Restaurant Man

( 25 )

Overview


“The best, funniest, most revealing inside look at the restaurant biz since Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.” —Jay McInerney

With a new foreword by Mario Batali

Joe Bastianich is unquestionably one of the most successful restaurateurs in America—if not the world. So how did a nice Italian boy from Queens turn his passion for food and wine into an empire? In Restaurant Man, Joe charts a remarkable journey that first began in his ...

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Restaurant Man

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Overview


“The best, funniest, most revealing inside look at the restaurant biz since Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.” —Jay McInerney

With a new foreword by Mario Batali

Joe Bastianich is unquestionably one of the most successful restaurateurs in America—if not the world. So how did a nice Italian boy from Queens turn his passion for food and wine into an empire? In Restaurant Man, Joe charts a remarkable journey that first began in his parents’ neighborhood eatery. Along the way, he shares fascinating stories about his establishments and his superstar chef par tners—his mother, Lidia Bastianich, and Mario Batali.

Ever since Anthony Bourdain whet literary palates with Kitchen Confidential, restaurant memoirs have been mainstays of the bestseller lists. Serving up equal parts rock ’n’ roll and hard-ass business reality, Restaurant Man is a compelling ragu-to-riches chronicle that foodies, businessmen, and aspiring restauranteurs alike will be hankering to read.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Joe Bastianich comes from restaurant roots. His mother is famed Italian chef Lidia Bastianich and his father, a veteran restaurateur. As a young man, Joe worked on Wall Street as a bond trader, but after just a year, he yielded to his family genes and took off to Italy to learn the food and wine business from the masters. On his return, he jumped in with aplomb, joining his mother and Mario Batali to open Babbo, which would become the first four-star Italian restaurant in this country. His memoir will both surprise and please: Instead of a feigned condescending elegance, Bastianich offers Queens spunk and candor as he shares insider insights about eateries, upscale and ordinary. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
The restaurateur/wine producer—and rising television (MasterChef) personality, behind Batali et al.—charts his personal and professional journey in this salty, rollicking memoir. Bastianich’s father, Felice, owned an Italian restaurant in Queens where the young author learned the business alongside his mother and now-famous chef, Lidia. The family spent summers on the Italian-Yugoslav border, where local foods, wines, and the people behind them made a deep and lasting impression. Through lessons at home, at the family restaurant, at school, and on the streets, including time on Wall Street during the early 1990s, Bastianich sought his own identity. The strong pull of his heritage and its food and wine, however, soon transformed him into a “restaurant man” like his father. Early lessons came hard, even while his family history helped, and success did, too. His meeting with Mario Batali and the opening of their first joint project, along with his own winemaking and wine-selling ventures rewrote contemporary Italian cuisine. Though the author takes gutsy credit for innovations like the “everything bagel” and bar dining, his forthrightness about the business nitty-gritty and his own failures and mistakes are bonus takeaways along the utterly readable way. (June)
Anthony Bourdain
Restaurant Man by [Joe Bastianich is] a terrific trench level primer on the biz.”
Mario Batali
“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.”
Moira Hodgson
“[Restaurant Man is a] rambunctious memoir….Mr. Bastianich writes in a vigorous, swaggering style….a cross between Anthony Bourdain and Holden Caulfield.”
The New York Observer
“Enthralling…. Funny, often surprising, and if anything, illuminating.”
People
“A fascinating, brutally candid look at the realities of operating your own eatery.”
Russ Parsons
“Compulsory reading for anyone who dreams of someday opening an eatery….The lessons [Joe] Bastianich has to offer are important and fundamental.”
Wine Spectator
“[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.”
The New York Daily News
“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.”
WashingtonPost.com
“[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.”
PortlandFoodandDrink.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”
www.StarChefs.com
“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.”
Palm Beach Daily News
“One thing is for certain, after reading this book you look at your next restaurant visit in a different light.”
LoHud.com
“[Restaurant Man] is full of frank, personal revelations…but it’s also an eye-popping industry expose.”
www.NorwalkCitizenOnline.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.FoodRepublic.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.”
The Opelika-Auburn News
“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 BookReport
“A fantastic memoir…. Brutally honest, and one of the best memoirs of its kind since Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
Library Journal
Bastianich's insider's view of the New York wine and restaurant world is either straightforward, in-your-face, or just plain crude, depending on the reader's tolerance for four-letter words and descriptions like "arrogant douche bag" and "pretentious tool" (and those are the guys he respects). Bastianich, son of cookbook author and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, is a self-described wine savant, who has opened a generous handful of successful New York eateries, often in partnership with Mario Batali (e.g., Babbo). His darkly humorous and gossipy memoir begins with his philosophy: appear to be generous but keep an eagle eye on the bottom line. This narrative has something to offend everybody, from Jesuit priests (fat) to Irish girls (easy) to professional waiters (bitter), Beverly Hills ("makes me want to barf"), and foodies ("spoiled kids"). VERDICT Whatever readers may think of Bastianich's writing style, he knows food, wine, and the restaurant business. The combative assessment of patrons, chefs, and critics is reminiscent of Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential; Medium Raw) and covers some of the same territory. Best for those considering work in the restaurant field or who want to sit on the stoop after hours and dish about the inner workings of the high-stakes wine and food industry in New York City. [See Prepub Alert, 11/21/12.]—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch. Lib., Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
A frank and funny memoir of a successful New York restaurateur. Distinctly Italian with a twist of Queens, Bastianich displays a palpable love of good Italian food and wine throughout his humorous reflections on how he became one of the best-known restaurant owners in New York City. From his early days as a dishwasher and busboy in his parents' Italian restaurant (his mother is famed chef Lidia Bastianich), the author learned the basics of restaurant management--e.g., "your margins are three times your cost on everything"; "you have to appear to be generous, but you have to be inherently a cheap fuck to make it work"; "no bottle of wine costs more than five dollars to make." After a stint in Wall Street and a wild time in Italy working in restaurants and vineyards, Bastianich returned to New York, unable to deny his "biological imperative." Using the maxims his father had taught him, he launched his own restaurant, Becco, and from there the direction was only up. He and his business partner, Mario Batali, moved on to open many other prosperous Italian eateries, culminating in his part ownership of Del Posto, the only four-star Italian restaurant in America. Despite his liberal use of the f-bomb, the author's easygoing voice and substantial knowledge of real Italian food (not the spaghetti-and-meatballs kind) will lure booklovers and food lovers alike. Oenophiles will appreciate Bastianich's rich descriptions of the many Italian wines he recommends and his savant-like ability to recall and identify the tens of thousands of wines he has tasted since his childhood. Engrossing details of being the front man in a variety of thriving restaurants.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142196847
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 275,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Chapter 1 Restaurant Man 13

Chapter 2 Queens Boulevard 35

Chapter 3 Joe Stalin's Stratocaster 58

Chapter 4 Eat to Live/Live to Eat 86

Chapter 5 Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid 103

Chapter 6 From Blue Nun to Barolo 132

Chapter 7 Don't You Know? Busboys Run the Show 155

Chapter 8 Babbo: Primi 176

Chapter 9 Babbo: Secondi 196

Chapter 10 Heroes and Villains 215

Chapter 11 Sour Grapes 235

Chapter 12 Romulus, Remus, and Me 265

Chapter 13 Pirate Love 291

Chapter 14 The Curse of Restaurant Man! 315

Chapter 15 * * * * 329

Chapter 16 Don't Shoot the Piano Player 353

Chapter 17 No, You Can't Sit Down 367

Chapter 18 That's Right, the Women Are Smarter 384

Chapter 19 Game Changer 406

Chapter 20 Closing Time 427

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    I wasn't prepared to like this book

    But I did. Mr. Batianich is someone I have seen on "Master Chef" and his PBS show regarding wine. He is clearly very experienced and capable at both restsurant management and wine making. I loved what he had to say about wine, it's purpose and so on. I never thought of it that way.

    I always had the impression he was a rather cold and soulless person. I used to think there was no way I would want to face off with him across the Master Chef judging table as emerging with any self esteem and dignity wan't likely. After reading this, I understand he is simply focused and passionate.

    Enjoyed the descriptions, and the language didn't bother me. I have to admire Mr. Bastianich for bring so blunt in looking at himself and reporting on what he sees unflinchingly is unusual and to be admired

    Got any more?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2012

    Exceptional writing and profound intellect. I couldnt put the b

    Exceptional writing and profound intellect. I couldnt put the book down. Great reading on so many levels. gmadrid

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Restaurant Man

    What a great book - didn't want to stop reading it! Fascinating look into the restaurant world.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Interesting and insightful but not for everyone.

    Very readable and insightful look into the buisness side of running a successful restaurant. I was suprised because I thought this book would be mostly about recipes and food. Now I want to go eat at one of these places and of course..drink Bastianich wine and shop at Eataly.
    Learning about Joe's early life with food in his family and life made me understand why he seems like such a hardass on' Master Chef'.
    I wonder what Joe's opinion of the book "Extra Virginity" by Tom Mueller would be?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Skylar

    * nods and leaves*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Yukikaze

    She smiled. "Your welcome." She sat up. "Ready to go?" She got up and headed out. Gtgtb goodnight.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Good read

    Very inspiring

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Jasmin

    May i take your order anyone

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Joshua k.

    Ask the waitress " what do you know about bacon?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Penny

    Ewwwwwww....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Oryan

    Drives to your house and picks you up and drives to a restruant....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Moonlight

    Stupid nook wouldn't let me on this res for a while. Sorry....andyes, really.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    ok

    kk,
    kk

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    E.H.M.S. GROUP

    EDWARD HARRIS JR. MIDDLE SCHOOL GROUP!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    D

    Walks in

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Matty to Molly

    Things to add: Entrees, Chicken wrap, Bacon Burger. Desserts, Cinnamon Twists, KeyLimePie, Apple Pie, Glazed donut. Drinks, I got nuffin. You no have water on the menu!!!!!! •_• Appetizers, Chips and Salsa, Mozzarella cheese sticks, Fresh Calamari. (If these are on the menu, ignore them. Also, I will post a new list every Wednesday. Post more ads so I remember where this place is!) :D ~M

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Lydia (waitress)

    "Hello, welcome to Molly's restaurant. How many people in your groups?" Lydia asks brightly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Molly's Restaurant Menu

    Entrees-- Ravioli and Meatballs, Srimp Scampi, Oysters, Pasta, Mac + Cheese, Chicken Parm, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken Tenders. The Menu is growing. I am open to suggestions. Appatizers-- Clams Casino, Brugetta, Bread and Dip, Potato Salad, Bacon Salad. Desserts-- Any Ice Cream Flavor, And Amount, Any Toppings. Brownies, Cupcakes. Drinks-- Wine, Beer, Mead, Ale, Any Fountain Soda, Coffee, Tea.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Sam

    Ill get... a doctor!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Syren

    Can i have job. Please please please

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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