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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-08 Delmonico, in New Orleans' lower French Quarter, is a vital part of the city's gustatory past: for 100 years, devoted regulars have been served lovingly prepared Creole food and cocktails. In 1997, New Orleans native and Food Network star Lagasse bought and remodeled the place, offering a menu drawing from the restaurant's history and using the chef's signature innovative methods to, well, kick things up. Absinthe is prominent in the cocktails section, and oysters play a leading role in the "Down by the River" chapter. Soups, salads, entrees and brunch fare vary from simple (Creamy Carrot & Apple Soup) to complex (Hickory Roasted Duck with White Cheddar Grits, Collard Greens, and Dried Cherry Cane Syrup Reduction); desserts show similar range, from crepes and puddings to Delmonico Fluff (a chocolate sundae). Purists will be delighted to find recipes for hamburger buns and mayonnaise; Lagasse also includes directions on stove-top duck smoking and even hard-boiling an egg. He pays tribute to the restaurant's former owners and staff in the book's dedication as well as in its color photos of old menus and other mementos. This is a nice melding of ideas and food present and past, classic and new. (On sale Oct. 4) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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