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Restaurant Man [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Joe Bastianich , Inc. Brilliance Audio
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2012
How does a nice Italian boy from Queens turn his passion for food and wine into a nationwide empire? In his intrepid, irreverent, and terrifically entertaining memoir, Restaurant Man, Joe Bastianich charts his remarkable culinary journey from his parents’ neighborhood eatery to becoming one of the country’s most successful restaurateurs, along with his superstar chef partners—his mother, Lidia Bastianich, and Mario Batali. Joe first learned the ropes of the restaurant business from his father, Felice Bastianich, the original Restaurant Man, the ultrapragmatic and sharp-eyed owner of a popular red-sauce joint. But years of cleaning chickens and other kitchen drudgery convinced Joe that his destiny lay elsewhere. After a year on Wall Street, however, he realized that his love of food was by now too deeply ingrained, and after buying a one-way ticket to Italy, he spent over a year working in restaurants and vineyards there, developing his own taste and learning everything he could about Italian cuisine. Upon his return to New York, he partnered with his mother to open Becco and soon after joined forces with Mario Batali, an alliance that not only created a string of critically acclaimed and popular restaurants but redefined Italian food in America. Restaurant Man is not only a compelling ragù-to-riches chronicle but a look behind the scenes at what it really takes to run a restaurant in New York City, the most demanding, fickle, and passionate market in America, from dealing with shady vendors, avaricious landlords, and vitriolic food critics to day-to-day issues like the cost of linens (“the number-one evil”) and bread and butter. Writing vividly in an authentic New York style that is equal parts rock ’n’ roll and hard-ass, bottom-line business reality, Joe shares lessons learned from a lifetime spent in restaurants (“Anything you give away for free is bad”) while recounting the stories of his own establishments—including how Del Posto managed to overcome a menu that was initially so ambitious that it could not be executed, to ultimately become the only Italian restaurant in America to be awarded four-stars from The New York Times. Joe speaks frankly about friends and foes, but at the heart of the book is the mythical hero Restaurant Man, the old-school, blue-collar guy who stays true to the real secret of his success—watching costs but ferociously dedicating himself to exceeding his customers’ expectations and delivering the best dining experience in the world.

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Review

Restaurant Man by [Joe Bastianich is] a terrific trench level primer on the biz.”
(Anthony Bourdain)

“In Restaurant Man…Joe Bastianich has served up a very smart insider’s take on the New York City culinary scene as only and erudite and successful member of the secret society can do. The subtext of this love letter to the memory of his father is in itself a magnificent stand-alone dissertation. Joe pulls no punches and tells it exactly like it is in a way that punctuates the many oddities with brilliant black humor and scene-of-the-crime, matter-of-fact perspective. Restaurant Man will resonate with anyone who has come in contact with the world of food, entertainment, and wine or the cottage industry of scripted reality television it has spawned.”
(Mario Batali)

“[Restaurant Man is a] rambunctious memoir….Mr. Bastianich writes in a vigorous, swaggering style….a cross between Anthony Bourdain and Holden Caulfield.”

(Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal)

“Enthralling…. Funny, often surprising, and if anything, illuminating.”

(The New York Observer)

“A fascinating, brutally candid look at the realities of operating your own eatery.”
(People)

“Compulsory reading for anyone who dreams of someday opening an eatery….The lessons [Joe] Bastianich has to offer are important and fundamental.”
(Russ Parsons, LATimes.com)

“[Restaurant Man is] a wild ride that ends with a richer, happier, healthier man amazed at his survival, emotionally reconciled with his past and committed to nurturing his family and his culinary legacy.”
(Wine Spectator)

“[A] darkly humorous and gossipy memoir…[Joe Bastianich’s writing style] is reminiscent of Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential; Medium Raw) and covers some of the same territory.”
(Library Journal)

“Joe Bastianich tells it like it is….Restaurant Man is a brutally honest account of his rise from self-proclaimed Queens “punk” to a James Beard-winning restaurateur….[Restaurant Man] serves as an education—and a warning—to anyone who is thinking of entering the restaurant business.”
(The New York Daily News)

“[Restaurant Man] is a raw, throbbing nerve of a biography: if [Joe] Bastianich has any intellectual filters, he checks them at the door here, and Restaurant Man is the beter for it….This is the Some Girls of restaurant memoirs.”
(WashingtonPost.com)

“[Restaurant Man] is a combination of homage to food and wine, and tutelage on owning and managing restaurants….Restaurant Man serves as an education to anyone wanting to enter the restaurant business”
(PortlandFoodandDrink.com)

“[Restaurant Man is a] salty, rollicking memoir….[Joe Bastianich’s] forthrightness about the business nitty-gritty and his own failures and mistakes are bonus takeaways along the utterly readable way.”
(Publishers Weekly)

“[Joe Bastianich’s] easygoing voice and substantial knowledge of real Italian food (not the spaghetti-and-meatballs kind) will lure booklovers and food lovers alike…. Engrossing details of being the front man in a variety of thriving restaurants.”
(Kirkus)

“Joe Bastianich paints a refreshingly honest picture of what it takes for a restaurant to not just create an impeccable dining experience, but also turn a decent profit…. An entertaining read, a blend of heartfelt family history, practical advice, and insider stories.”

(www.StarChefs.com)

“One thing is for certain, after reading this book you look at your next restaurant visit in a different light.”

(Palm Beach Daily News)

“[Restaurant Man] is full of frank, personal revelations…but it’s also an eye-popping industry expose.”
(LoHud.com)

“A fascinating look at the nuts and bolts of running successful restaurants…. Offering tantalizing and deeply personal behind the scenes [sic] information about pricing, menu development, wines, hiring and firing.”

(www.NorwalkCitizenOnline.com)

“[Joe] Bastianich’s Restaurant Man rightfully sits alongside Anthony Bourdain’s seminal Kitchen Confidential, pulling readers into the complex inner workings of the restaurant industry…. It’s compulsively readable…. Unabashedly dishy.”

(www.FoodRepublic.com)

“An insight into the restaurant business that few offer in this way.... Read this book and you will never look at a restaurant the same way again. You will have a new and broader appreciation for what it takes to make the experience for you and what it costs to do it right…. Four stars.”

(The Opelika-Auburn News)

“A fantastic memoir…. Brutally honest, and one of the best memoirs of its kind since Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.

(The BookReport) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Joe Bastianich opened his first restaurant, Becco, with his mother, Lidia, in 1993. He and partner Mario Batali have since established some of New York’s most celebrated restaurants, including Babbo, Del Posto, Lupa, Esca, and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, as well as restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He also appears as a judge on Fox TV’s MasterChef.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By Haidji
Format:Hardcover
This book is a great read.
If you work or if you don't work in the restaurant industry, I'd recommend this book.
It is a great inside story of a hard business, an interesting look behind the scenes at one of the most successful restaurant groups in the world.
After reading it, well, all I can say is that I'll never walk into a restaurant the same way again.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars new found respect April 3 2014
By Val
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!
Valerio
Valerio
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I had expected July 30 2013
By Sally
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it 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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