by Joyce Esersky Goldstein, Evan Goldstein, Angela Wyant (Photographer)
Dating back to ancient Rome, the enoteca, or wine bar where people gather to relax, chat, taste regional wines and munch on bruschette is popular again. Goldstein (Sephardic Flavors) captures this slow, sociable way of life with over 70 recipes from more than 30 enotecas in Italy, from Fried Zucchini Blossoms from Osteria del Vicolo Nuovo (near Bologna) to Roman Meat Loaf, from Rome’s Bottega del Vino di Anacleto Bleve. Each recipe comes with suggested matching wines chosen by the author’s son, sommelier Evan Goldstein, which are adequate, but not exhaustive. Tantalizing finger foods such as Meat-Stuffed Deep-Fried Olives and Saffron Rice Croquettes are the book’s strength, but there are plenty of entrées, too, such as Sicilian Swordfish Rolls and Baked Clams with Oregano. Crab Salad on Polenta Crostini or Sweet Pepper Ragout serve as lunches, with Mascarpone and Fruit Tart or even Fig Salami with cheese to finish it off. Home cooks will appreciate Goldstein’s glossary of Italian cheeses and her impressive bibliography. Overall, this is an elegant, charming and easy-to-use book, with well-chosen recipes for light meals or snacks. Luminous color photos.