Title: Bread and Butter
Author: Michelle Wildgen
Read by: Elijah Alexander
Audio published: February 11, 2014 by Dreamscape Media
Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars
Britt and Leo have spent ten years running Winesap, the best restaurant in their small Pennsylvania town. They cater to their loyal customers; they don’t sleep with the staff; and business is good, even if their temperamental pastry chef is bored with making the same chocolate cake night after night. But when their younger brother, Harry, opens his own restaurant – a hip little joint serving an aggressive lamb neck dish – Britt and Leo find their own restaurant thrown off-kilter. Britt becomes fascinated by a customer who arrives night after night, each time with a different dinner companion. Their pastry chef, Hector, quits, only to reappear at Harry’s restaurant. And Leo finds himself falling for his executive chef – tempted to break the cardinal rule of restaurant ownership.
Family drama and food, how can you wrong? Bread & Butter was a fun listen, but was lacking something. Passion maybe. Britt and Leo run a restaurant, but they’re not passionate about it, it’s almost like they chose to do this thing and do it well, but they would have run any business well. They don’t seem love the food or the atmosphere. There are a couple of romances, but they don’t have sparks.
The restaurants both serve yummy food and I would like to eat at either one, but the relationship between the brothers was rather bland. I didn’t feel they were rivals, they try to help each other, but they don’t seem to really care. Harry, for example, is behaving a bit erratically and no one does anything until he has a mental breakdown and goes missing. Even then, he comes back, eats regularly and it’s all fine. It’s just too easy. Maybe that’s part of the issue. There are all kinds of possibilities for drama, but it never becomes engrossing. All the problems are dealt with easily and nothing ever really explodes. Nothing’s raw, except the sushi. It’s all a little bland.
The reader was competent, gave the brothers their own identities, but he didn’t really have much to work with, in my opinion.
I will grant you, there were a lot of food descriptions and if you’re into that kind of thing, give it a shot. It’s an interesting look behind the scenes at restaurants, but the actual plot needed a bit more spice.