Where Pastries and Literature Meet: Notes on Archestratus Books


“Eat greedily.”

Thus spake Archestratus, perhaps our foremost Epicurean forebear, author of The Life of Luxury, an ancient cookbook in verse, and a man said to have “Sailed round the inhabited world for the sake of his belly.” Who, traipsing about the blocks of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, could not identify with his sentiment? So many delicious things to eat, from Achilles Heel to the River Styx!

Paige Lipari, the founder and owner of the new Archestratus Books at 160 Huron Street, has anticipated your hunger and has prepared for you a feast. She will be baking sweet and savory Sicilian pastries of which the original Sicilian chef de cuisine would be proud—we speak here of Lipari’s Nona, of course (think twenty-plate Sunday dinner, sit time: seven hours), in whose kitchen Lipari got her start. But that is not all—Paige Lipari is of that rarer breed: a foodie who reads.

Lipari is a former editor of literary magazine A Public Space and a former book buyer at McNally Jackson, that meticulously curated bastion of taste across the river, and her pedigree shows. Archestratus boasts a collection of recipes, food fiction, and poetry fit for its namesake. On her shelves, the books of Michael Pollan and Marcel Proust rest comfortably together. The effect is of an eclectic and well-planned dinner party.

Archestratus Books will open this evening, Friday, October 2, at 7 pm. Delights of all kinds will be on offer. Swill, chat, and browse greedily.

David Richardson is a writer, editor, and teacher living in New York.

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