Built in 1952, Lever House is one of Manhattan's first and most fetching glass-skinned towers. In 2004 it became home to an eponymous restaurant, whose chef, Dan Silverman, has been praised for its luxurious yet direct menu. In The Lever House Cookbook
, written with JoAnn Cianciulli, he offers 125-plus recipes--dishes like Grilled Sorrel Soup with Smoked Trout; Pan-Roasted Poussin with Tarragon Jus, Wild Mushrooms, and Snap Peas; Berkshire Pork Chops with Cipollini Onions, New Potatoes, and Pineapple-Kumquat Chutney; and Pan-Seared Hake with Salsify, Oyster Mushrooms, and Salsa Verde. A dessert section, provided by the restaurant's pastry chef, offers treats like Lemon Meringue Blueberry Pies and Cranberry Pecan Tart with Maple Ice Cream.
This isn't everyday cooking--most of the recipes require multiple preparations and hard-to-find or expensive ingredients--but neither is it particularly fussy nor complicated to do, thanks largely to recipe clarity. Readers wishing to take the plunge will undoubtedly want to do so for an occasion, or at least when time isn't an issue. (Dish components can also be "edited down" to simplify.) With technical tips, asides on ingredients, multiple photos, and a building biography by journalist Matt Tynauer, the book makes a good case for the well-crafted chef's cookbook offering delicious, unaffected fare. --Arthur Boehm
“Dan Silverman is incredibly intelligent in the way he coaxes abundant soulful flavors from simple, seasonal ingredients, while still managing to tie the whole thing up in an elegant package. I’ve never put down my fork after a meal he’s cooked with anything less than a fully satisfied sense of delight.” —Danny Meyer, coauthor, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook
“In this great cookbook you can find Dan’s inspirational modern American cooking based on regional ingredients and his market finds. It is as delicious as it looks.” —Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef/restaurateur