In pursuit of all things casual and unpretentious, my seat at one of the big communal tables at Roman Candle marked a reprieve from that thankless undertaking. Relaxing in the glow of the working bakery adds an additional layer of comfort to the menu. Pizza Bianca might be the inspiration and anchor for this incredibly appointed eatery out on SE Division, but the breakfast pastries, wonderful lunch sandwiches, kale salad and arancini more than round out the offerings.
For the early risers, try the kouign amann pastry - a faux-nut genetic mutation of the sticky bun, lightly salted. The open-faced egg salad is topped with bacon strips conjuring a complete breakfast triumph. Soups and sandwiches hold court through lunch, moving on to pizza mode for the dinner hours.
For antipasti, the arancini are flavorful and fluffy. Try the Tuscan Cavalry salad for texture and taste that delight. The potato bianca slab arrives with a pair of scissors for a reason. One slice will feed a family of four. The brussels bianca special had a roasty, smokey profile. Ask for the red pepper flakes and a side of olive oil for dipping these breads in the traditional Italian fashion. Top the meal off with a selection from the gelato bar or whatever might be featured in the pastry case. Molto bene!