Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
 Share

Recommended Posts

Grimes wrote a mini-review of The Restaurant in Friday's NYTimes.

It's all very straightforward, two-fisted and uncomplicated. So why on earth did they have all that trouble on opening night?

The last line is very telling, eh?

Click here for the review.

Soba

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a "newbie" poster, but as someone who has silently read all the posts, I have to state the obvious - whether you like the show, hate it, believe it or throw glasses of wine at your tv - you are watching. :smile: Doesn't that mean the show has so far been successful? It's drawing your criticisms, and your chuckles. Whether the restaurant lasts beyond the tv show is pretty irrevelant, as NBC wanted 6 shows and didn't they get what they wanted?

I agree with so many of the posts - both for and against this show. What was up with the rat's nest hairdos?? I feel myself rooting for Rocco and hoping that his goal of sharing his family's foods/traditions succeeds, even knowing that the odds are against him. Gideon is doing what I'm sure he's being encouraged to do - be whiney and a pain, but he deserved to have his direct supervisor show a little more concern over his on-the-job accident. The nasty customers. Food mix-ups. The list is endless, as I'm sure is the editing of this show to make the viewing more appealing.

The botton line is this - it's a tv show (perhaps loosely) based on a real event. When you open yourself up to today's trend of reality tv, you open yourself up to the opinions and criticisms of the masses - whether it's fair or not.

The show has made me stop and think about the multitude of details involved with opening up a restaurant (doesn't matter that some of the incidents shown were staged or not). I now wonder if I have what it takes to fulfill my own dream of becoming a chef? I wonder if Rocco truly knew what he was getting into when agreed to all this? Hindsight is a wonderful thing in life! The fact that the show makes me stop and think, and then makes me want to tune in next week to see what happens next - I would have to say it's a success.

I can only wish Rocco the best of luck in his endeavors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact that the show makes me stop and think, and then makes me want to tune in next week to see what happens next - I would have to say it's a success.

You've set your standards way way way too high.

Really? Okay. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a guest at the "paying" opening night, let me just say this...almost the whole thing was staged... As we were getting mic'ed, the producer said "the drinks are free, so drink up. And if you have to get sick at the table- go right ahead..." Meatball guy was a friend of the family and I believe has a small part in the Sopranos...The "American Express" wine purchase was also staged. The producers were going around trying to stir up trouble among the guests, getting them to complain about anything and everything so there would be more "drama" on the "reality" show. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the kitchen fire was staged as well.

The fire was 100% unstaged. Rocco had us chopping firewood and putting it on the grill to create a "Woodsy smokiness", and the fire ocurred because the correct insulation was not in place yet for the adjacent wall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grimes wrote a mini-review of The Restaurant in Friday's NYTimes.
It's all very straightforward, two-fisted and uncomplicated. So why on earth did they have all that trouble on opening night?

The last line is very telling, eh?

Click here for the review.

Soba

In the show - there was mention of a NY Times critic who had to leave due to the smoke. Was it Grimes ? What does he look like ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grimes wrote a mini-review of The Restaurant in Friday's NYTimes.
It's all very straightforward, two-fisted and uncomplicated. So why on earth did they have all that trouble on opening night?

The last line is very telling, eh?

Click here for the review.

Soba

In the show - there was mention of a NY Times critic who had to leave due to the smoke. Was it Grimes ? What does he look like ?

It wasn't Grimes. I believe it was Linda stasi from the Post....but I'm not sure.

Grimes wrote a book a few years back and his photo is on the back cover, and posted inside the reservation book of every New York City restaurant!! :huh: He looks like a librarian. About 5 feet 10, glasses, darkish, thinning, grayish hair. About 160 lbs. Always eats in a group of 4 or 5 people. Leaves a Queens phone number for confirmation, (718), and uses a credit card with a fake name. "John Mitchell" is one, but he has several. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.K. As far as the staff not knowing the menu we got the menu description two nights before worked until 2am and had to be back at 10.

spaghettini al olio

If you work in an Italien restaurant, you should at the very least be able to make a good guess at that one.

You want more examples of the lack of professionalism? Arguing with a customer? "I don't know what happened with the order."? Complaining about your tips on the second night (first paying night) of business? And, of course, the hot plate. That's pretty telling as there are few FOH staff with any real experience who would grab a plate bare-handed like that. It's something you only do once.

fanatic...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh. And as for the "poor me, I had to work until 2 and be back at work at 10" thing... cry me a river. Try doing that five to six days in a row each week - it's called working BOH - though of course you'd also have to do away with your AC and half your pay to make it an accurate comparison. Oh, and add a lot of people yelling at you.

fanatic...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw them for only a second and the flesh looked a little too translucent yet though the shells were crimson. But the diners couldn't have known that without opening the shrimp.

Customers were wrong. The cook was wrong.

Actually, I watched the moment slowed down (PVR is pretty cool) and I have to say they looked pretty much exactly right. And given the "they look like frogs" comment, I have a suspicion that those customers had never seen real shrimp (with heads on and not in shrimp cocktails) in their lives.

Still... the cook was wrong, the customer was right - and a dishwasher had an excellent snack. Isn't that the rule?

fanatic...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw them for only a second and the flesh looked a little too translucent yet though the shells were crimson. But the diners couldn't have known that without opening the shrimp.

Customers were wrong. The cook was wrong.

Actually, I watched the moment slowed down (PVR is pretty cool) and I have to say they looked pretty much exactly right. And given the "they look like frogs" comment, I have a suspicion that those customers had never seen real shrimp (with heads on and not in shrimp cocktails) in their lives.

Still... the cook was wrong, the customer was right - and a dishwasher had an excellent snack. Isn't that the rule?

They would never have made it past the bus station in any restaurant I've ever worked in.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.K. As far as the staff not knowing the menu we got the menu description two nights before worked until 2am and had to be back at 10.

spaghettini al olio

If you work in an Italien restaurant, you should at the very least be able to make a good guess at that one.

I'm glad this came back up because I've been wondering about it. (And haven't seen the show.) In NYC, or really anywhere, are experienced waitstaff expected to have a general knowledge of classic dishes? Standard Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, etc? An extensive knowledge? Or is there too much variety of cuisines for an employer to expect that? Or is there so much going on with chefs making personal variations that to assume that the name means what it sounds like is too dangerous?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone's comments are correct. The show is awful, the show is great. You're both right!

Having worked in TV for far too many years, the object is to entertain by fact or fiction. And one way or another, "Restaurant" is entertaining.

People either loved or hated Howard Cosell, during my days at ABC Sports. But they "tuned in" to see how good or bad it was going to be.

The same seems to be happening with this show. Therefore it's a huge success and probably the best thing that's happened to the restaurant industry since the invention of the convection oven.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh. And as for the "poor me, I had to work until 2 and be back at work at 10" thing... cry me a river. Try doing that five to six days in a row each week - it's called working BOH - though of course you'd also have to do away with your AC and half your pay to make it an accurate comparison. Oh, and add a lot of people yelling at you.

Bless you Malachi. From what I understand, NBC will be showing more BOH in the 4th and 5th episodes. Whoever this guy or girl is ,who worked or works as a server there cannot argue with the outright idiocy of 90% of the waitstaff hired there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the story on the money guy?  What's his track record?

Hi Holly,

Philadelphia Magazine did a spread on him 3 months ago. He has the recipe down to make money, and close places before he loses too much. Also did time in the slammer, and I believe he's not allowed any ownership of airlines. Don't quote me on that!

Lisa

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the story on the money guy?  What's his track record?

Hi Holly,

Philadelphia Magazine did a spread on him 3 months ago. He has the recipe down to make money, and close places before he loses too much. Also did time in the slammer, and I believe he's not allowed any ownership of airlines. Don't quote me on that!

Lisa

Actually, you're right. I completely forgot. He was once on the board at Braniff: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/sto...28p-71418c.html

Edited by JohnnyH (log)

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have serious doubts about the possibility of being franchised or being incorporated

Someone beat him to it...it's called Buca di Beppo, a chain of Italian restaurants spreading throughout most of the United States. Buca's home page

As for Mama and another poster's comments questioning whether her methods were sanitary, she was wearing gloves when she started mixing the meatballs up on the counter. I can't recall, though, whether she was still wearing them when they moved the pan down on top of a milk crate to give her better leverage. Why they didn't get her a step stool, instead, is beyond me..."Let's put this over-sized pan full of meatball mixture on a too-small surface and let's see if Mama can get the whole thing to dump over onto the floor." {CUE LAUGH TRACK}

And I was pleased as punch to see Mama dumping industrial sized canisters of Progresso bread crumbs into the meatball mixture. Too bad Progresso didn't buy product placement like Coors and AMEX. I'm sure then she would have been happy to show the canister labels.

Just what was her secret ingredient mentioned regarding the meatballs? Guess I'll have to keep watching {sucker!}.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.K. Back to the prawns that manly looking woman and her neutered husband sent back, Spanish Mediteranian Red Prawns, about $ 17-24 dollars a pound. Wonderful!!!

That waitstaff is a disgrace, they were taught wine handling, worthless because they wound up betting on a chugging contest. They didn't know the difference on the forks. What was Laurant and the chubby Maitre'D doing for the few days before?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...