The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier Restaurant

The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier Restaurant

by John Mariani, Alex Von Bidder

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mariani, Esquire's restaurant critic, and von Bidder, the general manager of Four Seasons, are so extolling of the splendors and cuisine of this midtown Manhattan institution that their book reads like a press release. Not that their praise is pure hyperbole, only excessively self-promoting, for the longevity of this 30-year-old eatery (which was decreed a landmark historical site in 1989) wasn't achieved by serving curdled Barnaise. The authors describe at length the environs: the Mies van der Rohe-designed Seagram building (and how it was built) housing Four Seasons; the 20-foot-square, white Carrara marble pool in the restaurant's Pool Room; the draperies of anodized aluminum chains on the windows of the Grill Room; the lunch bunch-lauded here as the ``most productive members of society''-that includes publishing folk Mort Janklow, Michael Korda and Betty Prashker. A few years ago when New York magazine tested the noise in Manhattan restaurants, Four Seasons was found to have the lowest decibel level-the same, though, can't be said for its book. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The Four Seasons chronicles the landmark restaurant's 35 years as one of America's great symbols: of architecture (located in Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building); interior design (featuring Philip Johnson's Pool Room and Picasso's art); fine dining (Seppi Renggli of Spa Cuisine); style (as the ultimate New York restaurant); and power (serving JFK and Princess Margaret). Mariani, restaurant critic for Esquire magazine and author of America Eats Out (Morrow, 1991), has teamed up with Von Bidder, the general manager of The Four Seasons, to bring readers anecdotes, recipes, and memorabilia. This book differs from its recent cousins, such as Irene Daria's Lutce: A Day in the Life of America's Greatest Restaurant (LJ 11/15/93) and Helen Studley's Life of a Restaurant (LJ 5/1/94), in its breadth of coverage (there are diagrams, seating charts, photos, and sketches). It is fun to read for foodies, restaurateurs, and New York City history buffs alike.-Wendy Miller, Lexington, Ky.
Barbara Jacobs
Whether the guest's a native New Yorker or out-of-town business person or visitor, there is, quite simply, nothing like the Four Seasons restaurant. Even more astounding is its longevity--now 35 years old, in an era where fat and cholesterol are dirty words, where other just-as-fine dining establishments have expired, and where the tax deductibility of an expense-account meal has rapidly diminished. Teaming up with the restaurant's general manager, Mariani has produced a candid, occasionally irreverent tale of the Four Seasons' beginnings and the best and worst of times for this much-celebrated landmark. Appropriately, gossip, too, is not above the authors, who are eager to talk about the rich and famous. Twenty-two recipes from the menu, including many favorites such as the crisped shrimp with mustard fruit and fancy cake, add a tasteful fillip to the book, while photographs act as a reminder that Robin Leach, Liz Smith, and other celebrity chroniclers were there.

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.81(w) x 9.57(h) x 0.83(d)

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