At some restaurants, bread is an afterthought—baskets of chalky, uninspired dinner rolls shuffled out with chilled, foil-wrapped butter. This is not that restaurant, and it’s certainly not that bread. At High Street on Hudson, the day-to-night West Village sibling to chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin’s lauded Philadelphia restaurant, High Street on Market, head baker Alex Bois’s astonishing loaves—potent New World ryes, hearty German-style vollkornbrot, anadama miche enriched with molasses—obliterate the idea of bread as mere mealtime filler. Here, it is the meal.
In the morning, it takes the form of pillowy, amply poppy-seeded potato rolls that come slathered with plucky gherkin mayo and padded with thick slices of sweet Lancaster bologna, horseradish-zapped Amish cheddar and fried red onions in the fan-favorite Hickory Town sandwich ($12); or it’s the buttery biscuit, popping with black pepper and subdued with sage, that hugs a cloud-soft egg, malted sausage and melty aged cheddar in the kitchen’s gorgeous send-up of a breakfast sandwich ($13).
Want those breads at their most unadulterated? A cart strategically set by the venue’s entrance with street-facing windows offers Bois’s beautiful loaves for retail sale, as well as pastry chef Sam Kincaid’s equally great baked goods, from moist coffee-almond date cake ($3.50) to Market’s beloved country-ham–draped, gravy-filled red-eye danish ($4.50).
Those roaring bread ovens, visible in the open kitchen, alone make High Street a daytime destination spot—the lunch menu’s fat-marbled pastrami, piled high on tangy rye ($18), would make the Katz’s crew proud—but dinner cements the Philly import as a formidable New York restaurant.
When the lights dim, sandwiches and pastries make way for composed dishes spotlighting local produce and, naturally, grains. Charred rutabaga is pureed into a smooth-as-silk hummus, shot with earthy black sesame oil and rousing long-hot chermoula ($9); for a moment, it renders the accompanying hunks of darkly delicious vollkornbrot as nothing more than hummus vehicles. Toasted oats add nice nuttiness to tubes of paccheri in a thick-bodied water-buffalo bolognese ($24), and their soured-oat counterpart lend a fermented funk to a dish of Long Island duck with charred leeks ($28).
Or say screw it, do as the gluten gods intended and feast on nothing but breads and spreads ($8) for dinner. We won’t judge—hell, we’ll join in.