Starred Review. One of San Francisco's most popular new restaurants, A16 is devoted to southern Italy's rustic cuisine and robust wines. This book, by its executive chef and wine director, begins by exploring eight grape-growing areas in the south, from the region's heart in Campania to mountainous Abruzzo and the isolated island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. With a dizzying number of wines produced in each area, the focus is wisely kept on the grapes themselves, with eloquent essays on the history and qualities of both classic and less familiar red and white varietals, and food pairing tips as well as recommendations of wine producers. The second half presents some of those foods—peasant cooking like pasta with chunky, chili-spiked sauce, a rabbit mixed grill and, of course, Neapolitan pizza, with A16's Bay Area location showing in occasional ingredient twists like the tangerines in an arugula salad and the zesty punch of preserved Meyer lemon in a grilled shrimp dish. Executive chef Appleman's expertise is reflected in a chapter on the pig, including recipes for making pancetta and sausages, which are rather advanced for casual home cooks but, like the rest of the book, make fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine. (Sept.)
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"Savvy diners focus on the kitchen's soulful renditions of dishes from Campania, the region surrounding Naples, and a wine list that brims with discoveries from southern Italy. Sure, have a bit of pizza, but save room for dishes such as roasted porcini with green garlic, ricotta gnocchi with squash blossoms, or sweet pea ravioli with braised pork, pecorino, and black pepper."-Wine Spectator Reviews & Awards IACP International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards, First Book/Julia Child Award Category Finalist
"This is a cook's cookbook; it deserves a quiet season filled with long chilly nights, the ideal time to enjoy its gutsy dishes."–Gourmet
"A book you really can cook and learn from."–Fine Cooking "A testament to the rustic fare and a convivial atmosphere of the restaurant."–San Francisco Chronicle
"Fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine."–Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*