by Danny MeyerSometimes dining at one of the best restaurants is not enough, you want to try and recreate some of that culinary magic at home. With this book, you can.
The Union Square Cafe in New York has won many awards in time, including the "James Beard Award for the Best Restaurant in America" and this success has not gone to its head, instead they are sharing 160 of their favourite classic dishes with this book. After an interesting introduction to the wonders and history of the Cafe it is straight into the recipes, split into logical chapters dependent on the type of dish.
Let's cut to the chase. A few grumbles follow. This book has been spoiled by several poor design decisions which are akin to spoiling a great meal by the careless choice of key ingredients. Firstly the internal signposting of recipes, you are skimming forward and backwards to find a recipe unless you have identified the page number from the index at the back. Each chapter has a line listing of recipes that follow which is great… until you note there is no page number given. Talk about a wasted opportunity. Each page has a green corner identifying the chapter name which wasn't so obvious at the start, whereas a different colour to break up each section would have been so much more useful. But the biggest grumble of all is WHERE ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHS? Recipe after recipe appears but no photograph of the finished dish. Not everybody has had the opportunity to visit the restaurant and even fewer would have tried most of the menu. A very occasional black and white photograph is hardly sufficient and ended up feeling like it was there just as a filler.
And so to breath…
The recipes themselves, however, are a very pleasing, charming mixture that should ensure you don't become easily bored with this book. It is, despite the aforementioned grumbles, something that you would want to consult time after time after time. The recipes feature a bit of an introduction to the dish, sharing some hints or tips or possibly explaining a bit about its origins. A worthy little read even if you are not ready to make that particular dish as you can learn many "little things" along the way. The instructions are clear, detailed and direct. Unfortunately the measures are only in imperial units - a strange yet annoying omission in a book published nowadays. The binding of this book was also a bit of an annoyance as to get it to stay open one had to break the spine, a horrible thing to do to a book and hopefully other copies are not similarly affected.
What still swings this reviewer to be more positive than negative to this book, despite its irritating failings, is a combination of price and the sheer range of recipes. The reputation of the Cafe means nothing personally to this reviewer, since it is a bit too far away to visit routinely, so the recipes must deliver on their own merits. That they seem to do. This book is good as it is, just think how even better it would be with photographs, better signposting and a design overhaul! YYYY.
The Union Square Cafe Cookbook, written by Danny Meyer & Michael Romano and published by ECCO. ISBN 9780062232397, 330 pages. Typical price: GBP12.99.
|Title||Union Square Cafe Cookbook Ri|
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|File size||4.2 Mb|
|Ganre||Food And Drink|
|Book rating||4.06 (50 votes)