There is only one Harry’s Bar. Located on Venice’s Calle Vallaresso, near the Piazza San Marco, this legendary restaurant has been, for five decades, the meeting place for artists, writers, royalty, maestros, divas, celebrities, the very rich, and lots of ordinary—but very wise—Americans and Europeans. Everyone from the Windsors and the Onassises and the Burtons to Cole Porter; Ernest Hemingway, and Joan Crawford has come here for great food, fine drinks, and the incomparable ambiance. Now, to the delight of his legions of customers, Arrigo Cipriani shares his favorite stories about Harry’s Bar and its secrets–and reveals for the first time his treasured recipes for the restaurant’s most popular dishes.
Harry’s Bar above all, is a bar. Its distinctive mixed drinks were created by its founder, Arrigo’s father, Giuseppe Cipriani, and they remain the social center of the establishment. Therefore, you’ll find careful instructions for making the world-famous Belini—the frosty, frothy combination of rose-colored peach elixir and Prosecco (the Italian champagne)—and the secret of making the Montgomery, named by Hemingway himself, which is nothing less than the driest, most delicious martini in the world.
Harry’s Bar is also famous for its sandwiches–mouth-watering, overstuffed, unique concoctions: pale yellow egg sandwiches spiked with anchovies; chunks of freshly poached chicken or shrimp bound with creamy, newly made mayonnaise. The Harry’s Bar club sandwich is a legend in itself, knife-and fork food that’s simply superb.
But the bar’s famous risottos and the dozens of pasta dishes—including ravioli, cannelloni, and tagliolini—are the house specialties. Potato gnocchi and simple country food such as polenta, squid, baccala, and beans are transformed into elegant dishes by skillful chefs. Cipriani also invented the sublime dish known as carpaccio and the glorious risotto alla primavera, brilliant ideas that have been imitated all over the world; the original appear here for the first time.
The secret of Harry’s Bar is not only its great drinks and magnificent food, but also its extraordinary atmosphere, in which high spirits pour forth happily. Arrigo Cipriani captures this spirit and tradition, and delivers it all in his own inimitable style. Opinionated and full of surprises, Cipriani ultimately reveals not only the secrets of his kitchen and bar but also the lavish, full color photographs by Christopher Baker make the feast a visual one as well. The Harry’s Bar Cookbook is much more than a cookbook: it’s a enduring experience to be savored and enjoyed.
About the Author
Arrigo (Harry) Cipriani, aside from carrying on his father s legacy by running the famous bar, is a novelist and frequent contributor to several Italian dailies and magazines. He lives in Venice, Italy.