Stunningly simple, wonderfully clear bright flavours, beautiful presentation. All the classic River Cafe features. I agree with mizmaggieb re the mozzarella chapter - but the salads and fish are also spectacular (I've done all the sea bass recipes multiple times - the favourite being the simplest of all - whole bass baked in sea salt). As with all RC recipes, success depends on decent ingredients - but if you have access to these, the book provides some truly wonderful suggestions for using them to best effect.
The chapters on baked fruit, lemon and chocolate / coffee chapters look fab too - tho have yet to try any of these.
This is a great cookbook, full of delicious, fresh, simple and sometimes surprising recipes.
The one thing that bugs me about this cookbook (and I'm going to sound annoyingly nit-picky) is that in all the photos, the pasta looks overcooked. You can just tell by looking at its color as well as the shapes it makes as the pasta curves.
"So what?" you say. Well, fair enough. Again, this is probably incredibly neurotic and ridiculous, but when I look at photos in a cookbook, I want them to serve as a visual guide to how the author thinks the food should look.
Because all the pasta looks overcooked, it makes me think that the food was prepared by a food stylist who as just trying to make the food look pretty. And along these lines, I am mystified by the picture of the twelve hour beef shank. All the ingredients are just thrown in the pot, raw. I just find that odd.
Ok. Now that I've gotten all those quirky thoughts about food photos off my chest, you should still go out and buy this book. I find myself turning to it often when I am out of inspiration.
Every photo is gorgeous, especially the several-page spread on mozzarella, recipes to go along with buffalo mozzarella. I love the pink and peach colors of the proscuitto and melon recipe photo. The pasta recipes are perfect.