Feeding Frenzy: Across Europe in Search of the Perfect Meal

Stuart Stevens, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $23 (208p) ISBN 978-0-87113-687-9
Stevens, a versatile political consultant, TV writer and author (Malaria Dreams), here has a good conceit, but he seems to have bitten off more than he can chew. First he and friend Rachel ""Rat"" Kelly--a model turned fashion designer who shares workouts and meals (but not romance) with him in New York--decide to go to Europe to eat in every restaurant granted three stars by Michelin. Then, once on the Continent, Rat ups the ante by saying her lawyer boyfriend, Carl, will pay if they eat in all 29 restaurants in consecutive days. Stevens's frenzied travelogue has its charms, as the team (avec dog) fights recurring car trouble and learns privileged info, such as that these three-star eateries provide superb free appetizers. Stevens writes with flair, but his restaurant reports--through England, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy--start sketchy and get sketchier; indeed, the last 12 days of the trip, after Carl arrives unexpectedly, are disposed of in fewer than 40 pages. Stevens never tells us whether Carl actually anted up or how many pounds he himself added from gustatory excess. The last scene of the book includes a hilarious anecdote about using expensive champagne to extinguish a car fire. Still, the narrative seems undigested. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/30/1997
Release date: 07/01/1997
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