COOKING & FOOD

The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York

Abrams. Sept. 2019. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9781419737992. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781683356936. COOKING
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Seasoned journalist Roston provides a fascinating, detailed history of the Windows on the World restaurant, which was located on the 107th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center from 1976 to September 11, 2001. A gifted writer, Roston chronicles Windows on the World’s successes and setbacks, as well as the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers that led to the deaths of 79 of the restaurant’s employees. Providing an experience as bold as the city it called home, Windows on the World allowed visitors to dine in luxury at the top of what was once the tallest building in the world. While restaurateur Joe Baum, a relentless perfectionist with a big personality, may have driven the project onward and upward, he had a hardworking, dedicated team supporting him. Roston takes care to feature stories of former employees, from busboys to wine selectors, who relied on one another.
VERDICT The author begins and concludes with accounts from 9/11, effectively capturing the shock and brutality of that day and its enduring aftermath, ultimately crafting a celebration of the city’s ingenuity, strength, and resilience. Thoughtful and engaging and highly recommended for growing culinary history collections.

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