Ruth Reichl Throws the Book at Max

Well, I’m officially wiping egg off my face, cooked a hundred ways.

I’ve been a vocal critic about our lack of cultural resources, but I totally missed the boat for three years with regard to one of our best ones, a used book store called Amber Unicorn. And it took Ruth Reichl, former Editor-In-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, to turn me on to the place.

Reichl was here on a visit last month, when she informed me she had spent the day there. She chatted with the owner, browsing the store’s 16,000 volume collection of cookbooks, and came away fascinated. I’d wager you will, too. Certainly I did, and I plan to visit often.

The store belongs to Myrna & Lou Donato, who’ve been open since 2008. Prior to that, they had a store that closed back in 1997, so they took an eleven year hiatus from the business. “My collection is always growing”, said Myrna, “and it was either open this store or get a bigger house.” She has, for the record, another 3,500 books at home.

For more on Amber Unicorn, follow Max Jacobson at



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