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Neiman Marcus Cookbook    by John Garvin, John Harrison & Ellen Silverman order for
Neiman Marcus Cookbook
by John Garvin
Order:  USA  Can
Clarkson Potter, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I had the occasion to go to the Neiman Marcus restaurant in their store in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The food served was marvelous, the service impeccable, the ambience one of understated elegance. But best of all, I discovered they had a cookbook of the dishes presented in their restaurants. Fantastic! I quickly obtained a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookbook and embarked on a journey of discovery of the high end of the food chain. Don't skip the introduction, which explains that the cookbook came into being because of a celebration of 'fifty years of serving great foods at their great restaurants'.

The cookbook is a compilation of the 'special recipes that have contributed to the remarkable success of our Neiman Marcus restaurants', the first official Neiman Marcus cookbook. One of the recipes that started my digestive juices flowing was Summer Tomato Soup. What can be more divine than the taste of puréed fresh summer tomatoes laced with chicken broth and garlic? Speaking of chicken broth, a complimentary demitasse cup of their very own chicken broth starts each meal at a Neiman Marcus restaurant. Seemed unusual to me, when presented with my cup, but I could have drunk a gallon. Wonderful way to start a meal. Delicious, just warm enough, and redolent with kitchen smells from my own mother's kitchen. Another trademark food item, served with the broth, was a warm, mountainous popover with strawberry butter. To kill for. The recipes for both are included in the cookbook.

Each recipe in this lovely book is accompanied by brief information about the dish. The photographs are bright, clear, and terribly tempting. I am to be treated to lunch in Neiman Marcus on my birthday. I shall eat my whole popover, savoring every bit and sip my broth. I have decided I will have Pan-Fried Eastern Shore Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Remoulade, after a small cup of Roasted Tomato-Three Bean Soup with Asaigo Cheese and Herbs de Provence. I shall sip Old-Fashioned Lemonade. And if I have room, I shall nibble one of their famous Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Hey, it's for my birthday! Salivating yet? You should be. This lovely cookbook is crammed with delicious recipes from Soups through Sandwiches, Main Courses, and Desserts, with everything in between. The Neiman Marcus Cookbook makes a wonderful gift. But also it's one you'll want for yourself.

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