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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
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Sorry 'bout that.

Well, 'course I don't KNOW anything....but I thought I heard that guy say something along those lines...

After your post, though, sounds like he might just be a jerk. Would be interesting to hear THAT story from both sides. :cool:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The problem as I see it is that NBC and Rocco and his business partner have to balance what's good TV with what would be considered to be good business practices.

Nobody has to do anything. People choose to do things like this. The issues are whether the TV show is entertaining and whether it makes you feel you will eat well at the restaurant.

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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The money made from the product placement between American Express, Mitsubishi, and Coors would be more than enough to carry them if the opening of the restaurant was delayed a day or two.

These were the official sponsors of the show. The placement of the products was most likely a condition that had to be met.

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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Maybe I missed it, but what does Rocco's business partner lose if they didn't open on time?

Only 1/6th into this, but I enjoyed Morimoto's opening show (RAW) much better than this.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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The problem as I see it is that NBC and Rocco and his business partner have to balance what's good TV with what would be considered to be good business practices.

Nobody has to do anything. People choose to do things like this. The issues are whether the TV show is entertaining and whether it makes you feel you will eat well at the restaurant.

Yes, but at the end of the day, this has to be a real restaurant after the 6 episodes are over. So he's either going to have to train his freak show staff, or completely restaff the joint with experienced folks once the dog and pony show for NBC, Coors, Amex and Mitsubishi is over.

So far I have ZERO desire to eat at this place.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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For anyone who has suffered through an opening, and to watch that (oh, just put it on my amex), is a big slap in the face. The over the top commercialism and sensationalism (dig the changing room t+a scene) is just too much. Not enough 18 hour days and obvious alcohol abuse for me. Hope it makes for great viewing. Makes me want to rush out and open another one because it's sooooooooooo easy.

Just remember to get Amex as a sponsor of your "reality" TV show. The definitions between owner, sponsor, backer, endorsement and reality have never been blurrier.

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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So far I have ZERO desire to eat at this place.

I really think all the fun was missed. The "where in the (expletive deleted) is my kitchen equipment that was supposed to be installed three weeks ago. " Or the "someone stole the silverware, how are we going to replace that in two days" type things. I'll watch next week, just to find out where are those damn clams.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Im going to go out on a limb and say it was one of the most unrealistick, staged, and plain and simply stupidest show ive seen up to date. It was basically making a mockery of the people who actuall do all the work to open a restaurant. Has anyone eaten there yet by the way i haven't had time to look through the whole thread yet but i haven't seen anything under the food threads.

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Im going to go out on a limb and say it was one of the most unrealistick, staged, and plain and simply stupidest show ive seen up to date. It was basically making a mockery of the people who actuall do all the work to open a restaurant. Has anyone eaten there yet by the way i haven't had time to look through the whole thread yet but i haven't seen anything under the food threads.

Preach on.

Can I buy you a Coor's?

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Has anyone eaten there yet by the way

Bourdain.

He wrote about it earlier in the thread.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Im going to go out on a limb and say it was one of the most unrealistick, staged, and plain and simply stupidest show ive seen up to date. It was basically making a mockery of the people who actuall do all the work to open a restaurant. Has anyone eaten there yet by the way i haven't had time to look through the whole thread yet but i haven't seen anything under the food threads.

Preach on.

Can I buy you a Coor's?

piss in a glass and send it over i think i rather drink natty light warm

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piss in a glass and send it over i think i rather drink natty light warm

I'll drive it over in my new Mitsubishi.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Rocco was stressed, but shame on him for not kissing Matt's feet for the Today Show appearance.  That's a coup.

Once NBC was committed to the show, getting Rocco on the Today show was a breeze. Actually I suspect NBC considered it Rocco's obligation to appear on the Today show. They used editorial time to advertise their own show. Getting him on another network would have been a coup. :biggrin:

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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Ill be waiting just dont mind teh guy putting the floor down. I know i open in 30 minutes but it will be dry by then right?

I missed that.

I really am speechless on this. What a load of garbage that was. But like a true American, I'll be watching next week. Maybe for the same reaons people watch NASCAR, to see the crashes.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Oh yeah im sure i will watch it too dont get me wrong. The scenes from the next show look preety interesting actually. A friend of mine worked for him at union pacific. He said he gets a little crazy in the kitchen and yells and stuff. Its goign to be preety cool to maybe actually show [people what us cooks go through at times. So im interested in seeing tha.t

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Im going to go out on a limb and say it was one of the most unrealistick, staged, and plain and simply stupidest show ive seen up to date.

I personally think that's the reason why they wouldn't push back the opening is to heighten the drama of the tv show. And it sounds like a lot of other things that happen in the future are staged as well ...

I have been reading everyone else's posts, and after thinking more about the show, i'm getting more and more skeptical. I mean how are you supposed to know what's real and what's not. I'm sure the average viewer won't care ... but for people like us ....

I'd be interested to know, after the show was over, how many people he kept, and how many he has to fire.

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I'm in the minority (hopefully growing) who absolutely LOATHED this show. I'd be nice about it if Rocco did a Q&A or something, but I'll vent here.

It stank. {WARNING: I'm about to be intentionally sarcastic about a few things. Plug your eyes if you are sensitive.}

The loss of the first location seemed like a good start plotwise, although it also emphasized the slip-shod fly-by-night-for-reality-TV-only nature of the restaurant. Even this early in the show I constantly found myself wondering how much was staged, or at least re-shot for dramatics though, even at this early point. The lame session with the Z-100 radio crew (a real bunch of lame-asses if I've ever heard some) was real enough--crap like this does obviously happen all of the time on shows like this, but that didn't make it any more pleasant to watch.

The staff "auditions" alternately cracked me up and made me cringe. Honestly, my first thought was "hey, look... there are some more fame-whores looking for their fifteen minutes. Its a bunch of out of work actors who want to get on TV! Yay!"

I also notice that Rocco wore some outright weird-ass getups for a guy who is supposed to be so all-fire sexy and stuff. That ugly-ass shirt under that ugly-ass sweater at the auditions was the worst, but not the only. And the funny red and blue hat I mentioned in an earlier post with the big "G" on it. It was like... ghetto fabulous. If the ghetto had Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids in it, I mean.

The "screw people persons" line during one of those interviews was pretty funny though. I'll give ol' Rock that one.

I also refuse to believe that camera crews are so cheap that several people of the waitstaff could take them around Manhattan with them until Rocco called and offered them the job. Yeah, I imagine they were REAL surprised to get that call from Rock with those crews around.

The "how to teach a bunch of actors how to act like waiters" montage was funny, if revealing. I'm not saying that training sessions like this don't necessarily happen for real non-Reality-TV restaurants, but could they possibly have edited it more to make these folks look total and completely unprofessional asses? Thus setting up lots of bitch and gripe sessions and attitude between the Front and Back people. Lovely... its like our "Restaurant" version of "Gosford Park" or something. But with stupider people.

Another moment I approved of was the slimy guy from upstairs coming down and complaining about "Pizza & hamburgers smell in the middle of the night." But then again, it wouldn't surprise me if he was some actor, and even if he's real I'll bet he smelled cameras or something. I mean to come and say that the day before the place opens?

Rocco's Mama, I think, may be played up quite a bit on this show. The fake-seeming little bit with the whiny guy who hated that the Italian girl was singing and snuggling up to Mama seems to support that.

The fake sweat on Rocco at the end of the episode was cheesy enough for the guy afraid of Pizza and hamburger smell. Sure, I'd bet that Rock would be sweating if things went that badly on Opening night, but man... would he really do it so on cue? In rivers and rivers?

Next week: So Fran Drescher and the Hilton sisters are considered "stars" these days? Umm... o-kay.

Also, could Rocco possibly appear in MORE Amex commercials? But he CAN be proud of reviving the classic "Do you know me?" line. Ain't he special?

One other bad sign for this show? The local NBC affiliate's newscast didn't tease any lame "related" news stories--you know... the "you just saw how tough it is to open a restaurant in New York, well on Newschannel 4 {blah blah blah, etc.} That means they didn't think it was worth trying to grab an audience from it.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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With all the hipe and Grimes' positive spin on it in the Sunday NYT, I thought it worth tuning in.

What a bore!

Its saving grace is that it put me to sleep earlier than anytime in the past week.

True confession: I loathe reality TV.

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I'm sure that some things are staged for the camera intentionally to add drama (the whole "AMEX" open episode) I gotta believe part of the start-up costs are at least 3 months rent, payroll, and food costs in that bank.

I've been involved in 2 restaurant projects as a consultant/contractor/ to friends and "Yes" it's not uncommon to have a crew finishing somethings hours before opening (this is the place that opens on the scheduled date) I think the Kitchen manager is correct in his assessment of the front staff.

Rocco made a mistake in sending out for beers during the first staff meeting. He's basically telling the staff that work will be "party time"

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Did anyone notice how whinny Rocco came across, jeez his Mom had a bigger backbone.

Boo hoo, I can't have my downstairs spot at Mercer & Prince.

Boo hoo, I don't have a place to announce on the Today Show.

Boo hoo, I can't delay the opening.

Good lord man, you've been in this business for how many years? Pressure is all we face, suck it up and move forward. If it wasn't for his PR guy kicking him in the ass, I think he might have had a breakdown.

Gotta give Rocco credit, That Z-100 appearence where they asked him to make something from the vending machine. I don't know if I would have done that. I also saw live, his appearence on The Today Show live and Katie was all goo-goo eyed over Rocco, he never got to finish what he was making asshe kept on talking and drooling.

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After reading these posts, I'm glad I skipped The Restaurant and watched better reality tv instead: Le Tour de France :wink:.

I had really wanted to try Union Pacific on our next visit to New York, having been unable to snag reservations on my birthday. But all the Rocco-hype has really turned me off.......................

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I spent five years building restaurants, fast food operations & retail stores in shopping malls, and I also was surprised that they missed some of the drama of construction-- where's my equipment? The grease trap isn't in the right place! These are the wrong chairs! etc.

I have seen places built in this sort of fast-track manner, and I think part of the reason why it seems unrealistic is that they edited so much out. Maybe the next reality show can be "Building the Restaurant." I'm sure they could get six hours worth of drama out of that!

And I agree about the camera crew tracking the staff as they get the call saying "You've got the job!" How fake was that!

Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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Geez, you guys are hardcore.

You'd think you'd never watched a reality television show before. Unless you're totally naive you have to be aware that of course, they're gonna try to "stage" reality as much as possible. If the people bite, they bite.

I consider myself to be a pretty objective person. I've had the experience of opening a few restaurants and can say that save for a few things I saw in the show last night, it's a pretty damn typical portrayal. All those people who have never had to get "last-minute-construction" are pretty lucky people. ALL the restaurant owners I've ever known have had it right up until the doors swung open. Especially in the larger cities.

I don't know Rocco personally, but I have to say the guy's getting knocked around here a little unfairly. There's not many chefs/restauranteurs that would turn down doing a show like this.

He's been around for a while now, he's got a successful restaurant, he had an unsuccessful restaurant that closed up, he started doing TV press LONG before this reality show was even an idea. This is a man who to me, likes new experiences and who isn't afraid of the talk or the failure. And who, in my opinion, isn't an empty promise. His food is fantastic. We're not really talking about someone who can't deliver the goods.

I think I'll actually respect him MORE if Rocco's closes down. Why? Cause he's the guy who actually tried and wasn't afraid. Lots of chefs at his level might say you know, I've got Union doing well, got the book thing happening, I don't really want to rock the boat etc. etc.

Give the guy a break already. Alot of your criticisms are coming across as petty, bitter, and jealous, at least from my perspective. (I mean really, cutting up his CLOTHES for god's sake??? Which, by the way, were some VERY expensive ones at that).

P.S. Oh and about the "fake" sweat that was coming off his face at the end? That was clearly him throwing cold water on his face. State your opinions, but let's not get juvenile about this.

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