THE UNION SQUARE CAFE COOKBOOK

150 FAVORITE RECIPES FROM NEW YORK'S ACCLAIMED RESTAURANT

The perennially popular Union Square Cafe's trademark is its use of the freshest ingredients and high style combined with warm hospitality, and this book relies on the same principles. Owner Meyer and chef Romano successfully translate recipes from restaurant to home scale, although the use of mise-en-place— listing ingredients in the form in which they will be used—is off- putting (i.e., readers may find themselves in the supermarket trying to puzzle out how many peppers equal ``1 cup sliced bell pepper''). Still, all of those recipes tested, from creamless mushroom soup to sweet and spicy bar nuts, were tasty and inventive. Meyer and Romano have generously included most of their signature dishes, including fabulous fried calamari with an unusual graham cracker crumb crust and their most popular dessert, baked banana tart. There are some simple dishes here, but more are multitiered, full-day projects, like the lasagne layered with goat cheese and vegetables that are baked separately beforehand; detailed instructions are broken down into manageable steps. Introductory information is sensible and helpful, and the advice for pairing wines with food has to be some of the least pretentious—yet still educational—oenological writing ever. When Meyer admits that opening night was less than spectacular, he clinches the title of humblest restaurateur around. Destined to become a foodie bible, and with good reason. (40 color photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-06-017013-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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