Saturday, March 11, 2006
... A Restaurant Critic
Written by former New York Times food critic Ruth Reichl, "Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise", is one of the most fun books I've read in quite a long time. Credit must go to Rebekah for the find. When she presented the book to me on my birthday, she said she felt it was THE book for me as it combined everything I love: New York, Food, and Disguises. She was right. The story begins as Ruth leaves the LA Times for a job at NY Times, and ends as she is offered a job as Editor in Chief for Gourmet Magazine where she remains today. In that time, you get to share meals with her as she eats her way through New Yorks finest restaurants, as well as a few overrated ones.
Tavern on the Green: *
The disguises come into play when Ruth realizes that she is receiving preferential treatment. Her response? Elaborate characters are formed armed with an alias, wigs, costume, & even an entire fabricated life. While the characters are fun, the real pleasures are found in the descriptions Ruth gives to the food.
"We ate a cool, bright summer salad- lengths of crimson watermelon interlaced with shiny strips of avocado. Pale lavender rings of calamari were woven across the top so that the slick avocado bumped up against the crunch of the watermelon an then collided with the slippery slices of squid. Encountering them in your mouth, you couldn't help focusing on the sensation of texture."
This was only a salad folks. Consider it a taste of what you'll find when you read the book for yourself. Garlic and Sapphires: ***