We’re all staying at home these days filling our time with baking projects (everyone seems to be baking sourdough bread) or mixing a cocktail for the quarantini happy hour on Zoom with friends across town. Like you, we miss going out to support our favorite restaurants and bars that make up the fabric of New York City. Luckily, many of our go-to spots have books we can turn to recreate the dish or drink we miss most. A hearty cassoulet or that perfect gin and tonic? The following books have you got you covered and more.
The Basque Book by Alex Raij with Eder Montero and Rebecca Flint Marx
The Basque Country may be well-known for its many celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants (not that anyone is dining out these days), but chef Alex Raij and Eder Montero have brought life to the soulful cooking of the Spanish countryside diners have come to love at their popular restaurants (Txikito, El Quinto Pino, La Vara and Saint Julivert). You can tackle easy recipes of small plates perfect for a cocktail hour or if you’re more ambitious, the cider house-style prime dry-aged ribeye steak is always a crowd pleaser.
Boqueria by Marc Vidal and Yann de Rochefort with Zach Bezunartea
You can bring a slice of Barcelona into your New York apartment with Boqueria, from one of our favorite destinations for tapas in the city. Chef Marc Vidal breaks down a daunting paella recipe that’s manageable for the home cook but there are plenty of Spanish classics to experiment with as well.
Buvette by Jody Williams
You probably don’t have an espresso machine to make those fluffy scrambled eggs we adore at Jody Williams’ quaint French bistro located on a tree-lined block of the West Village. Until we can come back to one of our favorite restaurants in New York, we’ll settle for making our own duck eggs with brown butter and sage or a more healthful fava bean salad to bring back all those taste memories.
Death & Co and Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan
Cocktail enthusiasts have flocked to this East Village gem for its expertly-crafted libations. While it’s always been difficult to score a seat in the this tiny bar, you can recreate concise recipes for favorites like the New Orleans-inspired Sazerac or refreshing Moscow Mule for your quarantini ritual. The latest bonus? Cocktail Codex was recently published and you can buy the first book with it as a set perfect for you coffee table or bar.
Dinner at the Long Table by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn with Scarlett Lindeman
Andrew Tarlow’s mini empire of Brooklyn hits started with Diner, and his ability to create a sense of community in his follow-up restaurants is also display in this book, which features recipes for creating feasts as easily as every night dinners.
The Frankie's Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo and Peter Meehan
When we’re craving the comforts of red sauce classics, the Frankie’s cookbook is full of reliable recipes guaranteed to keep us satiated. While the meatball and tomato sauce recipe takes up to four hours, it’s mostly hands-off and what you end up is a pot of deeply-flavored marinara that also freezes beautifully when you don’t want to cook all day long.
The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony and Dorothy Kalins
A New York mainstay since opening in 1994, fans of Gramercy Tavern have come to rely on the comforts of chef Michael Anthony’s seasonal cooking. The 125 recipes in this book help you recreate the comforts of a dining room renowned for its wood-fired warmth and American fare with a side of Danny Meyer’s hospitality (his Union Square Hospitality Group started USHG HUGS to support employees out of work because of the pandemic).
Mina Stone: Cooking for Artists by Mina Stone
Long before chef Mina Stone opened Mina’s at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, she had been cooking for artists all over the city. She spent five years whipping up her Greek-inspired dishes for lunches at Urs Fischer’s studio and helped throw dinners at private galleries in New York. It’s not a surprise that the recipes taste as good as they look in this design-centric tome.
The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying
When Danny Bowien brought his restaurant Mission Chinese—which started in the Bay Area, to New York—it was a game changer. Fusion food had a bad rep, but when you tasted his fiery dishes, it was clear his take on Asian dishes was a nod to nostalgic recipes as much as his creative flair as a chef. In many ways, his bi-coastal restaurant made dining out fun and with this cookbook, you can bring the same recipes to your own table.
Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske
If you could thank one person for all the sophisticated cocktail bars in New York (and around the world) today, it would no doubt be Sasha Petraske. His Lower East Side boite, Milk & Honey, was revolutionary when it opened more than 20 years ago. The talented Petraske trained countless bartenders to create simple-yet-sophisticated cocktails that elevated everyone’s drinking experience. Georgette Moger-Petraske captures her late husband’s wisdom and inspirations elegantly in a book that all bartenders will turn to for years. [Editor’s note: Ong and Moger-Petraske were former roommates.]