Best Thing on the Menu (BTM) makes a departure from the norm in this entry – by venturing into the realm of chain restaurants. This is usually a trip not worth taking. However, a visit to a Le Pain Quotidien is a departure in and of itself. The rustic wood communal tables, shared jams and jellies, glasses of white wine in the afternoon and those delicious open-faced Belgian tartines can transport you to Europe for an hour or two. Even if you can’t say it (here’s help: luh paN koh-ti-dyaN), a snack at this bakery and communal table establishment is the perfect post-yoga, mid-errand, slow-Sunday-morning retreat.
The BTM at Le Pain is a bit of an underdog: Tuscan White Bean & Prosciutto Salad with arugula, shaved Parmesan and basil croutons. The salty prosciutto combined with the funky, fresh parmesan and the over-the-top pungent basil make this dish a flavor explosion that evokes a summer picnic in Tuscany. The salad of course comes with Le Pain’s famous and hearty bread, so you’re not missing out on the bakery experience if you go the salad route. Don’t forget you can always purchase a whole loaf to take home.
Tuscan White Bean & Prosciutto Salad not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.