The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier Restaurant

John Mariani, Author, Alex Von Bidder, With Crown Publishing Group (NY) $35 (205p) ISBN 978-0-517-59147-5
Mariani, Esquire's restaurant critic, and von Bidder, the general manager of Four Seasons, are so extolling of the splendors and cuisine of this midtown Manhattan institution that their book reads like a press release. Not that their praise is pure hyperbole, only excessively self-promoting, for the longevity of this 30-year-old eatery (which was decreed a landmark historical site in 1989) wasn't achieved by serving curdled Bearnaise. The authors describe at length the environs: the Mies van der Rohe-designed Seagram building (and how it was built) housing Four Seasons; the 20-foot-square, white Carrara marble pool in the restaurant's Pool Room; the draperies of anodized aluminum chains on the windows of the Grill Room; the lunch bunch-lauded here as the ``most productive members of society''-that includes publishing folk Mort Janklow, Michael Korda and Betty Prashker. A few years ago when New York magazine tested the noise in Manhattan restaurants, Four Seasons was found to have the lowest decibel level-the same, though, can't be said for its book. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
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