Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.94 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Restaurant Man Paperback – July 30, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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.”
“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.”
“[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”
“[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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“[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.”
“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
About the Author
JOE BASTIANICH lives in Connecticut. He is an acclaimed restauranteur and judge on MasterChef alongside Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Joe Bastianich is a great narrator and his depth of knowledge on the subject is clear. The book is best when it's breaking everything down on how a successful restaurant actually works. Joe's journey through his time in Italy and Croatia and his journey through wine and winemaking is especially engaging. The book falters a bit when it starts looking at more contemporary issues, like Joe Bastianich's hard learned lessons on who to go into business with and what things don't work. Perhaps that part was a little too fresh in the writer's mind to have the depth of perspective and eloquence in storytelling.
Restaurant Man is still required reading for anyone even mildly interested in getting into the restaurant business, and is a smart, funny, and engaging story, well told by its author on the audiobook.
Any book that peers out from the inside of a restaurant’s imaginary façade, be it the dungeon-esque interworkings of the kitchen, the song and dance of the front of the house, the coke-snorting owners, cash-skimming managers, or any combination thereof, seems to capture a view that is tumultuous, sexy, horrid, tawdry and just a bit maddening… in a good way. Any non-PG take on what happens along restaurant row is automatically compared with Anthony Bourdain’s now-legendary look at the “culinary underbelly.” Yes, there are frank diatribes on the respectability and pay of each member of the team; the vixen-like appeal of the coat girl to the absurd role of a manager to the maître d’ that actually runs the place. But, Restaurant Man really is all about the business. Restaurant Man is more about nonfiction then it is about superheros.
Sure, Bourdain captures the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll of hardened deranged cooks. And Steve Dublanica does the same with Waiter Rant, pervasive with tales of criminal managers and “crop dusting” through the dining room to intoxicate the rude dinner guest with noxious derrière perfume. Bastianich does not use the same formula. The appeal of Restaurant Man is in his original voice. He enjoys wine and pours enough of it in Restaurant Man that you crave Barolo and Brunello while getting drunk on his words that will shake you like a monkey.
“We heard a lot of noise when Babbo first opened about our chutzpah in putting out a menu that didn’t seem to have one single Italian on it, no warhorses, no greatest hits – not to mention our taste in loud rock ‘n roll- but we stuck to what we believed in, and in fact about 70 percent of the menu has been solid since day one: We always have pig’s feet, tripe and testa, as well as a barbecued squab, pork chop that takes longer to eat than a Dave Matthews concert runs, and fresh branzino cooked with ingredients and flavors that my father even heard of, plus the famous two-minute Calamari Sicilian Lifeguard Style, and a mess of completely imaginative and sexy pastas including the papparadelle Bolognese, which sounds simple enough but blows everyone’s mind. You think you’ve had Bolognese, and then you try Mario’s and you just want to weep at the tragedy your life has been.”
Restaurant Man has some captivating writing. Bastianich draws you in with just enough familial histrionics without dowsing you in stories of famous mom. There is very little geeking out about having a mom who is to Italian cooking what Julia is for French fare. The same goes for his partnership with Mario Batali. There is just enough orange-clog talk to color his story without making Restaurant Man all about other people.
I do not not want to dine in Bastianich’s places after reading Restaurant Man. Instead, I feel at ease giving him $250 for dinner. He wants to “overdeliver, exceed expectations, every day.” He brings a voice to the menu, to the experience of dining, to paying the price of a night of living high. “What the hell… I [know] the power of good food. I [know] that it can could turn dark into light…”