Review: Bread & Butterfly is a French bistro by day, but explores Afro-Caribbean influences at night

At Bread & Butterfly, soup joumou, one of Haiti’s national dishes, comes with a tableside pour of silky pureed squash. Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

Credit: Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

Credit: Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

At Bread & Butterfly, soup joumou, one of Haiti’s national dishes, comes with a tableside pour of silky pureed squash. Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

The past few years have seen an explosion of pop-ups in the metro area, but 2023 was a breakout year for nomadic restaurants.

Earlier this year, Demetrius Brown and business partner Brandon Blanchard began hosting Heritage Supper Club, their Afro-Caribbean pop-up, in the evenings at Bread & Butterfly in Inman Park. By August, they had assumed ownership of the French bistro.

Demetrius Brown of Heritage Supper Club now is running Bread & Butterfly. Courtesy of Demetrius Brown

Credit: Courtesy of Demetrius Brown

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Credit: Courtesy of Demetrius Brown

Bread & Butterfly had been known during its eight years for omelets or scrambled eggs and cold-smoked trout on brioche toast, served in a cozy yet elegant setting.

The new owners haven’t changed the daytime carte drastically. Eggs dishes still are found up and down the menu — from wobbly poached eggs on toast with numerous add-on options (salmon, capers and onions was a solid choice) to newbies, such as eggs Benedict and a recommended toasted prosciutto and gruyere croissant.

Although it changed ownership over the summer, Bread & Butterfly retains the feel of a French bistro. Contributed by Andrew Thomas Lee.

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Other egg dishes suffered in execution: a wet, runny quiche (a small portion for the $13.75 price tag), a pair of shrimp-filled crepes of varying doneness, and an omelet that was just average.

But there is far more than eggs served during the day, including a flaky galette filled with minced, sautéed mushrooms and dots of house-made ricotta; a veggie sandwich that pops with the flavor of thinly shaved beets; and a juicy 7-ounce American wagyu burger topped with gruyere, caramelized onions and mustard aioli.

Bread & Butterfly's airy plantain brioche buns are delicious with a smear of cane syrup butter or dipped into sauces you'll find on the dinner menu. Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

Credit: Courtesy of Bread &

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Credit: Courtesy of Bread &

Dinner, meanwhile, showcases Brown’s Heritage dishes, with nearly every plate offering visual and flavor appeal as he takes a deep dive into African and Caribbean foodways, including those of his Trinidadian family. All the dishes are approachable, even if you’re not familiar with Caribbean kitchen staples, such as Scotch bonnet peppers (which form the backbone of the Haitian pickled condiment pikliz) or that nation’s herbaceous pesto-like epis. Both are supporting elements that accompany standout skewers of smoky, grilled lamb belly.

Poulet nan sous (Haitian-style stewed chicken) was deeply flavored with onion, Scotch bonnet peppers and fresh herbs in a pool of red bean puree as dark as mole. Though listed among small plates, it was of entree proportion, making it a bargain at $14 — especially in comparison with the skimpy $24 vegetarian entree of braised cabbage.

For soup joumou, one of Haiti’s national dishes, Brown elegantly plates each component — braised beef, root veggies, cabbage — in a soup bowl, then does a tableside pour of the golden, silky pureed squash.

Poulet nan sous, which is Haitian-style stewed chicken, is deeply flavored by aromatics at Bread & Butterfly. Ligaya Figueras/

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

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Credit: Ligaya Figueras

You don’t need to know the history of soup joumou to enjoy this rich beef and squash soup, but it brings greater appreciation to learn that, during French colonial rule of Haiti, slaves were not allowed to eat it. When Haitians won their independence, Brown told me, they ate soup joumou to celebrate.

It is with such dishes that Brown, 29, demonstrates his culinary prowess and curiosity. In a 2022 AJC interview, Brown, a classically trained culinary school graduate, said that developing dishes and menus for his Heritage pop-up required deep research into the food of the Black diaspora, and testing recipes he’d never even tried before. Now that he’s found a permanent home at Bread & Butterfly, he is challenging himself further, by focusing his lens on only those Caribbean countries that were colonized by France.

As for the beverages, coffee drinks were spot on, and Jessica White has curated a highly explorable wine list. Separate day and night cocktail menus are aligned with the seasons, as well as the distinct cuisines. The frothy, creamy, rum-based coconut calypso is lovely, while the Maduro Old-Fashioned is an unexpectedly delicious Caribbean spin on a classic — and a nice drink for beginning dinner.

A few service snafus — like a missing spoon after the tableside pouring of soup or a forgotten drink order — and uneven execution on some breakfast bites were reminders that this is Brown’s first time as the owner-operator of a full-service restaurant.

Yet, only six weeks into dinner service, the evolution from pop-up to grown-up is one to savor.

Bread & Butterfly offers a delicious rum-based Caribbean twist on an Old-Fashioned. Courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

Credit: Courtesy of Bread

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Credit: Courtesy of Bread


2 out of 4 stars (very good)

Food: daytime French cafe; nighttime Afro-Caribbean cuisine

Service: casual, yet courteous

Noise level: low

Recommended dishes: during the day, toasted prosciutto and gruyere croissant, mushroom galette, French onion soup, veggie sandwich, burger Americain, poached egg with salmon, capers and onion; for dinner, plantain buns, soup joumou, potato salad, tasso, poulet nan sous, pwason fri (fried fish)

Vegetarian dishes: during the day, yogurt, numerous baked goods, omelet and greens, poached eggs, quiche, pancake, veggie sandwich; for dinner, plantain buns, potato salad, braised cabbage, soup joumou upon request

Alcohol: full bar

Price range: during the day $$ (less than $50 per person, excluding drinks); for dinner, $$$ (less than $75 per person, excluding drinks)

Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sundays

Parking: street parking and paid garage

MARTA: Inman Park/Reynoldstown stations

Reservations: accepted

Outdoor dining: heated covered patio

Takeout: not recommended

Address, phone: 290 Elizabeth St., Atlanta. 678-515-4536


About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s restaurant review process: AJC dining critics conduct reviews anonymously. Reservations are never made in their name, nor do they provide restaurants with advance notice about their visits. Our critics always make multiple visits, sample the full range of the menu and pay for all of their meals. When reviewing new restaurants, AJC dining critics wait at least one month after the restaurant has opened before visiting.

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