and wine-marinated concord grapes that had our taste buds exclaiming “delizioso!”  The portions were plentiful, so much so, that we were sorry to have no room left for dessert.

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Despite the cold New York weather, we were delighted to be able to roll back (literally, roll!) to our room at Hotel Giraffe without even having to step outside. The side door of the restaurant leads right into the hotel’s lobby, making Bread & Tulips a must visit restaurant for not only hotel guests, but locals alike. The locals may have to bear the cold in order to make it to the entrance, but it’s worth it 🙂

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To take a look at the full menu at Bread & Tulips, click here.

To LIKE Bread & Tulips on Facebook, click here.

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