Book Reviews

Book Review: Shannon Bennett’s New York.


This gastronomic New York restaurant guide is not only absolutely useful, but also God-given, when it comes to accommodations.

As is well known, New York hotels are very expensive, but the authors have searched high and low to find inexpensive and interesting hotels.

Yes, they mention luxury properties for those on business expense accounts.

First there are several pages on what one ought to look for in fine restaurants starting with décor, and then going into ingredient combinations, food quality and quantity, cooking, service and beverage selection. They also evaluate china, glassware and accoutrements.

Following this, the book divides the city into Downtown, Midtown, Uptown and outer boroughs.

The downtown section is the longest and covers all the worthwhile establishments (restaurants and hotels) in Battery park, Financial District, TriBeCa, China Town and Little Italy, Sotto and Lolita, Lower East Side, Greenich Village, West Village and meatpacking District, and east Village.

Midtown, Uptown, and Outer Boroughs are adequately covered.

Throughout this well laid out book, Shannon Bennett provides typical New York specialty recipes. He is a chef and owns restaurants in Australia. He certainly knows all about food, what goes with what, and unfailingly writes recipes that one can prepare with little difficulty, providing he/she knows the basics of cooking.

According to him, the most exciting New York restaurants are: Corton, Le Bernardin, Per Se, The Spotted Pig, and Masa.

He also lists the most popular cookbooks authored by New York chefs. This alone is worth buying this excellent book.

Another interesting feature of this book is that he is not the only one to write about his experiences ( he tries to inspect each restaurant at least twice) in a particular restaurant. Scott Murray, another Australian, and connoisseur of good food, visits the same restaurant and critiques it in his own way. Both do not agree all t eh time.

In addition to both authors, their local friends contribute their thoughts and write short critiques, and occasionally also recommend restaurants that are not reviewed by Shannon or Scott.

This book deserves to be on the reading list of all who plan to visit New York and New York residents who can afford to dine out frequently.

After all, both authors love food so much that they fly for 22 hours, to experience restaurants.

They know all about food, appreciate good food, and willingly spend time and money to enjoy the best.

So should you!

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