Today’s read: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
A lost twenty-two year old flees to New York City and immerses herself in the delicious, seductive, and destructive world of high end restaurant service in the early 2000s.
A 4. This pretty decent hunk of a novel (350+ pages of small print) didn’t last long in my hot little hands!
I loved this book! The protagonist is complicated, confused, self destructive, and much smarter than she realizes. I grew maternally fond of her as the story unfolded and she made her choices, both good and cringe-worthy. The pain and pleasure she experiences in her first taste of adult life (at a breakneck New York City pace) is a little wild, but still relatable.
The real star of this book, though, is the romantic, manic, high-cultured world of restaurant service and gastronomy at a Union Square Cafe doppelgänger. (Dinner at the USC as a young adult was my first true fine dining experience, and I still remember the magic of it like it was yesterday.) If you’ve ever fantasized about being a cook, server, or sommelier at one of these amazing temples of gastronomy, you will eat up every detail.