Cold temperatures outside signal a perfect time for interesting reading inside. Profiled below are three new additions to the Loop Library that may spark an interest, and your appetite.
Joe Bastianich grew up in the restaurant business. His parent’s first restaurant was a “red-sauce joint” in Queens called Buonavia. He learned the financial side of the business from his father, but it was his mother who clearly understood his legacy: “You belong to a restaurant family…embrace it.” (p. 47) Bastianich writes about his evolution as a restauranteur in Restaurant Man beginning as a dish washer in Buonavia, with detours along the way in hippiedom, college, Wall Street, and Italy until embracing his destiny by opening Becco, his first restaurant. Written in the colorful jargon of an industry insider, Bastianich generously shares stories from his two decades in the business since opening Becco. (Loop Library, Call Number: 647.95092 B3263R)
The author of Charlotte au Chocolat also grew up in the restaurant business. But this book is an intimate memoir of a childhood spent in her mother’srestaurant, Upstairs at the Pudding. Located above the centuries-old student society of Harvard, the Hasty Pudding Club, Charlotte Silver’s early memories include hearing the voices of the Krokodiloes, the University's a capella group, rise from the first floor of the building. Charlotte au Chocolat is a nostalgic look at both the author’s special childhood and also at the way restaurants used to be run. Silver’s stories about the kitchen and dining room staff are so vivid that it left me wondering what became of these characters after they left their positions at Upstairs at the Pudding. (Loop Library, Call Number: 647.957444 S5872)
Cocktails are an important part of the dining experience for many restaurant customers, especially since the 1990's renaissance of classics like the Manhattan, Side Car, and Gibson. Before exploring the wide range of cocktails available today, check out Cocktails: A Global History for a delightful appreciation of the rich history of this American invention. The potpourri of people, places, and beverages that Joseph M. Carlin brings together to tell the 200-year story of the cocktail reflects the widespread appeal of this beverage. Dip into this engaging book to discover an equally diverse mixture of tidbits about this beverage such as how the cocktail got its name, the use of cocktails as a literary device, the type of food served at cocktail parties, and last but not least, where and when the cocktail umbrella was first used. (Loop Library, Call Number: 641.2109 C282C)