Sweetbitter is the tantalizing coming of age story of 22-year old Tess who arrives in NYC to discover herself. Think Bright Lights Big City for a new generation with NYC’s elite restaurant scene as the backdrop. Tess is seduced and awakened by all of the tastes and experiences she encounters while learning the ropes as a backwaiter in an unnamed Union Square restaurant. She falls in love with the bar tender and under the watchful mentorship of the head waitress and ultimately caught in an emotional and complicated web that involves all three. Danler’s deft telling of the story gives the reader a front row seat to the sensual experience of tasting oysters for the first time, understanding the nuanced differences between an “over oaked and buttery” California chardonnay and a French Viognier, and discovering truffles. A great summer read for foodies, and literary lovers alike.— Linda McLoughlin Figel
INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A thrilling novel of the senses and a coming-of-age tale, following a small-town girl into the electrifying world of New York City and the education of a lifetime at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan. Perfect for readers of Kitchen Confidential and Blood, Bones and Butter. Twenty-two, and knowing no one, Tess leaves home to begin her adult life in New York City. Thus begins a year that is both enchanting and punishing, in a low-level job at "the best restaurant in New York City." Grueling hours and a steep culinary learning curve awaken her to the beauty of oysters, the finest Champagnes, the appellations of Burgundy. At the same time, she opens herself to friendships--and love--set against the backdrop of dive bars and late nights. As her appetites sharpen--for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging--Tess is drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle that will prove to be her most exhilarating and painful lesson of all. Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant--conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, and suggestions below the surface. Evoking the infinite possibility of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy, Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the wisdom that comes from experience, sweet and bitter.
About the Author
STEPHANIE DANLER is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School.