Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Okay, maybe we’re only at the “two is a coincidence” phase, but I have a feeling this homage to literature will continue. Recently spotted (as I write this, I hear Kristen Bell/Gossip Girl narrator in my head and I feel like I should finish this sentence with Chuck, Blair and the Upper East Side…) in kitchens across NoVA are cookbook displays in restaurants.
Torn pages from iconic cookbooks plaster the wall for a faux-DIY look. Owner Scot Harlan, a fourth generation Arlingtonian, lent his collection of brightly colored, much-prized Le Creuset pots and pans for a mini-museum piece in the middle of the dining room. The narrow walkway between the front bar and the dining room shows Harlan’s cookbooks: Behind a glass wall, dimly lit like a Smithsonian exhibit, James Beard cookbooks share shelf space with Momofuku’s dessert queen Christina Tosi. Nearby sits the six-volume, 2,400-page “Modernist Cuisine” series, selling on Amazon for over $450.
And at Mokomandy in Sterling, about a dozen and a half books on beer, wine, barbecue and charcuterie fill shelf near the open kitchen.
In a time when restaurants pay major bucks to design firms to highly stylize spaces, it’s nice to see a homey touch in the ultimate function-as-decoration. As Harlan says about Green Pig’s library, “I like my cooks looking at books. The more information the better.”
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Tags: Christina Tosi, cookbooks, Gossip Girl, Green Pig Bistro, Gut Check, James Beard, Kristen Bell, Le Creuset, Modernist Cuisine, Momofuku, Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia Magazine, NoVA, Scot Harlan, Stefanie Gans