Comments: The owner of three well-known Napa Valley restaurants – Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, and Go Fish – Cindy Pawlcyn provides 40 recipes for small-plates and sampler-sized starters. Unlike many chef's cookbooks, this is not overwhelming in complexity or in the length of the ingredients lists or obscurity of the ingredients. A few uncommon ones sneak through – Basque chile powder, for example, but on the whole, these are no-nonsense recipes that a reasonably competent cook will love making.
There are some unusual choices, such as Parsnip and Mushroom Lasagna, Grape and Almond Gazpacho, and Grilled Yam and Potatoes with Harissa. Other dishes, such as the Duck, Olive and Fig Skewers; the Porcini Mushroom Pot Pies; the Asparagus and Truffle Butter Toasts; and Mustards Famous Onion Rings, look exceptional.
The "book" is really a spiral-bound easel, which works well, but because of space limitations, there are a few recipes where it can be a little difficult to tell where ingredients for one part of a recipe stop and those for another begin. For example, the Avocado Papaya Salad, which looks delicious, asks you to combine all the dressing ingredients. It is clear where the dressing ingredients start, but not exactly where they stop. You'll figure it out, but it could be a little easier.