My all time favorite food critic, chef and famous restaurateur is Arthur Schwartz. I've seen him at Chef Central, he is a quick witted all time foodie... his love and knowledge in both Italian and Jewish Cooking is what he is known for. He used to be on WOR as the food critic, I heard he became a "hot head" and was off the air....it does not surprise me...but they've yet to fill that spot with someone as knowledgeable and entertaining.
His book "New York City Food" is a must have for any New Yorker, former New Yorker or wannabe New Yorker....that has an interest in Food! Published in 2005, it's still a favorite with terrific reviews! "New York City Food" is a cool combination of food history in the greatest city in the world combined with over 100 recipes. Having lived in NYC for many years, many of my favorite memories were and still are exploring the many neighborhoods and their ethnic cultures! Want to know the origins of "Steak Diane"? Porterhouse Steak? Lobster Newburg? NYC Pizza? Five chapters are devoted to the food and influences of the major (and many) immigrants who came to New York City: the Germans (from delicatessens to Luchows), the Jews, Italians, Irish, Chinese... Other chapters focus on what is quintessentially New York: hot dogs, and knishes! This book shows a pictorial and editorial history of New York through its foods and diverse cultures and communities. This is a great book to keep out and glance at...or give as a gift to someone with the same culinary interest... Arthur is frequently at many different food establishments, often plugging a new book.... he's well worth the trip!