Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 140 New Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

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9780060196479: Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 140 New Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

Ask New Yorkers to name their favorite restaurant and they are likely to reply: "Union Square Cafe." Indeed, Union Square Cafe has been ranked the city's most popular restaurant by the Zagat Survey for five consecutive years and has earned many of the food world's top honors, including a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year, two three-star rankings from the New York Times, seven Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine, and the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in New York Award for Michael Romano. What makes USC stand out in a sea of other great New York City restaurants? A simple but rare combination of extraordinary food, excellent wine, and the sort of warm, genuine hospitality one typically finds only in a neighborhood spot. In this new cookbook, proprietor Danny Meyer and executive chef and co-owner Michael Romano share the delicious dishes that have kept their customers coming back for more, year after year. Following the high standards for taste and accessibility set by their award-winning Union Square Cafe Cookbook, Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe offers more than 140 inspired recipes for everything from appetizers, soups, and salads to pastas, main courses, vegetables, side dishes, and desserts. These are the dishes that USC customers have come to know and love, including such favorites as a new version of their renowned Fried Calamari, Salt-Baked Chicken, Bollito di Vitello, Roasted Root Vegetables, and Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie.

But, more than simply a recipe collection, Second Helpings is a valuable kitchen resource for anyone interested in elevating his or her cooking to a new level. Michael teaches home cooks how to make their own pasta, create the juiciest chicken imaginable, correctly clean morels, and add new depth of flavor to all kinds of dishes, while Danny offers lively commentary and wine accompaniments for nearly every recipe. With their able guidance, even the most inexperienced cooks can turn out spectacular food with ease and joy.

Second Helpings captures the unique spirit of Union Square Cafe not just with recipes and animated text, but also with original black-and-white images by internationally acclaimed photographer Duane Michals. A longtime friend of USC, Duane has contributed his witty visual stories and restaurant vignettes in an innovative departure from standard food photography.

On every level Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe is a cookbook you'll treasure using again and again. Like the restaurant, it will become a familiar favorite and a trusted source of great food.

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Danny Meyer, a native of St. Louis, opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, in 1985 when he was twenty-seven, and went on to found the Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, North End Grill, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, as well as Jazz Standard, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient. Danny, his restaurants, and his chefs have earned an unprecedented twenty-five James Beard Awards. Danny's groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table, was a New York Times bestseller, and he has coauthored two cookbooks with his business partner, Chef Michael Romano. Danny lives in New York with his wife and children.

Michael Romano joined Union Square Cafe in 1988, preparing his unique style of American cuisine with an Italian soul. In 1993, Michael became Danny Meyer's partner. Under Michael's leadership, Union Square Cafe has been ranked Most Popular in New York City Zagat surveys for a record seven years. The restaurant also received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year. Michael has coauthored two cookbooks with Danny Meyer, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Second Helpings. He is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards, including the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in New York City in 2001, and in 2000, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.

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