Harry's Bar Cookbook

Arrigo Cipriani, Author, Harry Cipriani, Author, Christopher Baker, Photographer Bantam $50 (304p) ISBN 978-0-553-07030-9
The Venetians are reputed to be the most gracious hosts in all of Italy, and Cipriani, second-generation owner of the eponymous establishment, provides one of the most inviting Italian cookbooks of recent memory. Here, elegance consists of simplicity. Recipes developed in the six decades of the history of Harry's Bar are clearly and carefully adapted for the American home cook, including the famous Bellini (white peach nectar mixed with Prosecco; even the restaurant now uses a frozen French peach puree). Serve the celebrated fegato alla veneziana (the secret: slice the liver one-fifth-inch thick) with polenta. Artful digressions throughout the volume discuss classic Italian ingredients (use extra-virgin olive oil judiciously; let truffles sit for a few minutes at room temperature so that any worms can crawl out). Cipriani is honest about what might prevent exact reproductions of his bar's food (e.g., professional-strength vs. domestic appliances, quality of local produce) but imparts some of the restaurant's aura via generously related and amusing anecdotes, one featuring Ernest Hemingway, a stingy Venetian countess and a four-pound tin of caviar. Photos and introduction not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 292 pages - 978-1-85782-508-4
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