Diner: Day for Night
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Was Brooklyn hip before Diner opened in Williamsburg on New Year’s Eve between 1998 and 1999? Maybe it was already on the way. But the restaurant crystallized something that was in the air, changing the way people ate out in the borough and in New York City.
Diner: Day for Night is a tribute to that time and what has come after. It’s as much as a photo journal as it is a cookbook, though it does offer four very full seasonal menus with recipes, capturing the wide-ranging, Euro-inspired dishes that helped define a large part of the New York dining scene over the last several decades and remain popular.
- Toast with hard-boiled egg and ramp salsa verde
- Spring greens with soft herbs and goat cheese
- Panzanella with green garlic, arugula, and prosciutto
- Asparagus with tahini sauce and wilted frilly mustard greens
- Sean’s braised artichokes with white wine
- Braised beef with roasted turnips, boiled potatoes, and mustard vinaigrette
- Skate with skordalia, bronze fennel, and herb salad
- Risotto with leeks, peas, pea shoots, and pecorino
- Lamb leg steak with Swiss chard and flageolet
- Brick chicken with spinach and green garlic
- Cherry clafoutis
- Basque cheesecake
The recipes are presented without commentary, which doesn’t lessen their appeal. But there’s a degree to which Diner takes it for granted that you’re already aware of the key figures in its story, that you’re part of the club, that you know whether the person in a photo is central to the greater arc or if their presence one night is proof of the story’s texture.
And that’s part of the mystique the restaurant has created.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.