Absolutely wonderful. When Reichl agrees to become the restaurant critic for the NY Times, she has no idea how her life will change. Forced into disguises to see how the non-celebrity actually experiences a restaurant the story becomes unexpectedly analytical. But the gustatorial experiences are more than you can possibly imagine. Reichl brings the food to life, and we share her delight in the exquisite and her dismay at the meals that are hype with nothing to appreciate. She even includes recipes! I found myself wishing this book would go on and on.
Reichl has a flair for words and for description that makes this a wonderful read. She gives equal attention to people and food and brings everything together. Her stories and her personal development are alternately funny, sad, and sweet and a joy to read.
Fois gras, anyone? She seemed to eat a lot of that in this book. I enjoyed her lovely descriptions of the foods she sampled at New York's finest (and not so fine) restaurants. Her disguises were mostly funny, but sometimes poignant. The book has a really nice ending, too.
What a fun read! Ms. Reichl comes across as a truly human person while describing the most sensuous sounding food.
I love this book! This is the third in what I believe is a trilogy of memoirs by this author, and this is the best. Oh, I really did enjoy the other two, or I wouldn't have gotten this one, but by now she is happily married and a mother, so we don't have to read about her sex life anymore. (I know, this really ages me.)
But this is the story of when she takes the job as the NYT's food critic, and before she even begins her picture is plastered in all the restaurants so the staff will know her when she arrives.
Ha! She becomes a master of disguise with the help of this really neat old lady, and a lady with a wig shop who really knows her stuff. What is great about the author's writing is that everyone becomes a character in her books. Everyone. She graces us with the most tempting recipes, and even prints her actual reviews of the places she ate in where usually, she was treated pretty shabbily, until she would arrive as herself. The comparisons were shocking. I was hooked on this book from the first page and not once did my attention wander. This is the kind of book that I carried around, in case I got a free minute here and there.