Thursday, August 16, 2007

Italian stallion

How would you describe David Zecchini? Too rich, pompous windbag, hyper-Italian freak with so much money he can hire a videographer to film self-ingratiating cybertrash about his success? If you gave any of these answers, give yourself a pat on the back.

Zecchini, the owner of a homogeneous gaggle of “authentic Italian” restaurants spanning from North to South Broadway, has recently released a sort of infomercial into cyberspace, in an apparent new-age advertising campaign for his business. He apparently hired an Albany-based startup company named eXposure to film a solid 12 minutes of what no other news agency or self-respecting artist would.

Self promotion is one thing. Advertising your livelihood is another. But the purely audacious tone taken in this flick is just about enough to make one gag, which is sort of counterproductive if the point of the piece was to bring in new customers to Zecchini’s eateries. Sure he’s successful; in fact, it’s difficult to be within one square mile of the fellow and not realize this. However, paying a shill to broadcast this message across cyberspace is way over the top for even Saratoga’s plutocracy.

This footage has been unceremoniously dumped into the flotsam and jetsam of the World Wide Web in an attempt carve out a reputation for Zecchini, who is otherwise know about the city as the man with a super-sized ego who throws money at things. The company he chose to film this masterpiece offers a “new and exciting way to advertise in the Capital Region and the North East.”

For those who might find this type of pandering too painful to watch –and it is quite painful –here’s a brief synopsis: the camera follows Zecchini as he whisks into one of his restaurants, loudly humming what one could assume is an old-world tune. Donning a pair of shades during evening service at Chianti, he fires off a quick sputter of Italian before hugging and kissing everyone in his path. After three or four minutes of day-in-the-life footage, a leather-coat bound kid-faced narrator introduces his subject.

“There are many ways to describe David Zecchini, mmm’kay,” he says, seated next to Zecchini in what appears to be the man’s posh modern-style home. “Restaurateur, playboy, visionary…”

Zecchini chimes in with a playful laugh.

“…Aggressive businessman,” the narrator continues. “But how do you describe yourself?”

Someone with far too much money should be his answer. The largest advertising package offered by the company boasts a four-minute commercial and Web hosting for a paltry $5,000 and an additional $99.99 per-month fee. One could only imagine what Zecchini paid or did for his solid 12-minute “webmercial” and a nice slot on eXpose café home page.

But Zecchini shouldn’t have to worry about money anytime soon. Aside from the fact that he throws around more money in a week than most people make in a year, he also happens to be engaged to the 20-something Riggi heiress, the same woman who happens to live in a recently erected castle several blocks down North Broadway. The daughter apparently met Zecchini, only a few years estranged from his wife, while working as a pastry chef in one of his kitchens. Won’t mom and pop be happy to know she’s wedding a self-professed Italian playboy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I watched the video — both parts, actually, I coudn't stop myself — the word "masturbatory" kept pinging 'round my brain.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a douchebag.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heres the problem---this clown was sold on the concept of doing an hypo-mercial as a way of enhancing his "personal brand."

But, it's so poorly done that it hurts the cause more than anything. A total BS piece.

It's simply the video equivalent (yes; this is simply a video ad, not any type of new age digital marketing) of that POS publication out there called SUCCESS MAGAZINE. There, too, the feature subjects have to buy their way in. Yes, they write a check to get their mug on the front cover.

Bottom line: viewers arent as dumb as these slick salesman assume.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best/worst quote: "The best feeling for me is when you sell people memory. Because -- you can't buy memory."

Runner-up: "Fears are good. Fears are very good."

Now if only he would learn to fear adjectives like "vapid" and "pompous."

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I that crap months ago on youtube after searching "Saratoga Springs" and immediately got the sense that this was a self financed puff piece. Auto eroticism at it worst, no pun intended. Ferrari one day, Porsche the next, but has anyone checked the pink slips on them? I wonder if he's just a paper-tiger-type scam artist, greasing his way into some other new moneyed fools graces. Remember Joe O'Hara? King of the city for a bit wasn't he? Look into what he's doing now. Just like to say, I've been enjoying your blog and have lived almost continuously I our fair city since 1970. Keep it up, P.D.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most unintentionally funny video since R Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet." Dude, the difference between you and Houdini is that Houdini actually performed amazing stunts. You are a boring restaurant owner with too much time on your hands and a desperate need for recognition. In the words of an earlier post... what a douche bag!

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DZ is a good guy. So what if he flaunts his money around ... better than some miser who hoards his wealth. Share the wealth, that's what I always say.

PS -- I delivered a pizza to the guy and his friends one night, and he tipped me $20.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So a $20 tip makes him a good guy? You consider that sharing the wealth?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's people like this guy that have driven the fomerly fair city into the shit hole.

he runs f'ing restaurants, great. simply wonderful. i guess that's all it takes to be crowned the Wonder Boy of Saratoga.

i guess that just means there's no one in this town doing anything groundbreaking or inventive.


12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people crack me up. If any of you actually knew David you might find him enjoyable and often very funny. This guy not only works about 20 hours a day/ 7 days a week but he is one of the most generous business men giving to almost every cause he is inundated with. And you talk about flaunting his money, where??? He drives one car and lives in one small condo. He treats his employees with care and provides them all a great salary as well as incredible benefits and the only thing he asks in return is to do the best job you can do and do it with a smile on.

It sounds to me more like you have too much time on your hands and maybe you wish you were HIM!!!!!!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The video you all are talking about has nothing to do with David Zecchini. It was a pilot of a show local producer created called Exposure. Mr. Zecchini was only asked to be part of it.

Know the truth before you point fingers..... typical Saratoga gossip.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

“DZ” as some have referred to him here may be a perfectly nice man; frankly, I’ve know people who have worked at his restaurants and have said nothing bad about him. But with that said, he’s “a nice guy” that has willingly partaken in a video that makes him look like a pompous horse’s ass –hence the ribbing by yours’ truly. And speaking of horse’s asses, don’t give me this horse shit that Zecchini’s “webmercials” with a company called “eXposure café” didn’t have anything to do with that cyber-stroke job he received from a videographer going under the name “eXposure.”

With this said, please step into my world. I don’t have extra money to waste on fruitless advertising or self-ingratiating videos; I don’t have the money or time to build a make-shift restaurant in the shell of a building for some local socialite, only to rip it down the next day. And I certainly don’t have time to defend my stance on what is clearly an embarrassing video that Zecchini himself should have pulled from the net.

I do have time –for the time being –to chronicle my views on the city and enjoy doing so at every opportunity. As for wanting to be Zecchini, I’ll have to disagree with you there too. My existence on this planet is a very humble one; I work hard and for every dime I can call my own. While it would be nice to have hundred dollar bills tossed at my feet like rose petals, I’m perfectly content in being at the social strata where I now reside.

In short, I vehemently disagree. But that is what this site is about; public discourse, a dialogue among the masses. Keep reading, keep posting and send my sincere apologies if David’s ego is bruised.


6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It clearly sounds like you have an issue with David Zecchini himself. If anyone is being a "horse's ass it would be you. Why don't you google exposure and find out about it before you point the finger. All David partook in was allowing a camera crew into his life, he had nothing to do with the editing or the posting on the web. That, my dear friend would be the wonderful working of one Mr. Robert Perez.

As you put it you have time to chronicle your views on the city but this sounds to me more like personality bashing.

I believe that the only ego that is bruised is yours.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get real dude----this "Look at me, I'm bringing South Beach to the rednecks" asshole certainly had a say in the scripting and theme'ing of this thing.

As the PP commented; it's chum like this who have driven this city into the tourist trap wasteland it has become.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who are you calling a redneck? And where is south beach? Is that like near Saratoga Lake?

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do u say "you're a f@#cking douchebag" in Italian- that's what I want to know....
or "get that stupid misrable look off your face" to his sister-

I wish they would open a place in South Beach and stay there= Saratoga needs class- not faux folk that flaunt money that they do not have- oh and how do you say " youre marrying her for the money" in italiano?


8:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

To the anonymous poster above: if you have such strong things to say about David and/or his sister, why not have the courage to post your real name, or at least your first name? To attack someone in this fashion is cowardly, and to drag his sister into the conversation even more so. It's folks like you that turn reasoned conversations in public web forums into name calling and mud-slinging. If you have something against David, fine, but can't you at least be civil and not use foul language? Although judging by your spelling of pathetic, you may not be intelligent enough to compose your feelings with out the use of such coarse language. I certainly hope that Horatio's comment moderation was instituted after your little toddler tirade.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As Director of Operations for the past 7 years for David Zecchini, I can not imagine that many of you know him quite the way I do.

I am a mother of 2 teenagers, I have been married for more than 20 years and I am president of Saratoga Rowing Association, as well as, an active community member in Saratoga. I support as many local businesses and restaurants I can and I feel good about the community we have.

I am appalled at how freely and anonymously you people throw words around and bash local businesses. This is a close knit community and we all need to support each other.
This type of “freedom of speech” is completely slanderous, probably verging on harassment and certainly characteristic of someone who has a personal vendetta. But, that being said, Horatio, you allow these people to condemn someone and yet hide behind an anonymous signature. At least have the integrity to say your name. Our society needs to learn the value of “community and respect”. We certainly do not have to like everyone but we need to care!!!

I can assure you, I approve everything that goes into print about David. I can also assure you that the reporters come to him, not the other way around. Robert Perez, came to me about an idea for a pilot. He wanted to develop a café sort of interview on all different types of people. I liked the idea and convinced David to do it. I did not, on the other hand, have control over the finished product or how he choose to market it, although I like it. I think it is fashionable and funky. Is this a crime?

Horatio Alger, since you criticize David (as if you know him) I would invite and challenge you to spend a day with us. See what David is really all about. See how he is in the kitchen at 6am developing new, fresh menu ideas. See him wash the floor or show one of the servers how to better serve someone. Watch him support every employee that works for him. If after that you can continue to attack and disparage him at least they will be based on personal knowledge and not spite. Frankly, you might like him.


Nancy Bambara

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have worked for David for over a year, and even though he may seem a wee bit over the top he is a great guy. He cares about his employees, and above all he cares about the customer (which is the NUMBER ONE priority when running a business). He loves to make people feel welcome.

Also I get the feeling that all these immature attacks upon David and I guess now his sister (who I do not see ANY reason why she was brought into this) are brought out of just that.....immaturity.

People have the right to their opinions, but to be honest Whooping idiots who use the term "Douchebag" should just keep their opinions to themselves seeing that they do not have to maturity to express their opinions in the civilized manner.

That being said, again David is a good guy (a little over the top at times) but nevertheless he is a fun, happy, 100% outgoing person who in my opinion never did anything to hurt anyone.

Former Forno Tuscano Busser
Michael Rotondo

stay groovy y'all

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone has his pants in a knot. Looks like his assertiveness training courses have paid off too. :)

THANK GOD for David coming to Saratoga.
I Love David's Establishments!
He's taken Saratoga miles above
the dying dining experiences that were here.
Chianti's and Forno Tuscano are relaxing, fun, yummy and inviting and that's a tribute to David and his loyal staff.
The rest of your rant is garbage
and pathetic.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

"He's taken Saratoga miles above
the dying dining experiences that were here."

Having eaten at his restaurant, I can assure you the most he's done is move the "dining experience" sideways. I paid top-dollar for the grizzle-ridden butt-end of a beef tenderloin that was slathered with "gorgonzola sauce" that tasted suspiciously like blue cheese melted in heavy cream. The best part was paying 30-something dollars for it. But, I will confess, it's been several years since I've eaten there. And it will be many more before I go back.

"The rest of your rant is garbage
and pathetic."

Well, what is pathetic is that this "rant" was posted nearly seven months ago and people are just getting around to revile it now. As I've mentioned previously, this is a reflection upon the horrendous webmercial this guy took part in. Whether it's a reflection of his character is up to the reader -and people who know him -to decide.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you people just concern yourselves with your own life instead of bashing his. Honestly, I worked for David at Chianti like 5 years ago and the guy is decent. Although he seems ecentric and more "South Beach" than Saratoga -what do you care? He's just doing his own thing running his restaurants. Don't like Chianti? Then don't go back.
Yes, he's dating a rich girl, but he's rich in his own right. On top of it, he's attractive and successful, which is more than enough to peak a women's interest. Face it- if you had money, you'd drive a Red Ferarri too, (or maybe a BMW, or a Porsche, or whatever the hell...) I don't know the guy personally, but honestly I can't stand people out to f**k with someone's reputation. However annoying it may be to you, the guy is just living his stupid life; Maybe you should just live yours...

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The numbers speak for themselves. Winter 08-09 and David's restaurants are going strong while others are trying to keep their businesses' out of the red. Slackers are usually jealous of sucessful, intelligent people.


8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the guy is a womanizing coke head

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have met him and he has been kind to me. I spent many nights at Luna Lounge when it was open and it was, without a question, the best club within 100 miles of here - or perhaps more.

Mrs. Riggi - No, not David's Fiancee, but her mother - could not be more happy with the arrangement. This is a woman who married for money and would encourage her daughters to do so as well. I have met most of the family.

One daughter continues to make it on her own steam and is somewhat ostracized for it. The other is going to marry someone who is also wealthy - and The Senior Mrs. Riggi is EATING IT RIGHT UP.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Saratogians! Love this blog :)

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello Saratogians!!! Love this blog

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Nancy Bambara was responsible for this awful video she should have been fired on the spot!!!

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at Craigslist. DZ Restaurants has been advertising for positions on a daily basis. It is an obvious red flag that they are having severe issues with keeping staff. I would invite a large scale boycott of DZ. Also, anyone planning to work for them should run away as fast as they can. Trust me, you will thank me.

9:22 PM  

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