Explore New York restaurant Balthazar and everything that makes it iconic in this brilliantly revealing book that celebrates the brasserie’s twentieth anniversary. Keith McNally, star restauranteur, gave author Reggie Nadelson unprecedented access to his legendary Soho brasserie, its staff, the archives, and the kitchens. Journalist Nadelson, who has covered restaurants and food for decades on both sides of the Atlantic, recounts the history of the French brasserie and how Keith McNally reinvented the concept for New York City.
At Balthazar is an irresistible, mouthwatering narrative, driven by the drama of a restaurant that serves half a million meals a year, employs over two hundred people, and has operated on a twenty-four hour cycle for twenty years. Upstairs and down, good times and bad, Nadelson explores the intricacies of the restaurant’s every aspect, interviewing the chef, waiters, bartenders, dishwashers—the human element of the beautifully oiled machine.
With evocative color photographs by Peter Nelson, sixteen new recipes from Balthazar Executive Chef Shane McBride and head bakers Paula Oland and Mark Tasker, At Balthazar voluptuously celebrates an amazing institution.
Granted unlimited access to Balthazar, one of N.Y.C.'s preeminent bistros, journalist and novelist Nadelson (Blood Count) has produced a gilded portrait. Balthazar was the brainchild of restaurateur Keith McNally, and transplanted French tradition to Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood, becoming a center for expense-account tourism. Nadelson, a native New Yorker, scopes the restaurant from the labyrinth basement to the grand tilted dining-room mirrors, profiling busboys and sous chefs while also venturing to a Kansas slaughterhouse and Bordeaux vineyard in an effort to encompass the entire Balthazar food chain. Her exploration leads her into the history of SoHo, New York, bistros, and Paris. Balthazar was Nadelson's breakfast nook for years and her praise is unstinting: she depicts food, ambience, and staff as flawless, with McNally the (remote) nonpareil. A guilty confession that she doesn't like oysters not even Balthazar oysters is as hard as Nadelson hits. All that being said, Nadelson offers artful depictions of the evanescent magic that dining out can provide; few who read this book will be able to resist making a reservation.