Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 140 New Favorites from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant Hardcover – Oct 2 2001
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The Union Square Cafe is consistently ranked New York City's favorite restaurant by the Zagat survey. Why? Superb yet relaxed food served in a setting both deluxe and friendly. Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe, the follow-up to the restaurant's proprietor Danny Meyer and chef-co-owner Michael Romano's Union Square Cafe Cookbook, offers readers 140 recipes for Union Square's popular fare--Italian-inflected "everyday" cooking taken to a higher, yummier, but completely cook-friendly power. Dishes like Butternut Squash and Bean Soup, Roasted Halibut Pugliese-Style, and Zucchini Purée with Marjoram exemplify the book's unique approach; simple in conception and easy to execute, they nonetheless pack flavor and style to burn.
Chapters cover appetizers to desserts, with sections devoted to pasta and risotto and to side dishes and condiments, such as the restaurant's much-loved Olive Mashed Potatoes and Apple-Pear Chutney. Sweets like Butterscotch Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce and Chocolate Pudding Flan should also keep diners happy. A word must be said about the photographs of Duane Michals, whose signature storytelling style (depicting, for example, a seated couple's response to a cell-phone-using table neighbor) wonderfully echoes the sweetly knowing tone of the restaurant itself. With a section on basic preparations, the book should become a trusted kitchen friend. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
In the follow-up to the original Union Square Cafe Cookbook (which won a Julia Child Award for first book), Meyer and Romano offer more pleasant fare from the landmark New York restaurant where they are owner and chef, respectively. Many of these dishes are new interpretations that use classic Italian ingredients: Cornmeal-Crusted Ricotta Fritters are served with an anchovy dressing, and Frise Salad with Bottarga and Grapefruit makes piquant use of Italy's pressed fish roe. Some non-Italian flavors infiltrate here and there as well: Chili and Sage-Rubbed Salmon is Southwestern in style, while Sauted Shrimp Goan Style relies on cinnamon, cumin and other spices from India. Recipes which are divided into traditional chapters such as Appetizers and Main Courses are split approximately down the middle between complex projects that require a good deal of time in the kitchen (e.g., Zucchini Fazzoletti, homemade pasta with a pureed zucchini sauce) and relatively simple preparations (like Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato and Green Olives). Desserts like Fig and Walnut Crostata and Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie are appropriately rustic-modern, and wine suggestions for each dish are a nice touch. These recipes aren't filled with hard-to-find, exotic ingredients (aside from bottarga, which has cameos in a few), nor do offerings such as Michael's Garlic-Lemon Steak or Striped Bass with Tomato-Caper Sauce jolt the palate with surprising new sensations. The phenomenal, ongoing success of the Union Square Cafe itself proves just how appealing even simple and familiar foods can be when prepared with high-quality ingredients and adapted to American sensibilities. Duane Michaels provides b&w photos that narrate peculiar stories of hypothetical dining experiences in the restaurant.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The book is invitingly presented with it's story line approach through the photographs, sometimes silly. But yes, as another reviewer mentioned there is Jacque Pepin in the black and white photo essay in one chapter looking like he's truly enjoying himself. A great endorsement for this book as I love his cooking and personality as much as I do Julia Child.
I can't wait to try other recipes from this book and soon. I think that this book will become a regular for me to try out new recipes and enhance my own knowledge of my Northern Italian Nona's cooking every day.
The new volume uses it's photographs to add a rare element of humor to the cookbook. It is great good fun to do some celebrity spotting in the pics and be reassured that if Jacque Pepin takes the trouble to eat there, something good much be going on in the back of the house.
The new volume includes a long Pasta and Risotto chapter. A welcome addition.
On the down side, I find some of the recipes fairly long. Several are probably too much for the casual cook, although I believe some of the length is due to their being very thorough in their explanations.
Since this is a sequel to a well received book, I find the Pantry section to be a waste of space. Many named preparations from the first book are repeated in the second. Since these preparations are also available in hundreds of other books, I think this is blatant padding.
Bottom line is that the book is a worthy continuation to the original.
The recipes are powerful in their intense flavor, minimalist approach and creativity, both in new recipes and adaptations of famous, such as the Chicken Saltimbocca, which switches away from the veal, and adds cheese-egg-flour batter.
Also, knocked out by such as Grilled Lobster with Bruschetta Sauce and Indian "Bouillabaisse." For openers sure to hit the mark as favorites, try Suppli al Telefono, cheese filled rice balls or the Eggplant Meatballs. Dessert which combines two of my fettishes so exquisitely, Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie.
This is what I would rate a medium complexity cookbook in terms of skill level, and the ingredients are not too exotic to find. The book is supplemented with great instructions. Would have enjoyed photos of serving suggestions, but this in no way detracts from this work of the highest class! This one will continue to bless cooks who put its charm and class to use in their kitchens!
Some of the recipes are summer and spring seasonal, such as Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Chilled Melon and Vodka Soup, Soft Shell Crabs with Tomato Nage, and Spring Risotto - I'll look forward to trying them in warmer weather. Others are perfect for harvest-time, fall, winter, and holiday cooking and baking - the first recipe I tried was Green Tomato Chutney, which used up my late-season bounty of unripe fresh tomatoes. I served it with my newest favorite dish - Chili and Sage-Rubbed Salmon, accompanied by buttered rice, with Plum Clafoutis for dessert, all accompanied by Champagne. (Almost every recipe is paired with excellent wine recommendations.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
i LOVED the first Union Square Cookbook, and use its recipes regularly...and i have been SO disappointed with this one... Read morePublished on March 8 2003
Sometimes the ingredient lists are a bit daunting,especially if one lives outside of a major metropolitan area, but it's worth the effort. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2002 by Stefanie N
Some of these recipes are a little difficult to follow, but overall this is a good cookbook. The entrees are crowd pleasers at dinner parties!Published on April 17 2002 by Amazon Customer
Although I do not have their first book, the second book is a joy to use and read. The authors' sense of humor is revealed through several photographic series of comical... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2002
If you've ever eaten at the Union Square Cafe and loved it, you'll be happy to know that there is now a 2nd book of recipes from that famed eatery. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2002