David Waltuck's Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic (Taunton) is as quietly elegant as the much-loved TriBeCa establishment. Although it's filled with tempting recipes, this one will likely spend equal time on the coffee table as the countertop, thanks to its oversize format and artful photography. Following the recipes in Urban Italian (Bloomsbury), meanwhile, is the closest you can get to tasting chef Andrew Carmellini's celebrated cuisine these days. The James Beard Award winner left his three-star New York restaurant, A Voce, almost immediately after the book was published and is currently shopping around for a new space. ("The Best Gnocchi" on page 95 lives up to its name.)
Cathy and Tony Mantuano's Italian restaurant Spiaggia, in Chicago, is a favorite of Barack and Michelle Obama. Whip up something from Wine Bar Food (Clarkson Potter), Tony's easy-to-follow new offering, and taste what keeps the couple coming back. Finally, On the Line, by Eric Ripert (Artisan) is really two books in one. The first half provides a detailed, beautifully illustrated account of how the legendary New York seafood restaurant operates, revealing everything from the 129 "Cardinal Sins" that new servers are warned against (#83 is watching while the guest completes the credit card slip) to how new dishes are developed. The second half offers up a selection of the elaborately-crafted recipes that have made Ripert the culinary equivalent of Bono. Warning to amateurs: These are not 30 minute meals.
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