2nd Edition

On the Town in New York The Landmark History of Eating, Drinking, and Entertainments from the American Revolution to the Food Revolution

    408 Pages
    by Routledge

    408 Pages
    by Routledge

    This delightful, vividly detailed book takes you out on the town in New York from the American Revolution to today's Food Revolution. Michael and Ariane Batterberry, founders of Food and Wine magazine, detail a magnificent journey through the streets of New York, exploring the customs in eating, drinking and entertainment of both high and low culture. They take you into the dives of the Tenderloin and to the elaborate banquets of the Gilded Age. Whether they are talking about a saloon or the famous Astor House, they provide the most fascinating details from New York's richly diverse culinary history. First published in 1973 when New York seemed to be a city in decline, the original edition of On the Town in New York saw very little hope in the city's culinary future. Who could have known that New York was on the brink of a Food Revolution and a total reinvention of the American dining experience? Conceived to redress that miscalculation and to celebrate the thriving growth of dining out in New York, this anniversary edition of On the Town in New York contains a new afterward that picks up where the Batterberrys left off. All of the wonderful details of the original edition remain. We still find the vivid picture of the reception for Lafayette in 1824, the interesting birth of the cafeteria, as well as the description of an 1897 costume ball that cost $350,000. Even the recipe for the Algonquin's Famous Apple Pie is here for the traditionalists. What's new is the interesting tale of how New York came to be the restaurant capital of the world at a time when no one thought it possible. The Batterberrys combine their keen sense of New York's social history with their insider's knowledge of how the food and beverage industry reconceptualized itself to take advantage of the changing social fabric following the turbulent 60s. Here we find details of how the changing role of women, the influx of new immigrant communities, and the focus on nouvelle cuisine combined in unique ways to create a thriving dining industry rich in talent and celebrity. Delicious and irrisistable, this social history of New York will please anyone whose tasted the specialties of Chinatown, had a steak at Keen's or basked in the luxuries of the Rainbow Room.

    Acknowledgments, Chapter I. 1776-1800, Chapter II. 1800-1830, Chapter III. 1830-1860, Chapter IV. 1860-1914, Chapter V. 1914-1940, Chapter VI. 1940-1973, Afterword. The Coming of the American Food Revolution: 1973 to the Present, Bibliography, References, Index


    Michael and Ariane Batterberry are Founding Editors and Associate Publishers of Food Arts Magazine. They are the authors of numerous books, including Mirror, Mirror: A Social History of Fashion and many titles in the Discovering Art series.

    "Newcomers to the title will relish the detailed survey of New York history and food culture." -- The Midwest Book Review
    "...a rich stew of American history, both savory and social. There is no other work like it...this 25th anniversary edition is sure to remain a definitive account well into the next millennium." -- Market Watch
    "If you relish social history mixed with eating, drinking, and gossip tossed in, On the Town in New York, is a feast." -- Sheldon Landwehr
    "A stylish new history of the city's favorite pastime, On the Town in New York, puts the myth before the menu. Its authors, Michael and Ariane Batterberry, lard their assured, breezy, three century narrative with rich vignettes of famo us feasters, from Washington Irving to Salvador Dali." -- The New Yorker
    "...for those who want to know how the Astor's entertained or what it was like to dine at the original Delmonico's, [On the Town in New York] is a must." -- Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
    "This book will delight foodies everywhere." -- Nation's Restaurant News
    "Every revolution creates its chroniclers, its trumpeters, and its critics of the new order. The chroniclers of the modern American food revolution are Michael and Ariane Batterberry, and now their classic book, On the Town in New York, is being reissued with their updated commentary. This is good news for all who like to eat, drink, and read about it." -- Gay Talese
    "Scholarly, well-written, and extremely informative, On the Town in New York, by Michael and Ariane Batterberry, will appeal to anyone interested in food and food history. Newly updated, this book has even more relevance today than when it was originally published in 1973." -- Jacques Pepin
    "This 'Blue Plate Special' delivers the great taste memories of New York City's food history. It's a beautifully organized menu from all around the town filled with the poetry of the sidewalks of New York." -- Joe Baum of The Rainbow Room
    "...great fun, and an invaluable reference book." -- James Beard on the first edition
    "The best book ever written on the subject." -- Craig Claiborne on the first edition