Home Food + Drink Bread and Salt in Jersey City: Pizza Dough for the Soul

Bread and Salt in Jersey City: Pizza Dough for the Soul

by Yiwei Gu
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We love pizza + we love celebrity chefs, and Rick Easton combines the two. The food-obsessive and mostly self-trained baker had earned a slew of praise for his renowned Pittsburg bakery, with Eater critic Bill Addison lauded everything served there, from the “crusty, stretchy, smoky-sweet bread,” to the pizza covered with “simple but potent toppings.” New York Times food writer Mark Bittman called his “chewy, crusty, slightly and beautifully sour” pizza “a slice of heaven” in his very last column for the paper. Plus, Easton was also nominated for the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2015 in the baker category.

So when the news broke recently that the star baker, after the closure of his Pittsburgh restaurant and a few short stints at various New York eateries, was opening a brand-new Bread and Salt in Jersey City {bringing his acclaimed bread and pizza to this neighborhood}, people were definitely excited — including the team at HG. Keep reading to learn all about Bread and Salt in Jersey City Heights, serving pizza dough for the soul {and if you can get through this post — let alone the next photo without drooling — tell us your ways}. 

bread and salt jersey city

The Pizza 

Pizza, or Roman-style pizza to be totally accurate, is the star at Bread and Salt, located at 435 Palisade Avenue. But unlike the trendy NYC pizzerias featuring truffle-and-burrata-loaded pies baked in an expensive brick oven made in Italy, the pizza here is served in a no-frills fashion, exactly the same way they’re sold in Rome — street food style. Five to six kinds of oblong sheets of pizza are displayed behind glass cases. Unlike their New York-style cousins, which are smeared with cheese and loaded with a zillion toppings, they are minimally garnished with small blobs of mozzarella {margherita} or tomato sauce {rossa}.

bread and salt counter

Diners tell the server behind the counter how many slices are wanted, then a few squares are off of the pie and heated in a gas oven. Guests take the piping hot pizza to their seats on a plastic tray and go ham.

See More: The Best Hoboken Pizza Spots {According to Your Cravings}

The Dough

bread and salt pizza

The soul of a Roman-style pizza, or pizza al taglio {pizza for cutting}, is the dough. Unlike its soft, thin-crusted Neapolitan cousin, the dough of the sturdy Roman pie has a much higher water content and is left to rise at low temperature for a very long time, sometimes up to 36 hours. The result is an airy, chewy honeycomb layer anchored by a crispy, richly flavored crust. The edge of the pie is nicely browned and slightly caramelized, and has an elastic, bubble-riddled inside that stretches beautifully when you pull the slice apart.

Because of its robust crust, the pie can be topped with anything. At Bread and Salt, other than the classic margherita and rossa pizzas, a repertoire of simple toppings are served — depending on daily availability of course. A few of the options include zucchini, thinly-sliced potato sprinkled with rosemary, and a hearty heap of well-cooked onion topped with pecorino and guanciale {an Italian-cured meat from pork jowels}. There are no fancy ingredients or elaborate preparation to wow the crowd, but the tastes are honest, comforting, and well-balanced.

Beyond Pizza

bread and salt meatballs

Besides pizza, a handful of classic Italian dishes are also served daily. The meatballs are just how you’d like em — juicy and delish, and the vegetable dishes are made with seasonal ingredients. The Sicilian salad of string beans and potatoes = brightly flavored and dressed with a generous drizzle of olive oil. And the cucumber soup — something not to be scoffed at for the carbs4lyfers — is minty and smooth, and extremely refreshing in the hot weather. But word to the wise — the menu changes often! If you are still hungry, there are sandwiches stuffed with meats or cheeses, or the chef’s famous sourdough bread — whose complex flavor definitely lives up to its name.

bread and salt kitchen

The only miss here might be the service, which can be erratic, especially during busy hours. Popular flavors of pizza run out easily, and newly baked batches are not always replenished on time, unfortunately. At times there seem to be confusions about the workflow in the open kitchen, with all five people juggling to operate the oven and fill the orders at the same time, while a long line of customers is kept unattended in front of the counter. But, we’re going to overlook this mild snafu as this might be only a short-term issue due to its very recent opening.

Hopefully, things will smooth out once the operation gets more mature and seasoned — and we definitely look forward to any future changes that bring Easton’s other artisan quality food to our neighborhoods.

See More: The Daily Meal Names Razza in Jersey City in ‘Top 50 Italian Restaurants in the U.S.’

Know Before You Go 

Bread and Salt is a counter service locale and is BYOB, with a small selection of soft drinks sold inside. The restaurant space itself seats about 25 people. Kids, including toddlers, as well as large groups,  can be accommodated. 

Have you been to Bread and Salt yet? Let us know in the comments! 

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