The veteran chef and New York Times columnist is a far sounder and defter craftsman than most other recent exponents of low-cal/high-fashion gastronomy--offering much to choose from here in the way of poultry (from quail to capon), poached or steamed fish and shellfish, grilled meats, and various stews and fricassÃ‰es. Franey does not claim to provide diet fare as such; butter and oil are used often (though in moderation), and salt appears in discreet amounts. The heavy emphasis on all-the-rage ingredients--radicchio, raspberry vinegar, goat cheese, morels--will put many of these dishes out of reach for many. And, inevitably, there are quite a few recipes for things that could be found in many other books (calf's liver with a bit of beurre noisette, braised cabbage, grilled chicken with mustard), as well as obvious variations on common dishes (hamburgers au poivre with white peppercorns, buttered noodles with sesame seeds). The recipes generally are Gallo-American, though Franey does experiment mildly with elements like soy sauce and homemade curry powder, and bows far enough in the direction of the avant garde to try putting mangoes in a pasta salad. Instructions are clear but not belabored. Somewhat narrowly aimed at an au courant and well-heeled urban audience, but the best recent work in an overharvested field.