Yesterday, we gave a basic break-down of the BruniBook, "Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater," coming out in August. And today, after getting through the book, some highlights. First off, it should be noted that this is not a "Garlic & Sapphires"-style book on what it's like to be a restaurant critic. Rather, it's a story about a man's life-long struggles with food and his weight, and how he surprisingly manages to overcome them by becoming a restaurant critic. What that means: pilates, 6 mile runs, personal training sessions, and guilty binges come right smack in the middle of the 85 page NYC restaurant section.
That said, she's absolutely worth the read for any NYC restaurant—or fitness—obsessives (and you can pre-order here!). So a few tells, without spoiling the book...or breaching any fair-use laws:
Restaurants that get name checked: Jean Georges, Wild Salmon, Per Se, The French Laundry, The Red Cat, Bar Boulud, Convivio, Delicatessen, Cafeteria, Solo, Nobu 57, Le Bernardin, Artisanal, English is Italian, Kobe Club, Robert's Steakhouse, Blue Hill, Bar Tonno.
Funniest gaffe: Making a resy under the name "Gentile" for the kosher restaurant Solo.
Second funniest gaffe: Leaving a copy of his subscription to the New Yorker, with his name on it, at the table.
First restaurateur to spot him: Alain Ducasse
Restaurateurs who think they spot him but do not: John McDonald and the owner of Bar Tonno
Most thorough critic spotting strategies: Bruni hears Ripert has his workers look up old videos of him so they can familiarize themselves with his gestures, body movement.
Restaurateurs that reacted publicly or to The Brunz after negative reviews: McNally (calls Bruni sexest), Chodorow (takes out full page Times ad), Flay (sends Bruni letter thanking him), Casella (sends Bruni rosemary bush).
Gay bars and one night stands? Yes.
Disguises: Like with Reichl's "Garlic & Sapphires," some of the most entertaining sections come when he goes incognito. He makes a sad attempt at costumes for Per Se and V Steakhouse (stubble, slicked back hair, glasses), but for Wild Salmon—where Jeffrey Chodorow had instructed all employees to kick out the Brunmeister—he goes all out with a specially designed wig and mustache.
The best fake name used: Ben Stiller (Runners up: Mr. Didion, Mr. Strunk, Mr. Webster)
Real celeb dining companion: Sarah Jessica Parker (won't eat anything with parsley) and Matthew Broderick
Name checked in the Acknowledgments: Maureen Dowd, Melissa Clark, Kate Krader, Bill and Emma Keller, Frank Rich, Alex Witchel, Tom Sietsema, Campbell Brown, Julia Moskin, Gina Bellafonte, Sam Sifton, Pete Wells, Nick Fox, and oh so many more!
· Bruniocalypse: The Bruni Memoir is Revealed, Pt 1 [~E~]