Diner: Day for Night

Ten Speed. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781607748489. $35. COOKING
Tarlow (Dinner at the Long Table), a pioneering restaurateur who put Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on the map as a major dining destination, opened his first establishment, Diner, on New Year’s Eve in 1998. Focusing on seasonal menus with fresh ingredients from local farmers, the farm-to-table establishment, set in an old dining car, quickly became an influential presence in the Williamsburg community. The first half of the book features color photographs by Julia Gillard, a bartender at Diner, who documented the history with photos of the staff, customers, and scenes from the restaurant. Forty-eight recipes showcase entrees for every season, with fish, chicken, lamb, and beef dishes in the spotlight. Recipes include such favorites as chicken schnitzel with butcher’s cabbage, grilled squid, fluke Milanese, and Basque cheesecake. An introduction from Diner’s first chef, Caroline Fidanza, recalls her first impressions of the restaurant, and cofounder Mark Firth gives a remembrance of buying the building and getting the restaurant off the ground.
VERDICT A fond homage to an iconic restaurant and the creative team behind it.
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