'Sweetbitter' Shares What It's Like to Be a Part of NYC's Restaurant Industry

The new TV series is based on the experience of a former hospitality worker

The latest food show doesn't involve secret ingredients, cake bake-offs or that iconic Vivaldi intro. Instead, Sweetbitter, a new series based on the novel of the same name, shares the story of a Midwest transplant who finds a home in the form of a bustling, established NYC restaurant. 

Author Stephanie Danler, who's also serving as the show's executive producer, based the story on her time working as a waitress at stalwart NYC restaurants including Union Square Cafe and Buvette. And while the TV drama isn't immune to exaggerating what it's really like to be in the hospitality industry at times, it still gives watchers a glimpse into New York's restaurant life.

According to The New York Times, a three-level restaurant set was built just for the show, while a functioning kitchen readied plates of food—in ready-to-serve, half-eaten and devoured iterations—for more than 100 extras. (A full-time food stylist and chef were also brought on to design a full menu, such as tuna tartare, lamb chops and tagliatelle al ragù.)

You'll notice smaller details, including scratched and dented pots and pans, and wineglasses filled at various stages. Eater also notes that actors participated in a front-of-house boot camp, while those portraying back-of-house line cooks spent two weeks at the Institute of Culinary Education. 

The show's first season, which premiered yesterday, will consist of six half-hour episodes on STARZ.