Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill

Alfred Portale, Author, Gotham Bar & Grill, Author Broadway Books $45 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-48210-3
""Good food is an adventure,"" writes chef-restaurateur Portale, and it would be hard to find a collection of more adventurously flavorful recipes than the one he presents here. At his three-star Gotham Bar & Grill in Manhattan, Portale takes delicious but moderate liberties with the classics, creating beautifully balanced taste and texture combinations such as Duck Soup with Turnip and Roasted Parsnip Ravioli. Using updated dishes based on classic French technique, he serves as an eloquent teacher, enlightening readers with lucid instructions, how-to illustrations and make-ahead suggestions. Even so, multi-faceted Starters, Soups, Salads, Entrees and Desserts assume a high level of expertise on the home cook's part. Passionate would-be chefs, however, will not begrudge a moment of the time and care needed to put together, say, Rack of Lamb with Herbed Crust, Garlic Flan, Flageolets and a Merlot Sauce and will welcome the full-page color photographs (not seen by PW) demonstrating the Gotham's famous vertical Presentations (think salad skyscrapers). Everyday presentations are also included, along with a chapter on Basics, and brief bio's of both Portale and his restaurant. But the 100-plus recipes earn star billing--from Ratatouille Risotto to Warm Chocolate Cake with Toasted Almond Ice Cream--confirming Portale's conviction that ""there's simply no shortcut to... flavor."" (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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