As always, my food reviews begin with a story, because if I just wrote bland descriptions about what food taste like no one would read them correct? FUCK ME, RIGHT? Hehe haha, take me back a few months ago, mid spring. I was sitting at the bar at the Tavern at Millwrights, gearing up for one of the Cook and the Bear nights. I went to the bathroom and when I returned there was way more people in the bar than when I left and I was only gone for two minutes! When I returned I sat down and saw that the couple next to me had received their food. The woman was closest to me, practically rubbing knees. As I was craning my neck, gawking at her pulled pork kimchi pancake, she turned to me as to say, “Back the fuck off my shit” but to my surprise it was my dear friend Anjelica, and she was pregnant! Since this run in Anjelica and her BF Derek have given birth to a real cutie nugget face named Dakota Rose. “Ben!” she exclaimed, “WTF are you doing here? “Eating some good ass food bitch, same as you.” We laughed because that is what my relationship with Anjelica has consisted of over the years. Making fun of people’s wardrobe choices and meme sharing is our main connection. Anjelica turned and introduced me to her boyfriend Derek who might I add is a gorgeous man and an excellent baby maker. We got to talking and Anjelica interjected that Derek, in conjunction with a couple friends, was slated to open a restaurant in Middletown within the following month, I was all ears. It was Italian cuisine and was going to be called Bread and Water. As far as Middletown goes, it could use a good restaurant. I awaited the day and went in a few weeks after the initial opening, because we all know how people feel when you review a restaurant the week it opens, BOO HOO. Bread and Water is housed in an old jail house, this instantly peaked my interest, here is a short passage taken from the Middletown Press talking about the restaurant’s opening.
The day I went, Derek and Chef Carl were there, we talked food and I ate a shit ton of good stuff, lets get started.
I started with veal meatballs, this would be a perfect indicator as to what was to come in an Italian-inspired restaurant. If your meatballs are shit, everything else will probably be shit. These meatballs were TASTY and the bus to Flavortown was packed and ready to roll! I sopped up the pomodoro with the bread that was brought to the table, we were off to a good start. Next was the pulpo, this is another indicator of a chef’s skill. If octopus comes to the table and I have to chew it like it’s a fucking dog toy, I’m going to spit it back into the napkin for the server to take care of, because I’ve done this before. Chef Carl killed this plate because this pulpo was perfect. Next was the plin, for those that don’t know, plin is almost agnolotti (my favorite pasta), almost like ravioli. These little plin were filled with duck confit and topped with pear compote. Shit was getting real, these were a 10. Finally for the starters I ended with a prosciutto wrapped asparagus salad. Now you can go the way of basic bitch or you can get real sexy when it comes to wrapped asparagus, these were by no means basic. The prosciutto was crisped perfectly and the asparagus were excellent. It was served with halved cipollini onions topped with gorgonzola, excelente!
Now that I had settled in and tasted almost everything Bread and Water had to offer in the way of small plates, I moved on to some pasta dishes and main courses. First was the Rabbit Stemperata. I did not order this dish, Chef Carl forced it on me because it was a new creation of his and insisted I try. The reason I didn’t order this dish is because it had Taggiasca olives, capers and roasted red peppers in it. I just thought that would be too much flavor for one man. He insisted, and met me in the middle and left the peppers and capers out. I’m glad he persuaded me into this because this was a tasty dish, and I’m always curious to see who’s doing what with rabbit. There was a vinegar-like undertone to the sauce of this dish that carried it through, crisp, not heavy, amazing. Second was the Lobster Bolognese. I’m really down to try any lobster pasta dish and since this was served over gnocchi with pretty much a whole fucking lobsters worth of meat, there was no complaints from me. Third was the duck with baby root vegetables, hickory smoked bacon polenta with mission fig and fuji apple chutney. This dish was orgasmatron, in my mouth and mind. Dopamine flowed from my brain and filled my heart with love. Bravo Chef Carl, this dish made me straight up horny, enough said. Finally was the steak. Chef Carl does an insane filet with porcini compound butter. Just leave the money on the dresser and get out. Chef Carl had fucked me with flavor to the point that I wanted to grab Guy Fieri by the collar of his pin striped, flamed embroidered bowling shirt, throw him down the stairs and tell him that there’s a new mayor of Flavortown! No really, this steak was top notch, little truffle mash and my fave, broccoli rabe… the dish was complete.
I was stuffed, but I came to do my job, and I still had dessert to finish. Tonight there were three dishes on the dessert menu and I got two. First was the blood orange mascarpone crème brulee. I’m not that big on crème brulee, more of a flan man, but I had to try because when you say mascarpone to me I get excited. This was probably the best crème brulee I’ve ever had. I don’t like them because they are all so regular and by the book. This crème brulee stood out because it had two ingredients in it you never see. Second was my favorite, the black and white bread pudding. This dish was perfect, and bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts because you can dress it up any way you see fit. I can’t remember what kind of ice cream this was, maybe cinnamon, but served with fresh strawberries and a Chantilly-like cream, it was the perfect end to my night.
Bread and Water is a new restaurant. The way the meal tasted, the service, ambiance, attentiveness... these are all things that need to remain in place throughout the life of a restaurant. The spot is cool and cozy, it’s pretty much like eating in your own house and I liked that. The service was ON POINT all night and that’s how it should be. I see awesome things coming from Derek, Chef Carl and the rest of the staff at Bread and Water and I plan on going back soon to see the summer menu changes. You need to go here if you live in the Central CT/Rt 9 corridor. I just found my new favorite place to eat in Middletown. I hereby give Bread and Water…
Join me next week, or the week after if I’m lazy, as I walk you through the luxurious meal I had at Patina Los Angeles, prepared by Chef Paul Lee.