Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 13, 2009 - Cooking - 368 pages
15 Reviews

New York is the greatest restaurant city the world has ever seen.

In Appetite City, the former New York Times restaurant critic William Grimes leads us on a grand historical tour of New York’s dining culture. Beginning with the era when simple chophouses and oyster bars dominated the culinary scene, he charts the city’s transformation into the world restaurant capital it is today. Appetite City takes us on a unique and delectable journey, from the days when oysters and turtle were the most popular ingredients in New York cuisine, through the era of the fifty-cent French and Italian table d’hôtes beloved of American “Bohemians,” to the birth of Times Square—where food and entertainment formed a partnership that has survived to this day.

Enhancing his tale with more than one hundred photographs, rare menus, menu cards, and other curios and illustrations (many never before seen), Grimes vividly describes the dining styles, dishes, and restaurants succeeding one another in an unfolding historical panorama: the deluxe ice cream parlors of the 1850s, the boisterous beef-and-beans joints along Newspaper Row in the 1890s, the assembly-line experiment of the Automat, the daring international restaurants of the 1939 World’s Fair, and the surging multicultural city of today. By encompassing renowned establishments such as Delmonico’s and Le Pavillon as well as the Bowery restaurants where a meal cost a penny, he reveals the ways in which the restaurant scene mirrored the larger forces shaping New York, giving us a deliciously original account of the history of America’s greatest city.

Rich with incident, anecdote, and unforgettable personalities, Appetite City offers the dedicated food lover or the casual diner an irresistible menu of the city’s most savory moments.

  

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Review: Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

User Review  - Deborah - Goodreads

William Grimes is not only an excellent writer, he is a former restaurant/food critic for the New York Times. This history of restaurants, chefs and dining out in New York City is fascinating. From ... Read full review

Review: Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

User Review  - Brian Newman - Goodreads

Great look at the history of NY and its restaurants. Read full review

Contents

1 The City Without a Restaurant
3
The New York Feast
21
3 New York on the Half Shell
33
The Delmonicos Story
47
5 New York Becomes a Restaurant City
61
6 The Melting Pot
85
7 The Dawn of the Golden Age
101
8 The Birth of Times Square
133
12 The Restaurant Gets Small
223
13 Red Banquettes and Kisses on the Ceiling
241
14 The Baum Years
269
15 California Comes Calling
285
16 With Knife and Fork in New York
309
Notes
331
Selected Bibliography
347
Acknowledgments
351

9 The Party That Never Stopped
165
10 The Future Is Now
183
11 Decline and Fall
197

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About the author (2009)

William Grimes was the restaurant critic for The New York Times from 1999 to 2003. He is the author of Straight Up or On the Rocks (NPP, 2001) and My Fine Feathered Friend (NPP, 2002), and the coauthor of The New York Times Guide to New York City Restaurants 2004.

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