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VINE VOICEon May 14, 2006
OK..............I admit that I have never been to Patsy's yet, BUT that doesn't disqualify me from knowing this cookbook. It's the best; why, do you ask? Well, I'd be delighted to compose for you.

I am Italian......pure 100%, on both sides, and with enough background to talk about everything that means anything to our culture. I grew up in the 60's and 70's when Frank and Dean were THE only reason for watching TV. I know that it was a turbulent decade, full of discovery and change and restlessness. But some things felt OK and this book tells you about it.

On Sundays, the whole extended family would gather at "Nonni's" house (grandparents). Because of the value and love of our food prepared in its purest form, it took about 14 calls between my mom, her sisters, and my Nonna, to figure out who was bringing what (and with 8 daughters, Illinois Bell made a huuuuuge profit from them). The food was simple and fresh and magic.

This is "Patsy's Cookbook" whole purpose.

The stories that accompany the book are a blast from the past. The pictures that accompany the stories and recipes are even better because if you close your eyes and think about it, you can picture yourself walking down the street, seeing the restaurant sign, and looking forward to opening the door and having all the scents and aromas hit you full force.

All the "regulars" and the stars that have dined there get a good mention; the engagements that were proposed there; the celebrations that were created there. I'm looking forward to going to New York and Patsy's is on the top 10 list of restaurants to experience. Maybe it's just me, but I know it'll be a very welcoming and comfortable place.

The book is broken down into 8 main sections of recipes, preceded by:

Foreward by Nancy Sinatra



Section One--APPETIZERS: stuffed artichokes/asparagus rolls/Joe's eggplant sandwich/figs with prosciutto and mascarpone/roasted portobello mushrooms and asparagus/portobello tower/seasoned bread crumbs/mussels arreganata/roasted red bell peppers/peppers siciliano/palle di riso (rice balls)/shrimp with sauteed fennel over mesclun salad/tomato bruschetta/vegetable napolean

Section Two--SALADS AND VEGGIES: basic vinaigrette/white bean and scallion salad/green bean, potato, and tomato salad/chopped salad/fennel and endive with blood orange segments/mesclun salad with vinaigrette/ricotta salata salad/asparagus parmigiano with basil/broccoli rabe affogato/eggplant parmigiana/cavolfiore fritto/sauteed mushrooms with cognac and cabernet sauvignon (fantastic!)/baked mushrooms with zucchini stuffing/sauteed spinach/fried zucchini blossoms (this was a summer staple as the blossoms were blooming)/zucchini a scapece/Grandma Josie's zucchini pie

Section Three--SOUPS: pasta e ceci/escarole in brodo/pasta con lenticchie/minestrone/pasta e piselli/stracciatella/zucchini and egg soup

Section Four--PASTA, RISOTTO, AND SAUCES: tomato sauce/fettucine alfredo/fettucine tossed with fresh tomatoe and basil/bucatini all'amatriciana/penne bolognese/linguine with artichoke hearts and olives/prosciutto and lemon sauce over linguine/linguine napolitano/orecchiette with broccolini and sausage/penne with roasted eggplant/rigatoni with chicken and mushrooms/farfalla papalina/rigatoni sorrentino/timballo di maccheroni alla Paatsy's/spaghetti frutti di mare/Aunt Anna's Genovese sauce/pesto/risotto con funghi (very deelish)/risotto frutti di mare

Section Five--CHICKEN: chicken cardinale/spicy lemon chicken (great for a good meal at the last minute)/chicken parmigiana/chicken piccata/chicken with mushrooms and red peppers/chicken portobello/scaloppine di pollo zingara/rollatini di petto di pollo e spinaci/herb-roasted

chicken/chicken livers with peppers/chicken veneziana

Section Six--MEATS: filet mignon barolo/manzo alla siciliano/steak alla Patsy's/roasted rack of lamb/hot sausages San Gennaro/pork tenderloin with port/pork chops with vinegar peppers/pezzatino di vitello/braciolettini di vitello/veal marsala (a very elegant dish to prepare)

Section Seven--FISH AND SHELLFISH: Sal's Chilean sea bass with eggplant and olives/cassuola di calamari/fillet of sole arreganata/trota alla giardino/roasted striped bass with orseradish crust/prosciutto-wrapped monkfish/salmon with herb sauce/sauteed shrimp wiwth cognac and dijon mustard/calamari salad/shrimp Milanese/shrimp scampi/swordfish steaks arreganata/marinated tuna steaks with cilantro sauce

Section Eight--DESSERTS (always the best section of any cookbook): Michele's cheesecake/warm chocolate cake/chocolate mousse/tiramisu (yes!)/Maddalena raspberry cookies/lemon granita/coffee granita with whipped cream/fresh figs poached with vanilla and brandy/Macedoine of oranges with Sambuca/peaches in Asti Spumante/pears poached with pear liqueur/lemon ricotta torte/zabaglione/walnut-filled crepes



Conversion Chart

Patsy's Sauces (which you can purchase)

The book was written on the encouragement and accolades that friends and customers gave to the Scognamillo family. Everything here is simple to find and buy, and all are fairly easy to prepare depending on how fancy you wish to be. I have tried a little of everything and my tastebuds have been most content. Bon appetito!!
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on July 30, 2004
As a New Yorker of Italian-American descent, I can honestly say that most New York Italian restaurants are mediocre at best, and nothing more than tourist traps. Patsy's, however, is the exception to this rule. I have never EVER had a meal there that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Now, Patsy's has put their best recipe's in a beautiful book, Patsy's Cookbook: Classic Italian Recipes from a New York City Landmark Restaurant.

The recipes are pretty straightforward, with lots of leeway for people to adjust them to their tastes. Mr. Scognamillo's directions are clear, and free of those vague terms that you find in most other cookbooks: heat for a few minutes, add a tad of basil, stir frequently... all those instructions that mean nothing specific and could destroy a dish. No mistaking the directions here. But most important, the meals are delicious!
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on October 25, 2002
As an Italian American I recommend Patsy's cookbook because the recipes are easy to make. Sal's recipes for the most exotic Italian dishes are easy to follow with ingredients you usually have in your home. Most dishes can be prepared in 30 minutes with about 30 minutes cooking time. They are not only delicious, but also nutritous. I highly recommend this cookbook for busy people.
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on June 12, 2002
I live in Manhattan and need my "Patsy's Fix" at least once a month. Hands down, Patsy's has the best red sauce in the city (and hearty southern Italian food, generously portioned). I bought this book last week and have already successfully prepared 2 dishes: Herb-roasted chicken (first time I've used a 500 degree oven) - which was easy and delicious. And, the calamari salad, again, easy (I bought the calamari already cleaned and cut), delicious, and refreshing (this is going to be a staple when I entertain this summer). The stories are fun to read, also; I especially got a kick out of "Get Out, Aristotle Onassis!" This book offers a historic glimpse into a family-owned New York restaurant , contains easy-to-follow recipes, and should be on every cookbook collector's book shelf.
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on July 9, 2002
This is the quintessential Italian cookbook from the quintessential Italian restaurant. Unless you're from New York or have visited here, and realizing that Italian restaurants are not exactly a rarity here, you have no idea of the Brobdingnagian reputation that Patsy's has, both for its food and being a celebrity Mecca. When you enter Patsy's, scan the walls and try to find any major celebrity whose autographed photo is not exhibited. New York is a city full of restauarant "wannabes" and tourist traps. This is the real McCoy. No one speaks of Patsy's without mentioning that there is simply no better Italian restaurant anywhere, period. Now, the book. Have you ever attempted to replicate a dish in a cookbook that requires you to have "handy" veal thymus or candied oregano parquets (I have no idea of what that is either, but you get my point)? The point indeed is that the recipes are straight-ahead, easy to replicate and they use ingredients that you don't have to mail order from Venice. If you can't follow these recipes, you've got some serious problems. That's the secret (I believe) of Patsy's restaurant success: simple, elegant dishes that are perfect admixtures of the freshest ingredients. Now, assuming you have not the slightest inclination to replicate one of these recipes (shame in you), then you'll absolutely be enthralled by the anecdotes, stories and testimonials from virtually every celebrity of note. You must visit Patsy's at least once in your life, but if you can't, at least buy the book. You will not be disappointed; I promise.
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on October 31, 2007
I must agree with Bill Gallagher's comments that this book reads more like a promotion of the restaurant than a cookbook of substance. There are a lot of trademark recipes like lobster fra diavolo, chicken cacciatola, steak pizzaiola etc that are either not mentioned, or given a "simplified" treatment by stating "Buy a bottle of our ... sauce and follow this". I don't think even Alain Ducasse or Joel Roucheon guard their signature dishes that tightly in their cookbooks.

I found that fellow New York Italian-American restaurant and personal cookbooks from Rao's (Rao's Recipes from the Neighborhood: Frank Pelligrino Cooks Italian with Family and Friends, and Rao's Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking) have a much more complete coverage including all the red sauce recipes, many of which I couldn't find in this book, and with a more detailed disclosure of seasonings.
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on June 6, 2003
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I get to New York maybe once or twice a year. It has always been a treat to eat at Patsy's and now I can share the experience with my family. The recipes are easy to follow; my husband and I particularly enjoyed Sal's common sense approach. The book has been loaned out many times as the combination of history, pictures and mouth-watering recipes is quite enticing. Thank you Sal for this wonderful contribution!
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on January 17, 2007
I bought this book on the strength of the many reviews that praised it. After reading it, however, I felt like I had just read a paid advertisement. At first, the references to Sinatra held a certain fascination and made me feel like an "insider." However, page after page of cloyingly sweet testimonials, written in a style that makes one feel that you are reading PR instead of candid comments, leaves a bad taste. There are also repetitious references to the original Patsy, in his grey waiter's suit, refilling bread baskets. Patsy sounded genuine, but I'm not so sure about his successors. By the end of the book, all of this mushy testament, perhaps unfairly, detracted from the interest in the recipes. I was left with the impression that this was a place that was treading on past glories and I decided to see what others had to say. I looked at the customer reviews on the web for those who had recently dined at Patsy's and at least half of the reviews (from non-celebrities) reflected rude service from the front desk and serving staff and premium prices. There are some interesting recipes in this book but I just can't help thinking that Patsy's shot themselves in the foot with the way this book is written. I like to read cookbooks, particularly those with a story to tell, but I couldn't wait to put this one away.
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on June 29, 2003
What a delight to have this cookbook in your kitchen.
The recipes are so user friendly that even the most inexperienced cook can prepare an unbelievable delicious five star rated dinner in the comfort of their home. I have one cookbook for myself and got one for my daughter is who away at college, so she can learn the "Real" way to prepare some of the most delicious Italian dishes in the world. The instructions are so easy to follow and are given in such detail that there is absolutely no way to make a mistake. You will thrill your next dinner guests with your culinary abilities compliments of Sal Scognamillo. You also will find this book an enjoyable read filled with all sorts of stories of family traditions and famous guests, who have known New York's best kept secret of fine Italian dining for years. The secret is out now ... and available to all of us! If you are ever in New York you will have to stop into Patsy's and enjoy the best Italian food in the world...and if you aren't making it up to the Big Apple anytime soon you can use this cookbook to bring Sal vicariously into your own kitchen to help you prepare the Patsy experience! :)
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on April 8, 2003
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