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Restaurant Man: Vita, vino e cibo di un giudice di Masterchef

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,266 ratings  ·  176 reviews
Una vita in equilibrio tra due continenti e due generazioni, in cui i valori antichi sono le indissolubili fondamenta dell’azzardo imprenditoriale di oggi: lirica e Led Zeppeling, Brunello d’annata e Gatorade, Friuli e New York. In questa autobiografia che sembra un romanzo, Joe Bastianich, amato e odiato giudice-star di Master- Chef Italia, racconta le strane dissonanze c ...more
Kindle Edition, 319 pages
Published September 17th 2014 by BUR (first published May 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Realitytrucks
Reviewing this for work... Which might be a bit of a challenge... Roughly 431,000 uses of the f-word (ok by me!) Favorite quote (on his impatience for poorly-conceived minimalist Menus): "You're a fucking restaurant. Cook something!"

A man after my own heart, he explains at length why fountain Cokes taste so awful in most restaurants. Half the time it isn't even Coke (I knewwwww it!) "it's always too sweet. It's flat. And it's unsanitary. You know it the second you taste it. It sucks because it'
...more
Deanna
DNF.

There isn’t a lot of food related writing I don’t appreciate. I didn’t get far enough into this one to find out if there is any actual food writing. It’s possibly not meant to have any.

I gave up on the whiny, jaded, it’s so unbelievably hard to run a restaurant tough-and-foul-guy talk before I ever found any narrative elements, or even any promising anecdotes.

This may wind up into an interesting read, but waiting for it surpassed my patience level.

Leslie Doll
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading this book, I thought to myself: What an egotistical jerk. Who does Joe think he is? Every paragraph had at least 3 F-bombs; more often than not, it just wasn't necessary. Reading the first sections made one want to punch him for his arrogance; some publishers' reviews called him a "nice boy" from Queens. If that was the case, then I really don't even want to know what "bad boys" from Queens are like.

Now I know better. Joe is testing you. He wants to see if you REALL
...more
Sara
This book intrigued me as I had never heard about Joe Bastianich until MasterChef. I figured out finally he was Lidia's son but I still had never heard of him.

I found this autobiography interesting. I learned so much about running an Italian restaurant in New York. Actually about running a restaurant, period.

I have never worked in the food industry. I've never even been to New York. I like wine but I've never tasted the good stuff he extols in his book. Still, this was interesting to me because
...more
Beverly Swerling
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this, but I've lived in NYC for years (currently in Philly, but that's beside the point), have been to many of the restaurants mentioned, know the scene he's describing, and am an admitted foodie. I'm not sure that anyone for whom those things aren't true will find this interesting in the same way. But to give Joe his due, there's an underlying theme here that's more universal. He's writing (well) about family and friendship and the world we encounter when we go out seeking the su ...more
Ensiform
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, jobs, food
The author, a restaurateur with a constellation's worth of New York Times starred reviews, tells of his life, from a bus boy working for his parents (successful restaurant owners, especially his mother, a terrific chef and businesswoman), to flirting with various career paths, finally to co-founding Babbo, del Posto, Otto, and other famous, highly successful dining establishments. The book has the framework of a biography, but it's also a sort of advice book for aspiring restaurateurs and defini ...more
Danielle
Holy crap how do people not like this book? Okay, Joe swears a lot; and? (To be fair, I might be a bit more blase about this because I was in the Marines for 8 years, and really, to me this book only contained a moderate amount of swearage.)

This book is a no-bullshit crash course in the fundamentals of running a restaurant, with a lot of funny anecdotes included. I expected to read about Italy; I DIDN'T expect to be reading about Joe's predilection for white Capezios while he was in school (tota
...more
Emilia
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy cats, this just might be one of my favorite books ever! I feel like I just sat down at Joe Bastianich's table, popped open a bottle of his wine, and shot the shit with him for a couple of hours. I first learned about Joe from watching / obsessing over "Master Chef" and have loved his mom, Lidia, for years. At first, I HATED him!!! Absolutely could not stand the man! But I've grown fond of him and really came to value his critiques even if he is a jagoff at times! But reading his book taught ...more
Sebastien
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I knew nothing about this guy before reading the book. Fortunately he was able to teach me that he is one of the biggest douchebags to have ever walked this earth so I can avoid any cultural artifact he ever produces again.

I'll save you the trouble by paraphrasing him: "Being Italian rules and if you don't appreciate tiny subtleties in Italian wines you're uncivilized! I'm Italian! If you have ever sneezed into a handkerchief at a restaurant you practically deserve to die and you should never fr
...more
Plateresca
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great business book, rags-to-riches story, self-help or thriller, you name it. And, of course, containg numerous insights into the world of restaurants and wine. Read if you a) like restaurants, 2) like wine, 3) like a good book. Here's my full review: http://artfoodwine365.com/?p=1049 ...more
Barb  Hogan
Jul 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Joe is much more fun and funny in "real life" than the persona you see on Master Chef. His family history is so interesting. I can't wait to eat at one of his restaurants in NYC some day. Bucket list. I really admire his constant striving for excellence at all levels. ...more
Ty
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Bastianich is best known these days as bald, steely-eyed judge on "Masterchef", but he's been working in the New York restaurant scene pretty much all his life. Joe's Mom, Lidia, was one of the first famous female chefs and his family owned a great Italian restaurant. Now, Lidia is a cooking force, with shows on TV, cookbooks, and multiple restaurants, and Joe has followed in the family footsteps expanding the empire in collaboration with the crazy fat guy in the orange Crocs, Mario Batali. ...more
Robin
3.5 stars

If one can get past the overuse of the f-word, this was an interesting report on life in the restaurant biz and how to be a success (he and Mario Batali are co-owners of NYC's Babbo, and Bastianich also owns other restaurants) interwoven with bits of his own life. That being said, since about the only wine I care about is a cold glass of Barefoot riesling, I thought there was a little too much talk about wine, although I realize there are many who would find it fascinating.

Note on audi
...more
Al
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - i could read about restaurant crap all day long, and being familiar with joe from tv and from mario batali etc, i was definitely the target audience for this book. it's highly readable, and full of straight-talk about the business of owning and operating successful restaurants. where it could have improved was that there was little to no insight into mario batali as a person, and not much insight into lidia bastianich, whose life i'd really like to know more about. also he could have ...more
Russell
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Bastianich is the son of Lydia Bastianich, chef and star on TV food shows. He is also the long-time partner of Mario Battali and, together, they have opened numerous restaurants. The book is well written, informative, and will give you a front row seat into what is the full contact sport of restaurant siting, design, and management. Along the way, you will learn about food selection and pricing, characteristics of various employee groups from busboys to hat check girls (you will be surprised ...more
Kate
I'm re-listening to certain discs of the audiobook because I can't bear to let it go. Which kind of says everything, right there. But, to sum up, it's a great memoir. I appreciated his no-holds-barred attitude and insight into the past, present and future of the restaurant business. This book deepend the way I think about wine, as well, although Bastianich has a strong anti-California bias, which is obvious bullshit. He probably included the origin story of a few too many of his restaurants, but ...more
Dan Taylor
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few years ago I had no idea who Joe Bastianich was, then I caught him as the persnickety, staring judge on tv's MasterChef. Not only is he my favorite food competition personality but his funny, totally un-PC look at life as a Restaurant Man had me laughing out loud and loving every page. (And many of his remembrances and stories were echoed by my father-in-law, a longtime Restaurant Man.) Even if the restaurant biz isn't your world, Joe's book tells it like it is for pretty much every busines ...more
Laure
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read several "restaurant memoirs" lately and this was probably my least favorite. One reason is that, although I usually do not mind some salty language, there comes a point when too much is too much, and this book crossed the line not only very early on but repeatedly. The "f" and "s" words are used almost every other sentence and after a while that became old and offensive. ...more
Ani
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought about finishing it...I like Mr. Bastianich and there wasn't anything inherently wrong with the book. It was just not really what I thought it would be and I don't work in the industry, nor have I ever been to New York so I mostly just felt excluded. Like hanging out with a bunch of people who all know each other from something that you aren't involved in. ...more
Lily OnTheLam
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting - not the most politically correct given the #metoo movement as it applies to the culinary world, but still enjoyed the book.
Rita
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of cussing. Talked about places I will never get to dine but I enjoyed it.
Shanna
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Restaurant Man provides a look behind the scenes of the restaurant into the industry itself, discussing everything from pricing, why steakhouses are so expensive, why wine matters, and why those dirty linens are the bane of every restaurant man's existence. In addition to learning so much about restaurants, anyone feeling as though he/she doesn't have enough ways to use the word fu!k will certainly find at a minimum 5o original ways to use the word, cheap fu!k being the most common, which were q ...more
Jon Cho
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Being in the restaurant industry is not easy. Restaurant man makes the personal hell that it is, sound endearing. Joseph Bastianich’s telling of his time as a restauranteur makes you want to quit your job and open up a pizzeria. Sad part is, it all feels authentic. Do not read this book and think it is the average restauranteur experience. It is unique and worth reading a few times to really get all those useful lessons and name drops.
Carla
The author is the sone of Lidia Bastianich who has a cooking show I’ve watched. He partnered with Mario Batali to create many restaurants and also Eataly in New York. He owns vineyards and makes wine. The books was written before the scandal with Batali. Fascinating writing about the restaurant industry. Makes me sorry I didn’t read this before I went to New York. I would have gone to one of his restaurants. I did go to Eataly.
Gwyn
Jul 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
A must read for anyone into the NYC restaurant scene, and who loves Italian wine and food. Excellent insight into the finances of owning a restaurant. I’ve been to several of his restaurants and I’m eager to go back. Hungry for crudo, risotto, grilled calamari and many of the other foods he describes in the book. He talks like the Italian from Queens who he is. Great audio to catch the nuances.
Laura
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's interesting information in the book (restaurant finance, wines) but the style is a bit crass. I know this style of voice, but it's tiring. There are points where he talks about his roots, the block, and also his education and edification. It runs the gamut but I still plodded through the book despite knowing someone who worked for him for years. ...more
Kayleigh Westbrook
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Other than the colorful language at time...the content really provided great insight into what it means to be a restaurant owner and entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. Joe Bastianich and Lydia Bastianich have always been two of my favorite culinary inspirations. I am a big fan of Master Chef, and enjoy his personality and searing honesty.
Todd Lewis
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this audio book. Great that it was read by Joe, as it really enriched the storytelling. Besides getting some insights into the restaurant business, as someone about the same age as Joe, it was fun to hear his childhood stories, some which I could relate to. Thanks Joe.
Renji Bleach
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FUCKING AWESOME BOOK
I become a fan of white wine since the 4th chapter of this book. Haaa!
Great inspiration of food business.
Curtis
This book almost felt like a guilty pleasure because it's so self-righteous. Joe Bastianich, winemaker and restaurateur extraordinaire, schools his readers with everyman charisma, a father's intellect and caviar dreams. If you have ever wondered what it takes to run a restaurant, or just curious (like me), this is a must read. Thoroughly entertaining. ...more
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“This is a lesson I learned early, and we stuck with it for all our restaurants—it’s better to be lukewarm for twenty years than hot for six months.” 0 likes
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