Family Table

Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35 (336p) ISBN 978-0-547-61562-2
If you cannot afford to eat at Gramercy Tavern, you can at least afford to cook like one of its sous chefs. That’s the premise of this solid and accessible collection of more than 150 recipes, derived from the family-style meals shared by staffs of 10 different New York City restaurants, all owned by Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group. Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but the four dozen or so contributors here are striving for something more than a simple consommé. For instance, there is chilled carrot soup with frizzled ginger, as served up to the cafeteria staff at the Museum of Modern Art; and Romano’s secret-ingredient soup from behind the scenes at the Union Square Cafe (spoiler alert: the secret ingredient is polenta). Most of the family-style entrees have been scaled to serve 4 to 6 people and cover a broad international spectrum, from jerk shrimp to lasagna to lamb meatballs with yogurt sauce. Meyer’s Indian restaurant, Tabla, closed at the end of 2010, but is preserved here with a staff favorite, macaroni and cheese made with Grana Padano and thyme. Photos of the cooks at work are interspersed throughout the 11 chapters, and several of the contributors receive full-page profiles, including Chris Bradley, the executive chef at the Whitney Museum’s restaurant, Untitled. Bradley has been known to treat his staff to pulled pork and beans. Agent: David Black. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 04/02/2013
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