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Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years Of Recipes And Reflections From The Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant Paperback – January 10, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For some thirty-five years, the legendary Claire’s Corner Copia has been much more than a restaurant to its customers; it’s been a home away from home. A New Haven, Connecticut, institution since its founding in 1975, Claire’s has consistently won recognition for its vegetarian and vegan cuisine, leading to a national reputation and following. 

Within these pages ebullient owner-chef Claire Criscuolo shares more than 350 of her beloved recipes—from Spicy Thai Sunflower Noodles to Quinoa-and-Pecan-Stuffed Acorn Squash to her signature Lithuanian Coffee Cake. Spiced with photos, stories, and remembrances, it’s the next best thing to being there yourself.

About the Author

Claire Criscuolo cofounded Claire’s Corner Copia, a New Haven, Connecticut, landmark vegetarian restaurant, in 1975 with her husband, Frank Criscuolo.

Claire Criscuolo cofounded the highly successful Claire’s Corner Copia, a New Haven landmark vegetarian restaurant with a national reputation, in 1975. with her husband, Frank. A certified culinary professional, Claire is also author of three other cookbooks, as well as a contributor to cookbooks produced by the American Heart Association. Together they produce the column, "My Vegetarian Kitchen." for the New Haven Register and other Journal Newspapers, including Luxury Living Magazine. Claire has served as an expert on panels to promote better health through better eating, for numerous organizations including: The Massachusetts School Food Service Association, The Natural Products Expo, and The Fancy Food Show, and she has appeared on The TV Food Network, Good Morning Texas, on many PBS shows, and other television and radio stations across the country. She has taught cooking classes in 15 states. Claire’s Corner Copia has received awards including; Women’s Day Magazine Best Sandwich in America, Connecticut Magazine Best Of Vegetarian Restaurant and Best Quiche, New Haven Advocate Best Desserts and Best Soup. In 2010, Claire’s Corner Copia was listed by msn.com in the Top 10 Heart-Healthy Restaurants in the U.S. In 2001, trans fats were eliminated from their restaurant, something unheard of at the time, but an example of the commitment they have for healthy eating. Green initiatives include; biodegradable take out containers, corn based take out bowls and cold cups, printed with soy based inks.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First Edition edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762774460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762774463
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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My husband used to live in New Haven and asked for this book for his birthday. I made the coffee cake and gave it to him and he was over the moon excited. I asked him to go through and put post it notes on the recipes that looked good so I can start menu planning. He has since marked up the entire book and we're cooking our way through Claires!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was a law student at Yale in the late 80s, great vegetarian food in New Haven was hard to come by. Then, I discovered Claire's Cornercopia. Claire's was (and remains) my favorite vegetarian restaurant, and I've had many runners up. I was thrilled to obtain Claire's first cookbook, but was ultimately disappointed. It contained recipes for only a small number of the foods served at Claire's, was visually unappealing, and made most recipes more complicated than needed.

Claire's new book, 35 Years of Recipes & Reflections is good enough that I forgive Claire the disappointment I experienced as a result of her first cookbook. The book is visually attractive, with useful photos well correlated to the recipes. The recipes are presented in an easy-to-follow format suitable for the experienced or novice cook, but never complicate things that are truly simple.

While some may dislike Claire's peppering her book with anecdotes and adorations of her recently deceased husband, I did not. I found them fun and insightful, as if I'd been let in on a secret that held the key to a successful dish.

Lastly, I appreciate the variety of the recipes Claire chose to include in this book. The book is well balanced, focusing more on the foods that make up one's main diet, yet giving coverage to the indulgences (desserts, etc...) as well.
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Format: Paperback
Claire has many stories of her restaurant and her husband and plenty of dishes for those who want vegetarian recipes. The emphasis is on organic and sustainable foods. Symbols are used throughout for; gluten-free, gluten-free option, vegan and vegan option. Recipes included are; breakfast, soups, stews and sandwiches, appetizers, salads, dressings, dips and salsas, pasta and sauces, entrees, side dishes, and desserts.

There are no pictures of the recipes, but there are many of the people enjoying Claire's. The bread recipes were a bit of a disappointment, in that they are just ways of "doctoring up" the breads - they are delicious, but not what I was expecting from a book with the emphasis on organic. There are also only 3 quinoa recipes - a surprise for a vegetarian book. We have enjoyed curried brown rice salad and parmesan grits with braised mushrooms.
A metric conversion table is included and there is a detailed index that also includes the key symbols for the recipes. This is a book that those searching for vegetarian recipes will probably like to add to their cookbook collection.
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Format: Paperback
I'm probably going to be in the minority of reviewers of this cookbook in that I have never been to Claire's. I picked it up because I love vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and I've often found some of my favorite recipes in cookbooks put out by vegetarian restaurants. Unfortunately reading this book it became pretty clear to me that I was not the intended audience. While I expected it would be targeted at fans of the restaurant I also expected it to have more crossover appeal to general vegetarian and vegan cooks than it actually does.

I could see this being very appealing to a fans of the restaurant. From reading the headnotes a lot of menu favorites seem to be included and there are also ample pictures of the restaurant, customers, dessert case, etc. Unfortunately all of these pictures come at the expense of actually showing photos of the finished recipes. Even though we get quite a few photos related to the restaurant as well as photos of raw ingredients there are very few pictures of the recipes in the book. For me as someone who has never been to the restaurant this was disappointing because I'm a visual cook and beautiful food photography often influences what I choose to make.

As far as the actual recipes go, they are generally relatively uncomplicated and easy to prepare. There's also a good range of recipes from some that can be easily made in 20-30 minutes to others that require slightly lengthier prep time. But overall, they don't require exhaustive cooking knowledge. The culinary influences tend more toward Mexican and Italian influence so if you like these kind of recipes, you'll probably enjoy this book. A lot of them are for the classics like marinara sauce, minestrone, hummus, etc.
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Format: Paperback
As a new Vegetarian I needed to do some research regarding balancing a vegetarian diet. I selected four books one of which was Welcome to Claire's. I have always enjoyed cooking and I like to use the freshest ingredients that I can find. Welcome to Claire's is my new bible! I have prepared something new for lunch and dinner everyday for two weeks now. The recipes are delicious and the book is full of information. I would highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love fresh healthy cooking, from a true pioneer in the food world......Get this cook book. Claire's Corner is a New Haven CT land mark. If you have been to Claire's.............you know what I'm talking about. If not, experience some great recipes in this book and enter Claire's special world of food enchantment!
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