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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