Developer: Michael Gaylord
Runs on: iPhone
It’s tempting to pass over a cookbook app that touts just 42 restaurants when there are others containing thousands of recipes from hundreds of sources. I’m here to tell you that it would be a mistake. With 42 Restaurants, you get some of the world’s greatest recipes from the best food purveyors around the globe. This app is gorgeous, smooth and the participating restaurants boast 40 Michelin Stars collectively. In addition, many of the recipes are from James Beard Award-winning chefs. In short, this app is about quality over quantity.
When navigating, you get different benefits from using it in either landscape or portrait mode. In landscape, it presents snapshots of the various restaurants and their recipe on an order ticket holder. Swipe left or right to browse. Tap on the ticket and you get a short description of the recipe, the prep and cook time, the number it serves, plus an option to save the item as a favorite. This little ticket will also let you know if the restaurant has any Michelin Stars or if and where it ranks on the S. Pellegrino list of World’s 50 and 100 best restaurants.
Turn your phone into portrait mode and it really comes alive. A tap on a simple tab at the bottom of the screen will reveal the full navigation that includes: an overview, ingredients, method, restaurant, chef, photos, and share (e-mail). I think each of these is pretty self explanatory so all I will add is that each restaurant is given its own look and feel, which makes this app fresh and exciting. It feels like you’re getting a little taste of stepping into each one of these legendary establishments, from Nobu to The Spotted Pig. From each of these tickets, you can click on a phone number to immediately place a call (and maybe get a reservation in the next six months), see the location on a map, visit their website, send the information via e-mail, or view over 200 beautifully shot images.
Overall, this app delivers the best recipes from the best restaurants around the world. In terms of it being a cookbook app, it’s really good, but not the best I’ve seen. It’s clean, easy to follow, easy to navigate, but feels just a tad static for a device that offers sound, video, motion and more. I’d equate this app to the cookbook you bought and keep on your coffee table rather than your kitchen table. No matter where you find it, however, you’ll want to make a reservation and spend time with it.
Toque Rating: 4.5/5