The Restaurant: A History of Eating Out by William Sitwell review — a feast of historical titbits – The Times

Restaurant News

What is it about restaurants that we’re most missing? Is it restaurant-only treats, such as sweet potato fries served vertically in a chrome beaker with a greaseproof-paper lining? (I miss those.) Or is it the ambience? The simple magic of casting off the domestic self, enabling that vital recharging of relationships that only seems to happen during the first bite of restaurant bread and butter washed down with the first sip of ice-cold white wine poured by someone else?

Whether it’s the food or the ambience, we’re given a welcome reminder of both in William Sitwell’s warm-hearted romp through the history of eating out, from the food stalls of Pompeii, via the “sharing dishes” of the Ottoman Empire, to the first mention of a tablecloth

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