A16 Food + Wine

Nate Appleman, Author, Shelley Lindgren, Author, Ed Anderson, Photographer
Nate Appleman, Author, Shelley Lindgren, Author, Ed Anderson, Photographer . Ten Speed $35 (278p) ISBN 978-1-58008-907-4
Reviewed on: 06/02/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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One of San Francisco’s most popular new restaurants, A16 is devoted to southern Italy’s rustic cuisine and robust wines. This book, by its executive chef and wine director, begins by exploring eight grape-growing areas in the south, from the region’s heart in Campania to mountainous Abruzzo and the isolated island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. With a dizzying number of wines produced in each area, the focus is wisely kept on the grapes themselves, with eloquent essays on the history and qualities of both classic and less familiar red and white varietals, and food pairing tips as well as recommendations of wine producers. The second half presents some of those foods—“peasant cooking” like pasta with chunky, chili-spiked sauce, a rabbit mixed grill and, of course, Neapolitan pizza, with A16’s Bay Area location showing in occasional ingredient twists like the tangerines in an arugula salad and the zesty punch of preserved Meyer lemon in a grilled shrimp dish. Executive chef Appleman’s expertise is reflected in a chapter on “the pig,” including recipes for making pancetta and sausages, which are rather advanced for casual home cooks but, like the rest of the book, make fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine. (Sept.)

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