Garlic and Sapphires is Ruth Reichl's riotous account of the many disguises she employs to dine anonymously. There is her stint as Molly Hollis, a frumpy blond with manicured nails and an off-beige Armani suit that Ruth takes on when reviewing Le Cirque. The result: her famous double review of the restaurant: first she ate there as Molly; and then as she was coddled and pampered on her visit there as Ruth, New York Times food critic. What is even more remarkable about Reichl's spy games is that as she takes on these various disguises, she finds herself changed not just superficially, but in character as well. She gives a remarkable account of how one's outer appearance can very much influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites. As she writes, "Every restaurant is a theater...even the modest restaurants offer the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while." Garlic and Sapphires is a reflection on personal identity and role playing in the decadent, epicurean theaters of the restaurant world.More
Reichl, former New York Times restaurant critic, takes you on an undercover tour of the best New York restaurants. She makes you feel like you're right there with her, disguise and all. That's right, disguise. Because her work required anonymity, Reichl had to don new disguises in each restaurant. Her memories of both food and façade are fascinating and highly entertaining.
Her descriptions of food will have even the pickiest eater craving sushi, caviar, even squid ink! She also includes simple recipes for things like New York Style Cheesecake and Spaghetti Carbonara.
Narrator Bernadette Dunne sounds very much like Reichl herself, inhabiting every delicious moment and brining you along for the bite. Whether you're a food fan or not, this is a great memoir.
"[A] vivacious, fascinating memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
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Read engagingly by Bernadette Dunne
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