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Friday, March 7, 2014


THE AL TIRAMISU RESTAURANT COOKBOOK; an elevated approach to authentic Italian cuisine (CreateSpace, 2013, 382 pages, ISBN 978-1-491205327, $40 US paper covers) is by chef-owner Luigi Diotaiuti, who is also a certified sommelier. In 1996 he opened Al Tiramisu in Washington, DC, and it is now a home for many politicians. It has also won awards for Italian cooking, from Italy, as "authentic". He's joined here by food writer/celebrity/opinionmaker Amy Riolo. In addition to about 100 recipes pulled from the restaurant, there is a bit of history of Italian food, Al Tiramisu, and Diotaiuti. The four major chapters each cover antipasti through dolci: one chapter is on the restaurant, another on the beginnings of Italian food, a third on Diotaiuti's travels, and finally the fourth deals with his life in America. That's roughly 25 preps a chapter. There are historical and family photos, as well as engaging mini-stories and tips after each recipe. Wine choices are also listed. Each recipe is special to Diotaiuti – fava beans with chicory, grilled sea bass with asparagus and potatoes, grilled veal chops with dried figs and port reduction, and sweet carnival fritters. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. The typeface size is large, a bonus for aging eyes, and this carries through to the index of principal plates. Both the Italian and the English name of the dish is included. A good, passionate family history and recipe sourcebook, and a great idea for patrons of the restaurant. It can be bought at the restaurant or through the publisher's website
Quality/price rating: 87.


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