7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful recipes, less inspiring photos,
This review is from: The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook (Hardcover)
This book offers a great range of Italian classics, but is a bit more modern in its collection. By that I mean the classics are interspersed with "typical" Italian preparations, mainly Tuscan. It goes beyond the sampling of dishes that a one time traveler may know and gets into the boiled octopus with potatoes, penne con stracotto (penne with beef braised in Chianti), and roast guinea fowl stuffed with lemons. That is to say, it gets into what you might find on the table for lunch on a Sunday afternoon at your Italian mother-in-law's house. Of enthusiastic note, this has a section on gelato (gelato al gianduiotto anyone?) and desserts including strudel, panettone, and ricciarelli the Siennese almond meringue!
The photography in the book comes from a wide range of photographers, all of whom are among the best in the business. That may also be why it seems like such a hodgepodge of photography. The lack of a cohesive art direction therefore to me detracts a LOT from an otherwise blemish-free book. This is why I can't give it five stars. For me, aesthetics have a great influence on a cookbook, so I believe the job should either be on the ball or not at all. (It's not a complete disaster, don't get me wrong! It's just mildly annoying. I still love the book and still HIGHLY recommend it!)
This book is for someone who wants a solid reference of Italian cooking, home style.