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If there's one thing I love, it's dining out. I love being able to sit down at restaurants, get waited on, hear about new wine pairings for the food, and have an entire menu just ready at my fingertips. Unfortunately, my wallet doesn't love dining out nearly as much as I do.
On average, a person can expect to pay anywhere from $11 to upwards of $40 for a single serving at a restaurant. That's just not good financial sense! So, what's a foodie who loves a night out to do?
Well, if you're like me, you will start looking for restaurant cookbooks that bring the flavor home to you. These picks have served me well, and I'm certain they'll do the same for you.
Cheers to the Publican, Repast and Present: Recipes and Ramblings from an American Beer Hall by Paul Kahan
American beer halls are strange things. They are retro, yet modern. They hold a huge amount of our culture, and yet often end up being glossed over by culture critics because they are so common in their own unique way.
Cheers to the Publican is a cookbook that features recipes from Chicago's own Publican restaurant—recipes that have become a part of our unique drinking culture for years. A classic for beer fans, these recipes will pair beautifully with any booze you get.
It's a narrative-rich, award-winning guide, which provides you amazing recipes featuring seafood, pork, and other mouthwatering goodies. Restaurant cookbooks never looked so drinker-friendly. Bon appétit!
Heritage by Sean Brock
Sean Brock isn't the mastermind of just one award-winning restaurant. He's helped make TWO come to life. As the chef behind McRady's and Husk, he brought his Southern heritage to life in ways that wowed tastebuds and shocked the world.
Now, you can gear up to make roast chicken, sweet potato pie, and other Southern delights too. Your next dinner party is going to be a blast, especially if you love down-home cooking.
Heritage won the James Beard award, making it a great go-to for foodies. too.
Momofuku by David Chang
Few restaurant cookbooks are as famous or as well known as Momofuku. This best-selling recipe book offers up the very same recipes that are used within the world famous Momofuku restaurant, a must-eat place in New York City.
Anyone who wants to try divine Japanese treats has to grab this book. The recipes inside are surprisingly easy to make, yet involved enough to have you appreciate the craftsmanship of Momofuku's cooks.
I'll be brief; it's a best-seller for a reason.
Ivan Ramen by Ivan Orkin
Believe it or not, one of the hottest ramen noodle restaurants in Tokyo isn't run by a Japanese person. Rather, it's run by an expat known as Ivan Orkin—a man who is completely, totally, and utterly obsessed with ramen. His restaurant received the approval of the best chefs in Japan.
Now, he also has one of the best restaurant cookbooks totally devoted to cool ways to make ramen taste better. If you love ramen (and I don't mean that gross Top Maruchan stuff from college!) and want to cook like a sushi chef, you will want to get Ivan Ramen into your library.
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
If you love fine dining, and I mean *really* love fine dining, The French Laundry is probably your Mecca. This restaurant is considered to be the pinnacle of gourmet food, and has become the gold standard for what fine fare is.
Thomas Keller, head chef of The French Laundry, released a series of restaurant cookbooks based on his work. Though we could select from any major edition from the Thomas Keller Library, the original The French Laundry Cookbook is still his greatest work.
It's a restaurant cookbook that doesn't just deliver recipes; it delivers a challenge to become the greatest chef you can be. What more could a foodie want?
Eleven Madison Park by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
You can't really say that you're going to Eleven Madison Park without sounding like you're bragging. It's a restaurant that has become notorious for its hyper-elegant flair, decadent tasting menus, and extremely high prices.
This is the kind of place where you go to experience French cuisine in a way that is often just relegated to the days of the past. Here, people get real, traditional French cooking in the heart of New York City.
Eleven Madison Park offers insight into the world of one of the most elite restaurants to ever grace the foodie scene.
Alinea by Grant Achatz
Alinea has become another major restaurant in the fine dining world, in no small part due to Grant Achatz's brilliant management and recipe creation skills.
Alinea shows the world what it takes to cook like a master chef at his restaurant. It's a challenging book that educates people on fine dining, while also offering up mouthwatering recipes that are worthy of the Alinea name.
Modern, sophisticated, and tasteful—just like Alinea.
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by Rene Redzepi
If you're looking for restaurant cookbooks that would impress global eaters, then you need to check out Noma, an exotic cookbook that offers up a modernized take on Nordic cuisine.
Rene Redzepi's Noma restaurant has become the talk of Copenhagen thanks to its upscale renditions of classic Nordic cuisine. This book has been called one of the most important cookbooks in recent years, and once you try the recipes, you'll see why.
You will love the savory seafood, creamy potato dishes, and just-tart-enough treats!
wd~50: The Cookbook by Wylie Dufresne
How wild do you like your food to be? Are you willing to get daring? Are you willing to walk on the bleeding edge of New York City's extreme food scene? If so, you're going to want to get wd~50: The Cookbook.
Wylie Dufresne's wd~50 restaurant blended classic New York City favorites like lox and bagels with the best that modern cooking had to offer. The end result was a smash hit restaurant that appealed to people throughout the United States.
His cookbook reveals the secrets to his great cooking and gives you the recipes that put wd~50 on the map. Expect great things...and maybe a little weight gain!
State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski, and JJ Goode
State Bird is one of the best, Michelin-starred restaurants in America right now, and that means you can expect amazing things from their restaurant cookbooks. This restaurant cookbook helps you bring flavor home with you, and has become pretty notorious for offering great meat-centric meals.
If you're a fan of satisfying meals that will make people raise a toast to your prowess, you should absolutely pick up State Bird. The step-by-step instructions take the guesswork out of dinner, and will bring a smile to your face.