Joe Bastianich

Restaurateur

New York

As a successful restaurateur, vineyard owner and New York Times best-selling author, Joe Bastianich is a recognized authority on Italian food and wine. He grew up in his parents’ Italian restaurant in Queens and opened his first eatery, Becco, with his mom in the early 1990s. He and his business partner — celebrity chef Mario Batali — have a slew of restaurants (from New York to Los Angeles), including Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Del Posto and Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca. He’s also part owner in Eataly, the world’s largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace. A lover of both Italian food and wine, Bastianich also co-owns several wineries in Italy. While he’s authored a few books, his latest — Restaurant Man — chronicles his journey from washing dishes in Queens to becoming a James Beard Award-winning restaurateur.

  • On December 17, 2012
    Joe Bastianich answered the question: Joe Bastianich

    What are Joe Bastianich’s favorite cities to visit?

    Lately, I’ve been loving Hong Kong because we’re opening restaurants there, and I’ve been spending a lot of time there. I love the Chinese and the culture; it’s an amazing place. I spent two weeks in Hong Kong, and I was just blown away. You just realize the magnitude and history of the Chinese food culture. It’s really kind of mind-blowing. It’s pretty cliché, but I’ve always loved Paris. I went to Hawaii for the first time last year, which was kind of mind-blowing. On the Big Island, I went to Kona. Kona has the best of everything. You feel like you’re on another planet with all of the Polynesian culture; meanwhile you’re right there in the good old United States of America. As far as nature goes, it’s a very mystical place. It’s very powerful.
  • On December 17, 2012
    Joe Bastianich answered the question: Joe Bastianich

    What are Joe Bastianich's favorite restaurants?

    Lately, I’ve been into eating a little bit simpler. In Rome, there’s a place called Antico Forno Roscioli, which is off of Campo de Fiori, and it’s a simple, almost delicatessen-like place with a restaurant in the back. It has the best Roman pastas in the world. There’s really nothing quite like that. When I was in Paris, I ate at Les Ambassadeurs, inside the Hôtel de Crillon. It is one of the most quintessential fine-dining experiences in the world. I also love to go to Barcelona’s Cal Pep and eat at the counter. If I’m going to go luxury, I’ll go extreme luxury — a four- or five-hour lunch with champagne. Or I’ll just have a burrito a la plancha in Spain.