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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
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if that menu has prices on it, and all the food is free for now, are people actually expecting that the restaurant will stay open after the show's over?

just wondering. also, do you guys think this will spawn a new sub-breed of reality TV? maybe in the future, restaurants will have to have shows that detail and exploit their openings in order to open at all!

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What I find fascinating (and don't quite understand) is the professed lack of interest in this show.

But I guess 22,000+ hits and almost 500 responses answers that question.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

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

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What I find fascinating (and don't quite understand) is the professed lack of interest in this show.

who's professing a lack of interest in the show? that doesn't seem to be the trend as far as i can tell.

besides, those stats could be read as an indication of how interesting this thread is, rather than the show. although i think it's a combination of both.

Edited by tommy (log)
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What I find fascinating (and don't quite understand) is the professed lack of interest in this show.

who's professing a lack of interest in the show? that doesn't seem to be the trend as far as i can tell.

besides, those stats could be read as an indication of how interesting this thread is, rather than the show. although i think it's a combination of both.

Maybe "lack of interest"isn't quite accurate, but there does seem to be a trend of negativity - people saying they have turned off the program after a few minutes or they won't watch it anymore. Others have stated they were glad they didn't take the time to watch it.

But my point is still valid - this thread is one of the most active I have witnessed. The NBC people and Rocco clan must be doing something right in spite of the general feeling here.

Remember - this is just TV. It's docu-drama at its finest.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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What was the bit with going across the street and buying red wine? Was the diner an Amex executive? I don't know where the nearest wine shop is, but in NYS, bars and restaurants are not licensed to see liquor for off premises consumption. Heads would have rolled if the cameras caught anyone selling wine for take out. The poor waiter was clueless -- except for the one clue Rocco gave him about pleasing the customer when Rocco sent someone out for beer, excuse me Coors, during rehearsal. And the take my credit card bit? Is that the way Amex encourages members to use thier cards?

Ah, but, Bux, you're not paying attention! That wasn't just any waiter. That was GIDEON!!. He was the actor/waiter who was first in line in the first episode with the sign that said "I'm not a bum. I'm first in line". He has his own website now. This is a sad show.

Minor correction, sorry Bux, but the waiter who went to get the wine was actually Pete, not Gideon. I know this because I was the guy who stepped in with the red wine to save his ass. I was also the guy who had to deal with the seething management staffs of both Kitchen 22 and Bolo(the two places Pete and the CAMERAS) went in search of vino. They were pissed. Truthfully I was rather surprised that bit made the show due to the illegal nature of the goings-on, but I'm guessing Burnett won't lose sleep if Rocco's gets slapped with a suit.

As for who's left in the FOH. A few. Lots of housecleaning.

Sorry, I didn't catch Pete's name, but I noted in my follow up post to Mark's post that it wasn't Gideon and he agreed. The correction had already been made online. But tell us how the house managed to run out of red wine and how you managed to step in with the red wine, if the restaurant ran out. So much of this sounds like planned mayhem for the cameras.

Bux, I realized, post facto, that the correction was made. Sorry about that. As for the red wine fiasco, we were never in jeopardy of running out. We were well stocked to get through the first three nights. A miscommunication chain? A little dramatic push by the production team? I can't say. I heard that Pete took off on his sojourn, was stunned to say the least and stepped in(fully armed) to quell the situation. Admittedly, as Zenial said, there was no formatted wine list during the soft opening. It was sort of drink this, you'll love it. I can say with a splash of pride that Mr. Amex(who was indeed a jackass) got no Barolo that night.

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Maybe "lack of interest"isn't quite accurate, but there does seem to be a trend of negativity - people saying they have turned off the program after a few minutes or they won't watch it anymore. Others have stated they were glad they didn't take the time to watch it.

But my point is still valid - this thread is one of the most active I have witnessed. The NBC people and Rocco clan must be doing something right in spite of the general feeling here.

just because it's a train wreck doesn't mean that people won't watch it.

and of course NBC and Rocco have done very well with this program. especially with a world of food freaks like us out there. :smile:

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My name is Varmint, and I love The Restaurant. There, it's off my chest.

To me, this is simply a brilliant business concept. The restaurant has to be bad early on, with lots of bitching and moaning, because otherwise, there's no drama. If the place ran perfectly from the get go, and we just saw lots of back slapping, high fives, and happy customers, who would ever watch? Here, we'll see how this mess of an operation will be transformed into a decently functioning, high volume restaurant. I'd bet $10 that the customers will be raving about the food at the end. People will flock to the place. NBC is happy. Rocco is happy. It'll then be up to the place itself to see if it can succeed. But how long will the buzz last? I'd say quite awhile.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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For those of you who are interested, here's a link to the review of Rocco's in the new issue of New York magazine.

TV Dinner

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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That review is hardly a review of a restaurant that "transformed into a decently functioning, high volume restaurant". High volume, maybe...

In more ways than one, I guess.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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why do you say he was a "rich arrogant ass"?  the guy wanted wine with dinner.

It is one thing to want wine with dinner. It is another to demand that the server take tour credit card and go out and buy a few bottles. It is another thing on top of that when your food is FREE.

demand? that seems like a strong word. but you must be right about the "rich" part. afterall, it was a gold amex. :rolleyes:

True

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tan319 knows of what he speaks.

Two quick points to illustrate...

1 - I'll never forget discovering (after 14 years of working in restaurants) that people in office jobs had mandated breaks! All the time! And that, in most cases, they had about 4 to 6 hours of work they needed to get done each day -- and had 8 hours to do it in! And if they didn't get it done... no big deal, they'd just do it the next day. And they got sick days! And health insurance! And paid vacations!!!

2 - I was working in management at a start-up in Silicon Valley. We were doing the Sand Hill Dance (i.e. trying to get another round of investment to keep the business afloat). The head of Product Management had just fired herself and was suing the company for wrongful termination (seriously) and all of this was causing the CEO to develop ulcers and nearly collapse with a nervous breakdown. I went out to dinner with him to try and calm him down and he asked me how I could be so relaxed about all this. I had to be honest and tell him that the job situation at the time for me was less stressful than a pretty average day as a Chef.

As has been said -- you can always keep the day job and entertain at home.

Of course, if you really want to be a chef - go for it. But I'd suggest starting by working BOH in a low level position, then deciding if it's the right career for you. Maybe you could do this while on sabatical from your current job? If you survive the initial period, then go to school, etc.

Laughed my ass off at this,especially the silicon valley dinner bit."Average day as a chef",indeed!

The other night during service, in my boiling hot and humid, non air conditioned dessert part of the restaurant I pastry chef in, far away from the line, my reach in frig door started coming off it's hinges,due to the incompetent service people my place hires for maintinance not being able to find the right 'part' for the last four weeks!!!!

Fucking thing is coming off in my hands, six feet tall,the door is I'm 5'7'' on a good day. I nearly ripped the whole door off in anger and frustration.

Instead, I threw a bottle of chocolate sauce acroos my space, albeit, right when a hostess is coming down to ask me a question.

She decided it might be better left for another time.

Man, I love my job! :laugh:

2317/5000

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And one shouldn't forget, those diners in that place are New Yorkers. With the exception of Johnny Wiseguy, I would be willing to bet that most of those people have pretty decent palates.

You have a rather elevated concept of the New York palate :wink:

I can't tell you how many times I still get requests for mint jelly with lamb chops, completely regardless of their preparation. Mint Jelly? Wasn't that outlawed in like 1964?

But seriously, New York is the land of the subsitution, and these so-called palates have no trouble at all rearranging dishes into an unrecognizable mess, which no one in their right mind would put together, and then tell their friends afterwards how the food is so-so or not all that great. I think they should be forced to wear their bill around their neck (laminated) every time they want to play critic, just out of a sense of disclosure. Well, that and so that the world can see the tip they left. Just a thought.

I moved away from NYC in 2000, yes people could be a pain, but the places I worked at and dined in(amongst them, Union Pacific) didn't seem to be as showered with inane requests, which I realize were covered intensively on another thread here. That feature seems more to be a reflection of the times we live in, to me affected by 9/11 and the economy and owners jumping thru hoops to please the customer and get their $$$, no matter what.

And mint jelly???

"Sorry, we don't have that, sir (ma'am)

2317/5000

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If someone hands you a plate bare-handed you take it bare-handed

How long has Rocco been working in a kitchen? Trust me, his hands do not feel heat the same way yours do.

And, of course, you have no idea if one side of the plate is hot and the other is not (a salamander works well to create this excellent "learning experience").

fanatic...

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By the way, has it been pointed out that Uzay, The Captain in the restaurant, is ANOTHER actor?

http://www.uzaytumer.com/

Watched Episode 2 tonight on tape. Uzay claims on his website that nothing was faked, but I'm certainly continuing to have doubts. For one thing, I can't even comprehend how some of that wait staff would remain employed for five minutes, muchless several weeks. And Big Loudmouthed Italian Guy & his "Family"? Gotta' be actors--being paid to be actors, I mean. Sure, tons of these guys really exist, and I originally thought he was just a real guy playing to the cameras ("Am I a Clown Here For Your Amusement?"), but the more I watched it the more ridiculous it seems.

Did that Gideon guy really break his arm? Yeah, I think so. Did he originally, perhaps, plan on merely taking a dramatic spin in front of a camera crew to get more screen time? I'm thinking maybe...

I'm wondering if the REAL point of this show is that actors are stupid or something.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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By the way, has it been pointed out that Uzay, The Captain in the restaurant, is ANOTHER actor?

http://www.uzaytumer.com/

Watched Episode 2 tonight on tape.  Uzay claims on his website that nothing was faked, but I'm certainly continuing to have doubts.  For one thing, I can't even comprehend how some of that wait staff would remain employed for five minutes, muchless several weeks.  And Big Loudmouthed Italian Guy & his "Family"?  Gotta' be actors--being paid to be actors, I mean.  Sure, tons of these guys really exist, and I originally thought he was just a real guy playing to the cameras ("Am I a Clown Here For Your Amusement?"), but the more I watched it the more ridiculous it seems.

Did that Gideon guy really break his arm?  Yeah, I think so.  Did he originally, perhaps, plan on merely taking a dramatic spin in front of a camera crew to get more screen time?  I'm thinking maybe...

I'm wondering if the REAL point of this show is that actors are stupid or something.

Yea, not at all gideon gideon definately ruined his arm he had to have surgury to fix it.

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Did that Gideon guy really break his arm?  Yeah, I think so.  Did he originally, perhaps, plan on merely taking a dramatic spin in front of a camera crew to get more screen time?  I'm thinking maybe...

he was bending it pretty well. i suppose we'll find out soon, though.

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Why would anyone what to eat at that restaurant after that second episode. I read the menu and find nothing of any great interest. It seems to be a basic old fashioned menu for an American Italian mom and pop restaurant. Better off going to your local.

I am not familiar with NY NY prices but the prices seem a bit high.

The show showed the fried stuff delivered to guests in paper drive in cups with a minimal of food in them.

Why would you go there?

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I am not familiar with NY NY prices but the prices seem a bit high.

I'm not too familiar with prices outside of Manhattan, but every time I leave NY, everything seems to be bargain priced. :biggrin:

Rocco's is in a pretty hip neighborhood, restaurant-wise. Lots of trendy restaurants and a bunch of really good upscale ones as well. There are plenty of bars where cocktails run the price of a good appetizer if not main course and no one is criticizing the over priced food either. DiSpirito's own Union Pacific is around the corner. A three course meal there, runs $68 without wine or coffee and some dishes carry a supplementary charge. You can download the menus in a pdf file at the UP site. You'll not only learn that there's a five course menu for $85, but that their staff is "dressed exclusively by Express and Express for men."

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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This guy is good!

menu is great.

Does anyone know who the pastry chef is?

I used to walk by up just to check out the menus and the 'market' specials when I lived there. As I said before , the meal I had there was great.

2317/5000

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You're not still there, are you?

Unfortunately, I am still there until my other job resumes in the fall.

Got it. How much of the original front of house staff stuck around after the cameras stopped rolling?

To answer your question, 4 of the original waitstaff are remaining. Everyone else quit or was fired. Gideon, Pete, both "let go". Uzay, who is a server by trade, was supposedly caught skimming $$$ of the tip pool, yet he was promoted to Captain.

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