The Union Square Cafe Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

The Union Square Cafe Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

by Danny Meyer

View All Available Formats & Editions

Union Square Cafe serves some of the most imaginative, interesting, and tasty food in America. The restaurant and its owners, Danny Meyer and chef Michael Romano, have been lauded for their outstanding food and superb service by Gourmet, Food & Wine, the New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation. Now its devoted fans from down the block


Union Square Cafe serves some of the most imaginative, interesting, and tasty food in America. The restaurant and its owners, Danny Meyer and chef Michael Romano, have been lauded for their outstanding food and superb service by Gourmet, Food & Wine, the New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation. Now its devoted fans from down the block and across the globe can savor the restaurant's marvelous dishes, trademark hospitality, and warm decor at home.

Offered are recipes for 160 of Union Square Cafe's classic dishes, from appetizers, soups, and sandwiches to main courses, vegetables, and desserts. Hot Garlic Potato Chips, Porcini Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Parmigiano Cream, Grilled Marinated Fillet Mignon of Tuna, Herb-Roasted Chicken, Eggplant Mashed Potatoes, and Baked Banana Tart with Caramel and Macadamia Nuts are some of the all-time favorites included in this long-awaited collection.

Union Square's recipes are easily mastered by home cooks. They call for ingredients that are widely available (mail-order sources are listed for those few that are not), employ familiar techniques, and take a reasonable amount of time to complete. Amateurs and pros alike will find the dishes here as accessible as they are irresistible.

Beyond just providing recipes, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook inspires confidence in home cooks by sharing Michael Romano's tips for success. Readers learn that soaking baby onions in warm water makes them easier to peel (in the recipe for Sweet Peas with Escarole, Onions, and Mint); that the Corn and Tomatillo Salsa served with Polenta-Crusted Sea Bass also goes well with barbecued chicken or pork; that leftover Sautéed Spinach with Garlic makes a great sandwich filling; and that yesterday's sourdough bread should be kept for such soups and salads as Ribollita and Sourdough Panzanella. Danny Meyer's wine suggestions, inspired by the restaurant's remarkable cellar, accompany almost every recipe.

The Union Square Cafe Cookbook does the rare job of capturing the bustling energy and ebullient enthusiasm of the restaurant itself and the spirited personalities—those of Danny and Michael—that drive it. Folks will still go out of their way to eat at Union Square Cafe, but this cookbook—filled with the restaurant's vitality, warm artwork, and tempting recipes—ensures that its pleasures are as close as your bookshelf.

Editorial Reviews

Lee Bailey
The next best thing to having dinner at the marvelous Union Square Cafe is to know how to prepare the imaginative but simple dishes they create. You will find this book a joy. Congratulations, Danny and Michael.
Joyce Goldstein
Whenever I am in New York, the first restaurant I head for is Union Square Cafe, and it is no surprise that The Union Square Cafe Cookbook reflects the spirit of the restaurant. The recipes are clear and unpretentious and deliver great flavor without fussiness. The text is friendly and encouraging. Just reading the book made me want to get on a plane and visit. Until then, I can cook Union Square's food.
Robert M. Parker Jr.
I know of no other restaurant in America where I have enjoyed more innovative, satisfying, and delicious meals than at Union Square Cafe and now I have the next best thing to eating there—the recipes!
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Owner and executive chef, respectively, of Manhattan's lauded Union Square Cafe, founded in 1985, Meyer and Romano here open the kitchen door to readers curious about what goes into the restaurant's mingling of French, Italian and other cuisines. Their pumpkin flan, for example, is accompanied by whipped cream flavored with cinnamon; their bread salad can serve as a meal, a side or stuffing for roast meats. The book addresses appetizers, sandwiches, desserts, main courses, vegetables; a chapter called ``Pantry Staples'' gives recipes for stocks, sauces, mayonnaise and more. Especially impressive are their soft-shell crabs with carrot sauce; charred tomatoes, onions and mint; and mocha semifreddo with hazelnut dacquoise. Photos. 50,000 first printing; author tour; Homestyle Book Club main selection. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Meyer is the owner of the Union Square Cafe, a three-star New York City restaurant, and Romano has been chef there since 1988. Here they present the recipes for their most-loved dishes, some of which have been on the menu since the first day, along with chatty headnotes and wine suggestions from their well-known list. The style could be called Italian-inspired new American: Ratatouille-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and Hot Garlic Potato Chips are among the appetizers; entries range from Orange-Fennel Osso Buco to Peppered Rack of Venison with Dried Cherry Sauce. Some recipes are quite simple and suitable for a home kitchen, while others would be better enjoyed at the restaurant. Union Square Cafe is popular beyond New York City, and its cookbook is likely to be too. [HomeStyle Bks. main selection.]
Barbara Jacobs
Nutrition experts warn against food shopping when hungry. Similar advice might be given to reader-chefs browsing through the 160 recipes from Manhattan's Union Square Cafe--in other words, don't peruse it on an empty stomach. The mix of Mediterranean cuisines, with occasional Asian overtones, yields pleasant surprises, such as fried calamari with spicy anchovy mayonnaise, creamless mushroom soup, and sizzled soft-shell crabs with spicy carrot sauce. A hospitable spirit pervades this collection, accompanied by wine recommendations; many recipes, however, need the deft touch of an experienced cook.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
389 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Baked Ricotta and Spinach Tart

Serves 6 to 8

Inspired by a treasured Romano family recipe, this savory deep-dish tart is wonderful as an appetizer or as a meal in itself accompanied by a crisp salad. Served on the side, hot Tomato Coulis further enlivens the tart.

30 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (4 cups)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spinach, stemmed and cleaned
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup peeled and diced onion
11/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
1/4 pound prosciutto, diced (1 cup)
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1. Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth and allow to drain over a bowl, covered and refrigerated, for 2 hours.

2. To prepare the tart dough, combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Add the chilled butter and, using your fingertips or two knives, blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Work in the ice water until the dough holds together. Form the dough into a smooth, flat disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough into a 16--inch disk.Place the rolled-out dough into a 10 x 2 1/2 -inch-deep cake pan or springform mold.Pressing with your fingertips, flute the top edges of the dough.Place in the freezer and chill thoroughly, about 30 minutes.

4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat andsauté the spinach, stirring constantly until wilted, about 2 minutes.Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and half the pepper.Place the cooked spinach in a colander and drain.Chop fine and reserve.

5. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and cook the onion 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until translucent.Add the marjoram and prosciutto.Stir and cook an additional 2 minutes.Set aside.

6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the drained ricotta, spinach, onion, and prosciutto.Season with the nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper.Set aside.

8. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is set.Remove the foil and beans and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until the dough is light brown.

9. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.Spread the ricotta and spinach mixture evenly in the tart, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the filling is set and the top golden brown.Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes, slice into wedges, and serve.

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves 4

In this recipe, the salmon is seared on one side while the other side is flash-roasted in a hot oven.The richness of the fish is set off by the tangy and slightly sweet vinaigrette made with orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and herbs.A perfect accompaniment for this dish is Three-Grain Pilaf with Almonds and Shiitake Mushrooms.


3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 anchovy fillet, very finely minced (optional)
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
2 teaspoons each coarsely chopped parsley, basil,and mint
2 tablespoons finely minced orange zest
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


4 6-ounce skinless fillets of salmon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a glass jar, cover tightly, and shake vigorously.Reserve.

3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.In a skillet large enough to hold all the salmon, heat the olive oil over high heat. Place the salmon in the pan with its original skin side down.Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until medium rare, or longer if desired.Transfer the cooked salmon to a serving platter and keep warm while finishing the sauce.

4. Wipe out any olive oil remaining in the skillet and add the sauce.Heat through for a few seconds over high heat, spoon the sauce over the salmon, and serve.

Union Square Cafe Cookbook. Copyright © by Danny Meyer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Danny Meyer, a native of St. Louis, opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, in 1985 when he was twenty-seven, and went on to found the Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, North End Grill, Blue Smoke, and Shake Shack, as well as Jazz Standard, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient. Danny, his restaurants, and his chefs have earned an unprecedented twenty-five James Beard Awards. Danny's groundbreaking business book, Setting the Table, was a New York Times bestseller, and he has coauthored two cookbooks with his business partner, Chef Michael Romano. Danny lives in New York with his wife and children.

Michael Romano joined Union Square Cafe in 1988, preparing his unique style of American cuisine with an Italian soul. In 1993, Michael became Danny Meyer's partner. Under Michael's leadership, Union Square Cafe has been ranked Most Popular in New York City Zagat surveys for a record seven years. The restaurant also received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant of the Year. Michael has coauthored two cookbooks with Danny Meyer, The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Second Helpings. He is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards, including the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef in New York City in 2001, and in 2000, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >