Star bread and pizza maker Rick Easton — whose Pittsburgh shop landed him a James Beard semifinalist nomination — has brought his acclaimed bakery to the New York City area.
Bread & Salt is now open in the Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, at 435 Palisade Ave., between Griffith and Hutton streets, serving airy Italian breads, pizza by the slice, and small dishes like meatballs. The menu will change often, but there will always be pizza rossa, pizza margherita, and a potato pizza. Sandwiches such as mortadella on pizza bianca or one with dandelion greens, salads, and small dishes like meatballs or fava bean puree with bitter greens round out the menu. Drinks are BYO.
“I’m not trying to overdo it. I want this to be very accessible; I want to try to get to know the neighbors,” Easton says. “I want people who walk in the door to be like, ‘Hey, I’m a New Jersey guy, and this is pizza, so that’s cool.’”
Italian bakeries are not in short supply in Jersey City, where Second Street Bakery and Pecoraro have been around for decades, but the addition of Easton to the neighborhood is a huge win. The James Beard Award-nominated chef has a cult following among bread nerds and chefs. He’s cooked at various NYC restaurants, starting the popular Focaccia Friday at Superiority Burger and working a brief stint at Berg’n in Crown Heights.
Easton is known for an obsession with bread, using stone milled wheat from Pennsylvania and naturally fermenting it for at least three days. When Easton had Bread & Salt in Pittsburgh, former Eater critic Bill Addison named it one of the best new restaurants of 2015 nationally for the “crusty, stretchy, smoky-sweet bread,” while former Times columnist Mark Bittman also called Easton’s pizza “a slice of heaven in Pittsburgh.”
The new 25-seat, counter-service space is a collaboration with business partners Marc Magliozzi and Johnny DiPasquale, who own Hoboken pizzeria Dozzino.
Bread & Salt is open Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends starting in the early afternoon.