BREAD AND BUTTER
A novel by Michelle Wildgen
1. How are Harry, Leo, and Britt
different? How are they alike?
1. What is Harry trying to prove by opening
up a restaurant in the same town where his brothers have their
restaurant? Is his experience a useful background for a
restaurateur, or do you think Leo and Britt followed a more helpful
path toward owning a restaurant?
1. How does the relationship between the
brothers evolve over the course of the novel?
1. How would you define the roles the
brothers occupy in their family? How do those roles shift over the
course of the book?
1. What do you think about the names of the
restaurants? What do they reflect about each one?
1. How has the novel changed the way you
think about restaurants and the people who work in them?
1. Do Leo and Britt own their restaurant or
does it own them? What about Harry?
1. What are the implications (moral and
practical) of Leo dating Thea? Is he wrong to do so?
1. How does Camille change Britt? What
about Thea and Leo?
1. What was your favorite main course
described in the novel? Favorite dessert?
1. How would you describe your attitude
toward food? Passionate? Perfunctory?
Adventurous? Would you order the lamb's neck?
To make your discussion of Bread and Butter
even more enjoyable, the author has put together a few food and
(What this actually means is that the author wisely
sought the advice of her more knowledgeable
For the ambitious, a few pairings for dishes from the
Duck confit with roasted fig and butternut squash chips --
Oregon Pinot Noir (or Burgundy if you're in the mood to
Duck breast with thyme and Dijon mustard -- Sancerre or
Pork buns -- Belgian Tripel or just about any sparkling wine
Tonkotsu ramen with pork belly -- Belgian Dubbel or Porter
Roast chicken with saffron rice - Provencal rosé
Cauliflower with cured lemon, Moroccan olive, and parsley --
California or French (not New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc or Greek
Braised lamb's neck with gremolata and cavatelli -- Dolcetto or
Poached pear with dulce de leche and salted almond -- Fino
Goat's milk cheesecake with stone fruit compote -- Moscato,
possibly rosé moscato
Corn ice cream with roasted plums -- Rosé moscato
To go with classic book club snacks such as assorted cheeses,
spiced almonds, gougères or cheese straws, salumi, olives, or
There's enough variety that you can go with whatever you like to
drink. That said, you can't go wrong with a light-bodied red like
Nero d''Avola or Aglianico, or a medium-bodied white such as Oregon
Pinot Gris or Spanish Verdejo.
There are, however, numerous reasons to offer a sparkling wine,
whether it's less expensive Spanish cava, Italian Prosecco, or
pricier French champagne: one, bubbly goes with just about
anything, and two, one of the most life-changing things I learned
from a few years in the restaurant business is that sparkling wine
is too delicious and versatile to be limited to once a year.
Maybe cap your consumption at once per day … maybe.
Follow the author on Twitter @michellewildgen