Trendspotting: Cookbooks in Restaurants

Posted by / Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Mokomandy / Photo by Stefanie Gans

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. 

Green Pig Bistro uses a high-end collection to separate its bar area from the back room, plus, cookbook pages also act as wallpaper; from the August review:

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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