As a foodie, writer and pop culture aficionado, I’m always interested in a good book about tasty subjects. Two such that completely satisfy are “Elaine’s: The Rise of One of New York’s Most Legendary Restaurants from Those Who Were There” by Amy Phillips Penn and “At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends” by Mary McCartney.
The first is chock-full of stories about the legendary Elaine Kaufman, owner of her eponymous eatery/writer hangout in Manhattan. Elaine’s was the first New York restaurant that I knew by name (thanks to Billy Joel and Page 6) even when I was a girl back in Indiana. I visited the famous watering hole the first chance I got once I hit the big city.
In her fantastic book, Ms. Penn includes lots of dish by and about East Enders and those who have spent time in our villages and hamlets. Pick up a copy and nosh on some great stories including: Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Billy Joel, Jackson Pollock, Alec Baldwin, Marty Bregman, George Plimpton, Woody Allen, Nora Ephron, Keith Hernandez, Bob Drury, Richard Johnson, etc. There’s even a sweet smiling photo of Warner Leroy and Elaine, courtesy our friend, the fabulous Bridget Leroy, and an introduction by the great gossip columnist Liz Smith.
In her book, Ms. McCartney, whose famous father is Sir Paul, has written a great down-home guide to putting together meatless fare for special gatherings. Intrigued by the cover, I picked up the book while out shopping without ever noting the author’s name. Already interested, as I casually scanned through the food photos and recipes, I landed on a picture of the one-and-only Amagansett-based Beatle and knew I had to have it. I’m making the Zucchini and Leek Fritters and Herb and Cheese Soufflé either tonight or this weekend at the latest.
Hope you like these two yummy books as much as I do.