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Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe: 140 New Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 2, 2001

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews 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

From Publishers Weekly

In the follow-up to the original Union Square Cafe Cookbook (which won a Julia Child Award for first book), Meyer and Romano offer more pleasant fare from the landmark New York restaurant where they are owner and chef, respectively. Many of these dishes are new interpretations that use classic Italian ingredients: Cornmeal-Crusted Ricotta Fritters are served with an anchovy dressing, and Fris‚e Salad with Bottarga and Grapefruit makes piquant use of Italy's pressed fish roe. Some non-Italian flavors infiltrate here and there as well: Chili and Sage-Rubbed Salmon is Southwestern in style, while Saut‚ed Shrimp Goan Style relies on cinnamon, cumin and other spices from India. Recipes which are divided into traditional chapters such as Appetizers and Main Courses are split approximately down the middle between complex projects that require a good deal of time in the kitchen (e.g., Zucchini Fazzoletti, homemade pasta with a pureed zucchini sauce) and relatively simple preparations (like Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato and Green Olives). Desserts like Fig and Walnut Crostata and Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie are appropriately rustic-modern, and wine suggestions for each dish are a nice touch. These recipes aren't filled with hard-to-find, exotic ingredients (aside from bottarga, which has cameos in a few), nor do offerings such as Michael's Garlic-Lemon Steak or Striped Bass with Tomato-Caper Sauce jolt the palate with surprising new sensations. The phenomenal, ongoing success of the Union Square Cafe itself proves just how appealing even simple and familiar foods can be when prepared with high-quality ingredients and adapted to American sensibilities. Duane Michaels provides b&w photos that narrate peculiar stories of hypothetical dining experiences in the restaurant.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060196475
  • ASIN: B0046LUC7A
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Michela on October 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Since one of my favorite recipes (Grilled Marinated Filet of Tuna) comes from Danny Meyer's and Michael Romano's first cookbook, the award-winning Union Square Café Cookbook, I was eager to get their Second Helpings from Union Square Café cookbook. Adorned by the amusing, original b & w photos by Duane Michaels, Second Helpings is chock full of sophisticated recipes that have been specially adapted and thoroughly tested for the home chef from the Union Square Café repertoire of palate-pleasing seasonal offerings. While I would not suggest that a novice cook try most of these recipes, I do recommend Second Helpings for those of us who have been cooking at home for years, who are not able to be regulars at this fabulous three-star restaurant, and who want to make some exciting new variations on classic dishes, especially for entertaining at home.
Some of the recipes are summer and spring seasonal, such as Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Chilled Melon and Vodka Soup, Soft Shell Crabs with Tomato Nage, and Spring Risotto - I'll look forward to trying them in warmer weather. Others are perfect for harvest-time, fall, winter, and holiday cooking and baking - the first recipe I tried was Green Tomato Chutney, which used up my late-season bounty of unripe fresh tomatoes. I served it with my newest favorite dish - Chili and Sage-Rubbed Salmon, accompanied by buttered rice, with Plum Clafoutis for dessert, all accompanied by Champagne. (Almost every recipe is paired with excellent wine recommendations.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is wonderful stuff! Begins with unique photos, which are series of culinary shots that tell a story. They are delightful and so fun.
The recipes are powerful in their intense flavor, minimalist approach and creativity, both in new recipes and adaptations of famous, such as the Chicken Saltimbocca, which switches away from the veal, and adds cheese-egg-flour batter.
Also, knocked out by such as Grilled Lobster with Bruschetta Sauce and Indian "Bouillabaisse." For openers sure to hit the mark as favorites, try Suppli al Telefono, cheese filled rice balls or the Eggplant Meatballs. Dessert which combines two of my fettishes so exquisitely, Blueberry-Lemon Meringue Pie.
This is what I would rate a medium complexity cookbook in terms of skill level, and the ingredients are not too exotic to find. The book is supplemented with great instructions. Would have enjoyed photos of serving suggestions, but this in no way detracts from this work of the highest class! This one will continue to bless cooks who put its charm and class to use in their kitchens!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stefanie N on September 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes the ingredient lists are a bit daunting,especially if one lives outside of a major metropolitan area, but it's worth the effort. The impressive thing about the recipes included in Union Square Cafe's second cookbook is that the various flavors are distinct while working together. For example, a pasta dish with gorgonzola and fresh corn requires that you simmer the husks in a broth--what an odd notion and what a great result !
I would say that the procedures are straightforward, but time-consuming. These are recipes that you have to plan for; they are not last-minute, just home-from-work desperation dinners. With that in mind, these are tasty, perhaps even mind -(not to say waist-) expanding recipes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although I do not have their first book, the second book is a joy to use and read. The authors' sense of humor is revealed through several photographic series of comical restaurant vignettes. The food, while traditional, has a nice spin so that you really feel like you're making something special and familiar. Their fried calamari with anchovy dressing is the best ever. Directions throughout are clear and concise. The wine suggestions are helpful. This book would intimidate an insecure cook, but it is really easy to use.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just made the Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy. Hands down the best turkey I have ever prepared. All of my dinner guests for Thanksgiving this year commented that it was the best turkey they have ever had. Wow! The turkey was absolutely delicious, succulent, and wonderfully flavored by the complex assortment of ingredients that came about in the brining process and the stuffing and gravy. I used quince for the first time as an ingredient in my cooking.
The book is invitingly presented with it's story line approach through the photographs, sometimes silly. But yes, as another reviewer mentioned there is Jacque Pepin in the black and white photo essay in one chapter looking like he's truly enjoying himself. A great endorsement for this book as I love his cooking and personality as much as I do Julia Child.
I can't wait to try other recipes from this book and soon. I think that this book will become a regular for me to try out new recipes and enhance my own knowledge of my Northern Italian Nona's cooking every day.
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