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City Tavern Cookbook: Two Hundred Years Of Classic Recipes From America's First Gourmet Restaurant Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (September 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762405295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762405299
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chef Walter Staib is the highly acclaimed chef and proprietor of Philadelphia’s celebrated City Tavern restaurant. He is the author of two other cookbooks: City Tavern Cookbook, and City Tavern Baking & Dessert Cookbook. He has been named the “Culinary Ambassador to the City of Philadelphia,” and has received numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding cuisine. Beth D'Addono, a food, travel, and lifestyle writer, has contributed to numerous national and regional newspapers, guides, and magazines including Gannett Newspapers, the Philadelphia Daily News, Atlantic City Magazine, Where Magazine, Birnbaum and Access Travel Guides, Modern Maturity, and Philadelphia Magazine. A resident of Philadelphia, she is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

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Customer Reviews

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Great history lesson about how people lived.
Sonia E. Howard Hodgkins
I really enjoyed reading this cookbook...Lots of great recipes in a style I like to cook..
tobe
We love to dine at the City Tavern Restaurant whenever we visit Philadelphia.
Robert A. LeBrun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
With its focus on the cuisine of a grand restaurant in Revolutionary-era Philadelphia (George Washington dined there!),this is a great book in which to find inspiration for Thankgsiving dinner. You MUST try the pepper-pot soup! It is spicy and sexy, and does not contain tripe as many old recipes for this dish do. I learned from the City Tavern Cookbook about the influence of Caribbean spices and flavors in 18th-century America--that's what makes this soup so good. I am a cookbook aficionado and keep current on all the top chefs, restaurants, and food trends.This is one I'll really use. The text has lots of interesting tidbits about the history of food in early America to make it worth reading, but it's also very lively. Most important, the recipes are wonderful, and they call for ingredients you can buy at the supermarket.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Donna Lynn Biester on September 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a local resident of Philadelphia and had friends visiting from out of town. It's ashame that I have never been to City Tavern before, because it is a grand place. You forget all the history you have in your own city until you have people visit you and you take them on a tour. I thought City Tavern would be a perfect ending! The food was so good I had to buy the cookbook. The recipes are very well written, easy to understand and you purchase all the ingredients at your local grocery store! I reccommend this cookbook highly and it would make a great gift to anyone that enjoys something different!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Tis the season for a cookbook of this calibur. I have purchased a copy for myself, enjoyed it so much that I am giving copies to my entire family. The recipes are clear and concise. The instructions and recommendations are focused on a remarkable final product. The only thing to do now is visit Philadelphia and go to the City Tavern restaurant and see if thier versions are as good as mine. The historical theme is a welcomed element. Now I feel like I'm tasting history in my own home.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By G. Lasswell on January 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book and read it cover to cover. Great history of the restaurant. I loved the fact that Chef Staiub has used dishes that are historically documented. I gave a dinner party for Twelfth Night this year and used recipes from City Tavern for all but the dessert. Everything tasted great but the portion sizes were more than a little off. Recipes that were stated to serve "6 to 8" would go for 12 easily. The Sweet and Sour Cabbage was delicious but if you follow the recipe and use 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of cabbage you can serve 20! The Pork Roast with Madeira Sauce was fantastic. I only made half; four pounds of boneless pork roast served 12. The portions at City Tavern must be gargantuan!! We had the Wassail and it was perfect. The Smoked Pheasant en Croute starter filling will fill THREE sheets of pre-prepared puff pastry, not just one as the recipe states. I'll continue to use the book but being mindful that I'll need to use my biggest pots and plan to feed a crowd.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This historic restaurant has enchanted many diners. Such was some friends who bought this cookbook as gift for me after such.
The recipes inside are American, enhanced by European and other world spices and ingredients which have since become central foodstuffs of our heritage.
Unique are many, such as: Chestnut Fritters; Pecan Crusted, Honey-Glazed Roasted Duckling; Pork Medallions with Oatmeal Stout; Tavern Lobster Pie; Orange Ricotta Coffe Cake; Thomas Jefferson's Sweet Potato Biscuits.
Fun of going back to good ole American standards from such a historic place in our nation's past. Neat feature is this history told in very front section of the cookbook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have you ever been to Philadelphia? If so, have you dined at City Tavern? If not, you might consider trying this restaurant out. There are some wonderful items--a beer brewed to George Washington's recipe; a biscuit made from a recipe by Thomas Jefferson, as well as another beer from Jefferson. I've eaten the biscuits and drunk the beer. A wonderful way of connecting to American history!

The book begins with a timeline of City Tavern, from its origins in the early 1770s to its heyday as one of the best restaurants in America. In 1854, the original building was razed. Later, in the 1970s, it was restored as accurately as possible and, once again, served as a restaurant. It shuttered as a business in 1992, but chef Walter Staib won approval to operate the restaurant. Under his leadership, it operates today--and is a wonderful place to eat in Philly!

Introductory sections of this cookbook provide context for City Tavern. One comment that is especially worthwhile: This was not an establishment when it operated in the 1700s and 1800s that produced tasteless food. As the book states (Page 11): "City Tavern was the finest tavern of its day, the grandest of all taverns in the New World."

But, as always, it's the recipes that define the utility of a cookbook. I have eaten at City Tavern a number of times, and enjoy the ambience--and the cuisine. Take the recipe for potato-leek soup (page 35). Straightforward--and tasty! The tomato and onion salad (page 59) is simply described, but this is another tasty dish. Some main dishes that, if memory serves, I have eaten: Roasted leg of lamb (yummy), on page 73; roast turkey with Madeira gravy (page 76). Side dishes? Try sweet and sour red cabbage (page 108).
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