Yogurt-makers Brent and Stephanie Gilewicz, the couple behind the dairy and coconut yogurts from Milk & Patience, have opened their deli Brown Bag Provisions today in the Design District. And for yogurt-parfait lovers and serious sandwich eaters, this is a big deal.
It’s a personal project for the two, the name itself based on the idea of packing the lunch sack that nourishes and ties you to home.
It’s been years since the dream took form. But the space in the front of the production kitchen, shared with the wizard bread- and pastry-makers of Bresnan Breads, has slowly filled with the makings of a deli: stained, salvaged wood decor, a wall of movie posters, a nook with books. The nerdy will delve into Matt Bresnan’s tomes on levain bread and pasta-making and Brent Gilewicz’s inspiration books from a veteran cook’s career (Anthony Bourdain’s memoirs, we see you; that Noma fermentation book, we see you, too).
Brown Bag Provisions will be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week. In order to fill out a menu that spans morning urges and lunchtime fare, the Gilewiczes have been getting into homemade butter, cultured with Milk & Patience yogurt cultures, and crème fraiche made with the milk whey leftover from yogurt-making. Curing bacon and sausage and brining pastrami all in house has led to a second moniker: Meat and Patience.
May we remind you that Brent possesses a culinary pedigree that has by no means been exhausted by the yogurt-making world of whey. And Matt Bresnan may be making the best bread and pastries in town. So the two of them teamed up looks something like this: You bring the dairy and meat, I’ll bring the bread, and together we’ll create the breakfast-and-lunch deli that everyone has been dreaming about.
For breakfast (items mostly in the $3–$8 range): Milk & Patience ricotta gets slathered on brioche toast with homemade strawberry-hibiscus jam; a waffle uses Matt’s levain starter and gets lavished with that whey crème fraiche and cultured butter and syrup; Brent’s blueberry muffins with a streusel topping join a yogurt parfait with bergamot and candied pecans.
Lunch means sandwiches: Find braised pork shoulder tacos, yellow curry-braised chicken in naan, a shaved rib-eye sandwich enhanced by caramelized onion jam, or, for the veggie option, a housemade falafel with roasted mushrooms and ricotta.
Coffee is from Full City Rooster, and a shelf holds small provisions (you know, essentials, like Dublin soda).
Some fans of Milk & Patience and Bresnan Breads will have already been making the trek for Saturday morning pick-ups of pastries, bread, and yogurt. We love the individual components. We are prepared to love them together as much, if not more.