In 18 brisk and detail-packed chapters William Sitwell, restaurant critic for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, offers a nimble look at the places that people have gone to eat out since the days of the Roman Empire.
Chiefly concerned with European history, Sitwell ignores the truism that the restaurant originated in eighteenth-century France. As he demonstrates with everything from street food in Pompei and the public kitchens by which the Ottoman sultans fed the public to the first recorded use of a tablecloth in London, people have paid to dine away from home for a very long time.
Sitwell’s scholarship is not groundbreaking, but he offers a lucid perspective on how dining out has changed and what has driven many of those changes. He’s also generous enough to include a bibliography for those whose interest in learning more is sparked by this book.
Hardcover. Color and b-&-w illustrations throughout.