Restaurant Man

  • by Joe Bastianich
  • Narrated by Joe Bastianich
  • 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 four-star Italian restaurant in America.
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.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A real look at restaurants

I grew up a son of an immigrant restaurant man. And own 2 successful restaurants with my brothers, after years of hard work and perseverance. This book gives you a real look at growing up in the restaurant life. I appreciate the no bullshit candor. I really didn't like Joe watching him on TV but always thought Mario was one of the most talented chefs I ever saw on iron chef America. I was wrong about Joe and really loved him in this book. I hope to some day meet him and tell him great job on the book. I hope to experience his restaurants in New York. Thanks for opening up you personal life and wish you all the success in the world. You have a new fan. The book was awesome!!!!!
Read full review

- Amazon Customer

Really good book, OK narration.

Would you listen to Restaurant Man again? Why?

I am planning to definitely listen to this again. There are a ton of gems in this book and you cannot absorb all of them on one reading, I'm sure!

Any additional comments?

The narrator is also the author and in this case he was fine, not great. He is not an actor and that is what I liked about him narrating it because it shows his real New York tough-guy personality. You can tell he began to loosen up as time went on and he really grew on me. Some people have said that they were hoping to learn more about running a restaurant and I suggest those people think again about "running a restaurant." There is a lot of valuable real life experience provided to us and nowhere in the title does it say "learn to run a successful restaurant!" Obviously this was not meant as an instructional piece so look elsewhere if that is what you want. However, this does provide some really good information on how to act towards your customers and what it really takes to become someone as successful and reliable as Joe. A good book overall for sure!

Read full review

- Jessica

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio