From Publishers Weekly
This collection of dishes from motorcycle-riding chef David Bouley's Danube in lower Manhattan falls in the category of challenging. A note accompanying a recipe for Grostl of Maine Lobster with Veal Ravioli, Fresh Peas, and Lemon Shallots calls it "labor-intensive to make at home, but not difficult," then provides a three-day schedule for producing the various components. Lengthy lists of ingredients are the norm in recipes for hearty fare such as Whole Roast Suckling Pig with White Wine-Braised Cabbage and Beef Cheek Goulash with Potato Puree. A recipe for Duck and Cabbage Sausages calls for rendered duck fat and sausage casings, as well as two kinds of sesame seeds. As Bouley explains in an introduction that recounts his career, this is in no way meant to be traditional Austrian fare or even fusion. Instead, it represents his imagining of "what the cuisine of Austria would be if the Austro-Hungarian Empire were still extant." Imperial dreams aside, this is food that takes the simple, sometimes heavy favorites of Austria to rarefied heights, resulting in concoctions such as Venison Strudel with Plum Jam, Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts. Chapters are arranged by season, with Whole Roasted Foie Gras with Cherries suggested for summertime. A concluding chapter offers "signature dishes" such as Schlutzkrapfen (Austrian Cheese Ravioli with Harvest Corn and Smoked Mushrooms). As is to be expected in the face of a strong Austrian influence, desserts, such as Bohemian Plum Pancakes for fall, are a highlight here, if predictably complex: a recipe for Apple Strudel includes excellent detailed instructions and suggests that it will take two people to execute them.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When star chef David Bouley opened Danube, a Viennese restaurant in New York City, some questioned whether Austrian and Hungarian cooking really merited such high-end attention. Soon a reservation at Danube became one of the city's most sought-after prizes. Bouley, his associate chef Mario Lohninger, and food writer Melissa Clark have now documented the recipes that brought Danube such acclaim. In recipes and photographs, East of Paris lays bare what diners found so intriguing. Bouley's cuisine transcends typical Viennese fare of goulash and schnitzel. Oxtail strudel canapes wrap a common Austrian meat in familiar pastry to produce an original dish. But many of Bouley's dishes seem far from anything Austrian--crab-filled avocado dumplings contain no distinctively central European ingredients save salt and sour cream. Lobster frequently appears, as do Southeast Asian ingredients on the order of lemongrass. A work of invention and imagination, East of Paris appeals chiefly to the restaurant's many devotees, but only expert chefs will likely find success with the complex recipes. Mark Knoblauch
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