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POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) [Hardcover]

Russell Norman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2012
Russell Norman's 'The Restaurant Man' is a brand new primetime six-part series on BBC TWO. Russell Norman opened Polpo, a critically acclaimed London restaurant in the height of the recession, to queues around the block.

This series follows six complete novices who turn their backs on their stable careers, risk their life savings, all for the dream of a new life.

Tucked away in a backstreet of London's edgy Soho district, POLPO is one of the hottest restaurants in town. Critics and food aficionados have been flocking to this understated bàcaro where Russell Norman serves up dishes from the back streets of Venice. A far cry from the tourist-trap eateries of the famous floating city, this kind of cooking is unfussy, innovative and exuberantly delicious.

The 140 recipes in the book include caprese stacks, zucchini shoestring fries, asparagus with Parmesan and anchovy butter, butternut risotto, arancini, rabbit cacciatore, warm duck salad with wet walnuts and beets, crispy baby pizzas with prosciutto and rocket, scallops with lemon and peppermint, mackerel tartare, linguine with clams, whole sea bream, warm octopus salad, soft-shell crab in Parmesan batter with fennel salad, walnut and honey semifreddo, tiramisù, fizzy bellinis and glasses of bright orange spritz.

With luminescent photography by Jenny Zarins, which captures the unfrequented corners, the bustling bàcari and the sublime waterways of Venice, POLPO is a dazzling tribute to Italy's greatest hidden cuisine.

Frequently Bought Together

POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) + The Moro Cookbook
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408816792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408816790
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 18.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

POLPO does what a great cookbook should do: it makes you urgently want to cook and breaks new territory (Daily Telegraph)

Wonderful ... the dishes are simple, with relatively few ingredients, but they're inspired. The grilled courgettes with toasted breadcrumbs, for instance, was sublime. The pages of my book are already smeared with olive oil and egg; a good sign (Melanie McDonagh Evening Standard)

A marvellously useful guide to anyone who actually wants to cook (Cary Gee Tribune)

A present for the greedy gourmets in your life (Observer)

Delicious (Mail on Sunday)

Gorgeous (Daily Mail)

Like a trip round the bars and bacari of Venice (Independent)

A delight for its goodies from Venice and beyond, beautifully presented in a book that (hallelujah) lies flat on the kitchen surface (Lisa Markwell Independent)

Definitely the design classic of 2012 (Irish Times)

Book Description

Deliciously simple Venetian dishes - from London's most buzzing restaurant

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Venetian Blinder 25 July 2012
Format:Hardcover
It comes as no surprise that, for his first book, Venice expert and addict Russell Norman has applied the same attention to detail as marks out his restaurants to delivering a beautiful, practical and eminently useable volume. Part travel guide, part cookbook, part love letter, Norman conveys the reader around Venice as if in a gondola, taking in ciccheti here, pizzette there, all washed down with an Aperol Spritz. As a huge fan of his Polpo restaurants, it's a joy to now have this definitive guide to the dishes I enjoy there so as to be able to enjoy them at home. The cleverly stitched spine, enabling the book to lie flat on the worktop, will surely be as widely copied as Norman's small plates, no reservations business model.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polpo, Best Italian cookbook yet! 12 Oct 2012
By Lyndy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Heard this book being reviewed on Womens Hour a few months ago, was intrigued and had a look online. couldn't resist it as it is about the little bars/restaurants which we like to frequent in Italy. Have been so pleased with it, used it more than any other Italian cookbook I own and every recipe has been a success. Just laying up litres of the tomato sauce which is fab, to eat with the Polpette (meatballs) again fab, as is everything else I have tried.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 9 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Quite apart from the delicious recipes, the production qualities of this book are stunning, with beautiful photography and illustrations, and a very unusual spine design which makes you want to pick it up and turn the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best cookbook I have every bought 31 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Best cook book I have ever bought, its simple ingredients and clear instructs have helped me as a novice cook
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book 8 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this as a present, it is so pretty and so different, there is only one pasta recipe, which makes a refreshing change. Some friends of the books recipient most definitely had book envy when flicking though the great sounding recipes and gorgeous images.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best cook book ever 14 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Used it many times and a copy bought for a friend went down extremely well too. This year has been a good one for cookery books but this is easily tops!,
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having visited Polpo the restaurant, and loving the food, I was delighted there was a book available so I could make the dishes at home. Inspired by what I ate, I invited one of my Italian friends over and we tried making a few dishes. The tomato sauce could not be easier, a lot of tomatoes, both canned and fresh, some oil, garlic and oregano boiled down.

To go along with it, we made the lamb and pistachio meatballs, as they were a little unusual and putting them in the oven took out the messy job of frying them off in a pan. They are moreish bite-sized of yummyness. Definitely worth making.

We also made pizzetta and made a version of the blanca, with asparagus and courgettes. Make sure that you roll it out very thinly as if it's too thick, it won't cook in the middle, though that didn't put my friend off!

Also on the menu were the prawns - we could only obtain frozen raw prawns with no shells on, which just didn't work, as there was too much water content that oozed out. It tasted nothing like the ones I tried in the restaurant, so it's worth shopping around for fresh raw prawns.

The mozzarella bocconcini - mozzarella dipped in breadcrumbed and deep fried were interesting. The mozzarella just melted out and I had to cut the ball in half as it was quite chewy.

All in, the dishes were tasty and it saved me a lot of money from returning to the restaurant. The photos are beautiful food porn and really makes you want to make the items. It's bounded in such a way that you don't have to press the book down and ruin the spine, which is exposed to show the workmanship. The instructions are easy to follow, so if you're a completely new starter to cooking, it's straight forward.

My Italian friend said some of the dishes weren't really Italian but i'm not complaining and it does say "of sorts".
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polpo book review 22 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
Now here's a thing I have never tried before- - roasting grapes, so when I spotted this recipe in the new cook book that I recently received I thought I would give it a go. Yesterday we found our selves at a wedding in the morning, (my step niece got married) then kicking our heels for the rest of the day before heading to the evening reception party, so at lunch time I thought I would try my hand at this, the full recipe is Goat's Cheese Roasted Grape & Walnut Bruschette, but I'm not a huge fan of walnuts so left those little chaps out, and added some slight variations of my own.

Polpo, A Venetian Cook Book (of sorts) published by Bloomsbury, is responsible for my little trip down memory lane today, filled with lovely photos (that makes me think we should visit Venice again, though maybe next time in the spring), and one hundred and forty simple recipes all inspired by the culinary treats found in the back streets of Venice and recreated by Russell Norman. If you intend to take a trip to Venice, take Russell Norman's advice, stay away from the tourist places to eat, and take a wonder down the back streets where the real taste of Venice awaits.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was bought as a present to give somebody. I imagine it has been well received.
Published 7 days ago by Neville Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars a momento of our trip to Venice
What a fabulous book. Lovely to look at and wonderful recipes. We bought it also as a restaurant guide to Venice - very valuable advice
Published 8 days ago by mrs p
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, I guess...
Well, nothing spectacular. I guess they advertised it well.
Published 11 days ago by Lo P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
The recipes are great and mostly easy - and compare well with the restaurant versions - all recipe books should be bound this way
Published 28 days ago by NickR
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 29 days ago by Mrs Patricia King
5.0 out of 5 stars Did notice how beautifully it was bound so it stays open on the ...
Was a present. Did notice how beautifully it was bound so it stays open on the page.
Published 1 month ago by Miss Mary T McMorrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented cook book
Bought as gift. Well received. Beautifully presented cook book
Published 1 month ago by Jandres
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent and well presented
Published 1 month ago by cynthia mawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Polpo and the book is great.
This is a great book and I recently went to the restaurant in Soho and had a lovely lunch, Ham Hock and Pea Risotto. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pru Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, minimum effort maximum impact, delicious recipes
Visited polpo earlier this year and was so impressed with the small tasty dishes and mini pizzette that I had to buy the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by stella bee
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