cover image Trattoria Grappolo: Simple Recipes for Traditional Italian Cuisine

Trattoria Grappolo: Simple Recipes for Traditional Italian Cuisine

Leonardo Curti, Author, James Fraioli, Author, Luca Trovato, Photographer . Gibbs Smith $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4236-0215-6

Curti, executive chef and cofounder of Santa Ynez, Calif., bistro Trattoria Grappolo, aims to share his expertise in both his native Italian cooking and the California wine he serves alongside it. Unfortunately, the text introducing each chapter offers little insight into the ingredients, significance or origins of the dishes. Individual recipe introductions would be helpful in explaining the inclusion of American-inflected dishes like Insalata di Pollo, a salad of fried chicken, Romaine lettuce and gorgonzola cheese, in a cookbook of traditional Italian cuisine. The recipes themselves are a solid mix of familiar (Angel Hair with Fresh Tomato and Basil; Roasted Chicken with Fresh Lemon and Herbs) and intriguing (Risotto with Lamb Ragu; Grilled Lobster with Sage and Cannellini Beans). Each concludes with a very specific local wine-pairing suggestion, and a final section features sourcing information. With so many Italian cookbooks on the market, this one is most likely to appeal to fans of the restaurant—and, perhaps, fans of celebrities like Bo Derek and Ellen DeGeneres, whose gushing blurbs adorn the cover. Over 50 color photos. (Sept.)