Dish of the week: The Bread Company serves up savory treats

When searching for a meal close to the Quad, students can find what some believe to be a combination of good atmosphere and quality entrees at The Bread Company. Located on 706 South Goodwin, The Bread Company is a family-run business where “the food pretty much sells itself,” according to Aleks Dragas, head chef and manager of the restaurant.

The restaurant has two main operation times, he added: daytime, when soups, salads and sandwiches are served; and the nighttime operation when the menu expands to include dishes ranging from pastas and seafood to elaborate pizzas.

The atmosphere also makes a change from a casual, relaxing scene during the day, to formal dining with linen tablecloths during the evenings.

Dragas took over as head chef for the restaurant three months ago. He said he always strives for perfection in each of his dishes and feels that “it could always be better.”

While many of The Bread Company’s meals are very popular among students and faculty, one in particular stuck out to Dragas: the fried goat cheese.

This dish is usually served as an appetizer and is doused in a tempura batter with two eggs, salt, water and flour to thicken, then lightly coated in Panko flakes, which are Japanese-style breadcrumbs. After the goat cheese is fried, it is then served with honey and strawberries to create a salty-sweet treat that can act as an appetizer or dessert.

For those having a bad week, the goat cheese pairs well with the restaurant’s sangria bought from Glunz Family Winery located in Lincolnwood, Ill.

“The preparation requires the most skill and practice. It is an aspect of cooking that is just as important as knowing the science behind it,” Dragas said.

Many of the restaurant’s cheeses are specially imported from European Imports, Ltd. to ensure top quality for their customers. All their breads are made fresh daily from scratch with no MSG or preservatives, Dragas said.

According to Dragas, the key to the restaurant’s satisfying dishes is simplicity.

“What consistently surprises me is the simplicity of the ingredients when they are prepared properly,” he said. “It is a matter of having the right ingredients and preparing it correctly.”

Dragas went on to say that The Bread Company is perfect for almost any occasion, from a relaxing lunch during the day to a lovely first date at night.

_Christen can be reached at [email protected]_