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Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook Hardcover – October 13, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; First Edition edition (October 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385482108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385482103
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cookbooks by chefs tend to be challenging, obscure, even inappropriate for most home cooks. By contrast, Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill is articulate, revealing, vivid, and inviting. It is "the next best thing to a day in the kitchen" with Portale. This New York City chef is famous for his elaborate presentations and for creating complex dishes. For some of the recipes, progressive photos show how to duplicate the restaurant's spectacular plating of a dish. (Or you can follow the less ambitious "Everyday Presentation.") For others, you will have to go by the detailed text and a large color shot of the finished dish. This well-designed book uses colored boxes of text and easy-to-read type to help you follow the recipes, many of which are long. Cooks willing to spend money for quality ingredients and commit to serious time in the kitchen should enjoy rave results with dishes such as Squab Salad with Couscous, Currants, and Curry Vinaigrette; Salmon with Artichokes a la Grecque; and Warm Chocolate Cake with Toasted Almond Ice Cream.

From Library Journal

Here are three new cookbooks from popular restaurant chef-owners. Peel and Silverton are the husband-and-wife team behind Campanile, the popular Los Angeles restaurant, and its adjunct, the La Brea Bakery. Peel is the chef, Silverton is the baker, well known for her desserts and delicious breads (Breads from the La Brea Bakery, LJ 5/15/96). They've already written about the simple food they like to cook with their kids (Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton at Home, LJ 2/15/94); now they present their favorite dishes from the restaurant, including earthy, flavorful, often Mediterranean-inspired food that is more sophisticated but not pretentious: Roasted Chanterelle Salad, Crisp Flattened Chicken with Wilted Parsley Salad, Rustic Cherry Pie. Although some of the recipes take time, they are clearly written and thoroughly accessible to the home cook. Recommended for most collections. [BOMC Good Cook Selection.] New York City's three-star Gotham Bar & Grill is known for Portale's flavorful, often visually stunning food; his elaborate, tiered, stacked dishes are often described as "architectural food," and the color photographs in his cookbook show why. This is elegant food to be sure?Roast Lobster with Beet Couscous and Baby Bok Choy, Duck and Foie Gras?and some of it is probably better enjoyed at the restaurant, but not all the recipes are complicated or extravagant, and the instructions are clear and often include advance prep suggestions. The headnotes, however, are rather stiff and pedantic, sometimes sounding more like a publicity release than anything else. For area libraries and other collections where chefs' books are popular. Lagasse (Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, LJ 3/15/93) is the exuberant chef at Emeril's and two other New Orleans restaurants and one of the TV Food Network's most popular personalities. With Bienvenu, he presents four festive menus for the holidays, from Christmas Eve Dinner for Ten, featuring Truffle Risotto and Beef Tenderloin with Fresh Horseradish, to New Year's Day Supper Family Style, with Jiffy Pop Firecracker Shrimp, Roasted Skillet Duck, and Chocolate Bread Pudding. There is also a selection of his other favorite holiday dishes as well as Stocking Stuffers, gifts from the kitchen. Recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A worthy and essential addition to any serious chefs library.
Amazon Customer
I found all of these recipes very easy to follow and the methods are not confusing.
Richard Holloway
Descriptions are unfailingly clear and each recipe is beautifully organized.
toomanybookgroups!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Belge on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The recipes in this book are wonderful, some of the most creative and inventive cooking I have ever seen. The book seems to be aimed at someone who is a confident cook, but by no means an expert. Your Mom could probably handle anything in this book.
I have made Sea Bass with Port Wine Sauce, which is not only delicious, it has a fabulous sauce that does not start out by using fish stock. In fact, many of the sauce recipes do not require first having some sort of home made stock, and that is a great time saver. Another wonderful recipe, Chicken with Shallots and Endive, also did not require making a stock. I have also had the best soup I've ever tasted from this book - Shrimp Soup with Roasted Corn. Just wonderful!
The book does not have many desserts, but the warm chocolate cake is fabulous. I also find that the instructions are written in such a way that it requires more thinking than seems necessary. Not that the recipes are tricky or anything like that. Its more that they exist in lots of separate parts and trying to imagine what the whole effect will be is sometimes difficult.
On the whole, though, this is a great cookbook, one of the most fun I have seen. And the illustrations and visual design add to the pleasure of using it!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bob Carpenter on December 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Portale is not trying to train you to step up to the saucepan at Gotham and will not have you spending your Saturdays peeling grapes a la Thomas Keller's "French Laundry" cookbook. He's also not trying to give you a complete course in basic techniques a la Julia Child's "The Way to Cook". Instead, what you get is more of a philosophy and a sketchbook. The introductory essay, titled "Cooking Like a Chef at Home", is both insightful and inspiring. The recipes, which are presented in their basic form and presentation are sometimes followed with "flavor building" tips (usually additions, like roast shallots for lamb), "variations" (usually substitutions, say of sea bass for red snapper), and sometimes "Gotham Presentation". Given Portale's trademark towering presentations, it's disappointing that there's not more detail in the book (though he does let you in on how the seared tuna with papardelle and red wine sauce is put together in the restaurant, which is one of my all time favorite dishes). Judging from the end of the introductory essay, Portale's just tired of people focusing on presentation more than flavor.
The terse writing and lack of meticulously detailed instructions is a huge contrast with my three other favorite cookbooks named after restaurants: Deborah Madison's "Greens", Alice Waters' "Chez Panisse", and Barbara Tropp's "China Moon". I typically consult all of these books and a few more when I cook something to triangulate both technique and proportions. For instance, consider Portale's recipe for mashed potatos (half of page 206). There are two fundamental clues in this recipe that have transformed my spuds.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard Holloway on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a amateur cook for approximately 4 years and only fantasized about making dishes like the ones in this book. I found all of these recipes very easy to follow and the methods are not confusing. Preparing these kinds of elaborate dishes(seafood salad, soft shell crabs, bouillabaisse, and stocks, etc.)has always intimidated me and I never took the initiative to try. I am so glad I bought this book. It has elevated my cooking and most importantly - my presentation. This book has encouraged me to create dishes on my own. It's a great inspiration.
Also, at the beginning of the book, it talks about how the Gotham restaurant operates and how it (and Mr. Portale) got started - very interesting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anna Richards on December 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a long time fan of Gotham Bar a Grill in NYC and I received this wonderful cookbook as a gift for Christmas. I recently became interested in cooking and had little to no experience in making anything appealing or delicious enough to feed others. This book not only educated me in the art of cooking but also instructed me on how to use the book. The little sidebars and helpful hints were great. Having eaten at Gotham countless times, I never thought that I could accomplish dishes so grand and sumptous - but I did!! I didn't think I could do it!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By toomanybookgroups! on August 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong die hard collector of cookbooks and devoted amateur chef, this is the perfect book for those who wish to spend a little extra time to add real polish to their culinary skills and presentation. The recipes both taste and look wonderful -- there is much to be learned here, even for those with a good classical technique. Descriptions are unfailingly clear and each recipe is beautifully organized. One of those rare books where you feel compelled to cook your way from the first page on to the last.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RodgerACartagena on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a current Culinary Arts Student, and recently just bought this. It is amazing. Nice pictures of the food and a real nice insight into what got Alfred into the business. I really loved how he showed "The Gotham Presenation", basically the exact way he serves his plates in his restaurant in NYC. The only real drawback of this book ( On a basis that I have a passion to cook) is that he doesnt go too in depth into fancy garnishes and how Gotham Bar and Grill continues to shine on a daily basis.
Trade secret, probably. Anyways an excellent book, you can never have to many. I would also recommend, Thomas Keller's French Laundry, and Bo Friberg's book on Pastries, plus Sarah Labensky's Revised text "On Cooking"<<<<<< A must have for any1 who really wants to learn how to really cook. Thanks
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