Union Square Cafe Cookbook (which won a Julia Child Award for first book), Meyer and Romano offer more pleasant fare from the la"/>

SECOND HELPINGS FROM THE UNION SQUARE CAFE

Danny Meyer, Author, Michael Romano, Author, Corp Union Square Cafe, Author . HarperCollins $35 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-019647-9

In the follow-up to the original Union Square Cafe Cookbook (which won a Julia Child Award for first book), Meyer and Romano offer more pleasant fare from the landmark New York restaurant where they are owner and chef, respectively. Many of these dishes are new interpretations that use classic Italian ingredients: Cornmeal-Crusted Ricotta Fritters are served with an anchovy dressing, and Frisée Salad with Bottarga and Grapefruit makes piquant use of Italy's pressed fish roe. Some non-Italian flavors infiltrate here and there as well: Chili and Sage-Rubbed Salmon is Southwestern in style, while Sautéed Shrimp Goan Style relies on cinnamon, cumin and other spices from India. Recipes—which are divided into traditional chapters such as Appetizers and Main Courses—are split approximately down the middle between complex projects that require a good deal of time in the kitchen (e.g., Zucchini Fazzoletti, homemade pasta with a pureed zucchini sauce) and relatively simple preparations (like Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato and Green Olives). Desserts like Fig and Walnut Crostata and Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie are appropriately rustic-modern, and wine suggestions for each dish are a nice touch. These recipes aren't filled with hard-to-find, exotic ingredients (aside from bottarga, which has cameos in a few), nor do offerings such as Michael's Garlic-Lemon Steak or Striped Bass with Tomato-Caper Sauce jolt the palate with surprising new sensations. The phenomenal, ongoing success of the Union Square Cafe itself proves just how appealing even simple and familiar foods can be when prepared with high-quality ingredients and adapted to American sensibilities. Duane Michaels provides b&w photos that narrate peculiar stories of hypothetical dining experiences in the restaurant. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/16/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
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