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Restaurant Man Hardcover – May 1 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023523
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every person who want to start a restaurant need to read this book.
it's a non issue.
Every details to run well a restaurant are in this book.

10/10 book.
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By Val on April 3 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have a new found respect for Joe Bastianich and was taught the ultimate lesson in 'do not judge a book by its cover'. Being an avid fan of his mom, Lidia, I had very limited knowledge about her son, Joe, and then I saw him on "Master Chef". My first reaction was "what an arrogant #×@". Then I just finished reading his book!
I love it! I totally get it and really respect his honesty, integrity, 'realness', and generosity in sharing the real experience of what it meant, and what it now means, to be successful in the restaurant business.
His writing style is like having a one-one conversation with him. His candor and swearing may not be appreciated by some women but, as an italian-Canadian male, I loved it! My mission now is to experience as many of his restaurants as possible.
I can go on and on but have to say that I wish him and his great family continued success as they deserve it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally on July 30 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, I disagreed with the use of so many 'f' words in the writing. It was not suitable for a serious reader. I could hardly think that Joe's operation style had made him a happy restaurant man. In his book, I did not see the positive humanity view or an universally sound reason to motivate himself and the people around him other than money. Sadly I saw that Joe's negative childhood experience with his family owned restaurant still drowning him from true happiness. However, I had to agree that Joe worked extremely hard and that he was tough.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nadia Dunne on Sept. 6 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book, it was entertaining and informative. Been to a few of the restaurants, think that's why I really enjoyed it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 129 reviews
57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Wow, this guy is obnoxious Aug. 15 2012
By Allynn T - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not often that I read a memoir and come away repelled by the author. The misogyny (one small example - see what kind of 'broad' a man is with at a restaurant to gauge how much to upsell him on wine), the preening and egotism, the rampant promotion of his restaurants and his wine, the self-satisfaction....what an arrogant, grasping, desperate-for-attention jerk this man is.

Upped my review to two stars from one because I did read the whole book, in appalled fascination about what self-congratulatory nonsense he'd come up with next. Shook my head at his description of Eataly as some sort of common man's piazza (at those prices? please), open-mouthed at his utter inability to admit failure (his bad restaurants were just ahead of their time - the ideas and food were always good, it was the customers that failed to comprehend the genius). And get comfortable for the long smug passages about his wine knowledge, wine brilliance, wine intelligence, infallible palate and memory for wine - you'll be reading for a while.

64 of 79 people found the following review helpful
10% readable; 90 % trash May 15 2012
By Peg L. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found portions of the book on how restaurants work to be interesting.

However...and this is a big however....Bastianich's ego, snobbery and fondess for swearing made only about 10% of this book worth reading.

And after reading the following, I felt very sorry for his wife: "What's the worst that could happen? You drink a bottle of wine that you don't fall in love with? You can 'F-Bomb' a lot of broads before you buy a diamond ring." Very nice. That attitude must really give his wife the warm and fuzzies.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Self-congratulatory and poorly written Sept. 30 2012
By R. Whitman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Joe Bastianich is a genius and a pioneer. Don't believe me? Just ask him; he'll tell you how much of the restaurant experience as we now know it he invented, over the course of 288 poorly written pages. It's not often you find yourself wishing that a memoirist had used a ghost writer, or a stronger editor for that matter, but I think either would have improved this vanity project.

Perhaps the best way to read this book would be to start at the end, where Bastianich writes of his children, who he clearly loves. He worries that they will never discover the ability to find their way in the world without relying on the family connections he has cultivated in the food industry or the wealth he has built and speaks of, perhaps excessively. He worries that they might never be able to start from scratch, with no help from others, as he did. If the reader then starts at the beginning of the book, where Bastianich details learning from his parents and then exploiting their food and wine industry connections in order to wander aimlessly in Europe as the indulged son of a successful mother, you realize the level of delusion of this "self-made" man. There's no doubting he has worked hard to achieve the success that brought the contract for this book but I'm certain there wouldn't be such a long list of restaurants to his credit without Lydia Bastianich and Mario Batali out in front, being much more likable than the Joe Bastianich presented in these pages.

The contradictions of being Joe Bastianich are legion. He seems to hold a disdain for celebrity chefs while his career seems to exist primarily because of two of them. He claims he didn't want to simply license his name to a Vegas restaurant (lazy and money-grubbing, he calls it) but then complains that Steve Wynn didn't "get" what he does and wanted him to actually be in the restaurant more than he or Batali was willing. He writes as though Manhattan were the only city that could ever appreciate his work properly, failing to mention the outposts of his dining empire in Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Bastianich calls himself a rule-breaker and a badass but I think referring to anyone as a badass is best done by their admirers and not by themselves, which brings us to this book's biggest weakness. Joe Bastianich is self-referential in this book to a degree that even Garth Brooks, Madonna or Jesus Christ would find tedious. Bar dining? He invented it. Italian wines? He got everyone drinking them. I kept turning pages wondering when I would be told that he invented cutlery and plates.

Bastianich is at once crude and over-reaching. His approach to this book seems to have been to overuse (and misuse) the words he learned in Philosophy 101, in order to impress the reader that he is something more than a Queens Gino (his phrase), while at the same time using crude and misogynistic language in adequate measure to ensure his credibility with the boys whose approval he craves.

Bastianich has achieved much in his career. It's too bad that he didn't lean more heavily toward an analysis of his own success instead of a long tribute to it. He acknowledges few mis-steps here, choosing to lay blame for his failures with customers who weren't savvy enough to comprehend his genius.

In the end, I found myself enjoying the book for the nuggets of insider knowledge dispensed on the restaurant industry but wading through too many pages between readable passages. That won't keep me from visiting the Batali-Bastianich restaurants but it wouldn't be in the hopes of meeting the author.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Just what you'd expect June 5 2012
By KGS - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows this guy is a jerk, so the book is no surprise. Sort of sad. Anyone this full of bluster and self-promotion must be terribly insecure.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
No Need To Prove You're Macho Sept. 23 2012
By MilfordDave - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, but the use of expletives to prove what a Macho Man he is is unnecessary. He seems to want to prove himself worthy of being in the company of his mother and Bruno. He is successful in his own right without adding to his image. The language only detracts from the worthiness of the book. In fact, it ruins it!!!

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