Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Joe Bastianich. He’s an arrogant a**hole, a self-professed “cheap f*ck”… But, you can’t ignore his success or that, yes, just maybe, he has a reason to be just a bit arrogant. The man seems to be a genius, although he can at times come across as the pioneer for *everything* – surely he is an innovator, but sometimes it feels like a bit of a stretch. His passion for food, wine and Italy are evident throughout the book, and it seems incredibly authentic in those respects.
To be honest, I almost didn’t make it seven pages into this book. I admit I have a potty mouth, but I literally blushed at how crude and vulgar he was, particularly in the beginning chapters of of the book. I’d think, “Wow, I haven’t seen the F word for a while…” Just as soon as I’d think that, I’d see that, yep, there it was. That being said, his voice is clear throughout his writing, and you feel like you’re sharing a long, delicious, Italian meal (with, of course, great Italian wine) with him relating his life story to you, hand gestures, asides and all. I loved that.
If you can get over his rather repulsive potty mouth (hey, we all have vices), this makes for a very enjoyable and enlightening read. It has a good theme, and his chapters and stories are on-point. His transformation and story are inspiring, and I found myself wanting to read this book every free moment I had. And, when I find myself in New York, I am SO hitting up Babbo.
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