cover image The Del Posto Cookbook

The Del Posto Cookbook

Mark Ladner, with Michael R. Wilson. Grand Central, $50 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4555-6154-4

Ladner is one of New York’s power chefs; his close associates Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich provide forewords for this excellent collection of nearly 100 recipes from the kitchen of his 24,000-sq.-ft. four-star restaurant, Del Posto. The chef’s pedigree, the restaurant’s magnitude, and the sheer elegance of Paulette Tavormina’s photography, with entrees plated on fine china set upon white tablecloths, all seem to cry out, “Don’t try this at home.” But fear not, it’s only Italian-American comfort food in a fancy dress. The lasagna is 100-layer lasagna with ultra-thin noodles stacked impossibly high; spaghetti is topped with Dungeness crab and jalapeños; eggplant parmigiana is made with Japanese eggplants that are stuffed with fried eggplant pieces. For the gourmet, Ladner includes egg yolk gnudi and Apicius duck. Wine lovers will appreciate the pairing suggestions that accompany many of the recipes and sweets fiends will marvel that nearly a quarter of the book is given over to a rich array of dolci, gelati, and biscotti. In addition to a thorough index, Ladner provides a welcome rarity: an allergen guide, three pages of charts listing all the recipes and the common allergens they include. (Nov.)