Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Burger Kitchen - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Burger Kitchen

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Burger KitchenLos Angeles, CA, the restaurant has been open for just 1 year but has serious issues. Owner Alan Saffron used his son Daniels inheritance money without his permission and doesn't tell him about the restaurants finances. Gordon is impressed by the location and interior but they are losing $6000 per month and blame ever changing chefs, menus and a Yelp conspiracy. Gordon orders a range of burgers and a meat pie. He is not impressed, calling the food bland and flavourless. Chef David is not allowed to change anything and has not been paid wages. David is challenged to cook a fresh burger, he comes up with the "Redemption Burger",whilst owner Alan cooks up a prepared burger. Gordon loves David's burger but hates Alan's. For the evening service, Daniel is sent out to work front of house, the food speeds out of the kitchen only to be sent back. The guests start to leave and David comes back for the money he is owed. Daniel's partner Wendy tells them he isn't putting in any more cash and another argument breaks out. 

After all the drama, Gordon invites them all out to a theatre and brings out the Yelpers to quash Alan's conspiracy theories against the website. There is even a rep from the website and Alan still refuses to believe that the reviews are real. A fellow restaurant owner talks on how to deal with Yelp and finally Ramsay gets through to him. The next issue Gordon needs to tackle is the relationships and Daniel reveals that the problems are mistrust due to them taking his money. They agree to try and move past it for the restaurant. All attention then goes to improving the food and creating a tasty burger.

In the evening, the dinner service begins with Daniel expediting, there are small hitches but he deals with them successfully. Overnight Gordon's team gives the restaurant a makeover and the menu is also updated. For the relaunch Gordon has a surprise, the restaurant is going to be packed with writers from Yelp, Urban Spoon, Chow and other major review sites and blogs. Daniel gets off to a good start but Alan just can't stay out of the kitchen, distracting Daniel in the process. This leads to some food for Chow being sent back and Gordon loses it, urging Alan to let Daniel work. Alan and Gen promise to let Daniel run things without interference and the show ends.

What Happened Next?


In August 2011 the restaurant is said to have changed ownership and by October 2011 there was a new menu, team of Chefs and management in place. Yelp reviews continued to be negative, the "yelp conspiracy" carried on. The restaurant closed in February 2012.


Extra Reading









The Yelpers & More


The Bloggers 









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Kitchen Nightmares - Mike and Nellie's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Mike and Nellie's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mike and Nellies, Oakhurst, New Jersey, the restaurant was opened in 1996 by father Nellie and son Mike, it has gone downhill after Nellie sadly passed away and his daughters have stepped in to help. Mike has been doing everything and the restaurant has been neglected, allowing it to fall into disrepair. Gordon meets Mike who tells him the restaurant décor hasn't been changed in 15 years and server Jeanine tells Gordon that the bad smell is mouldy carpet.

Gordon orders the linguine with shrimp sauce, Chicken Murphy and The Steak Nellie. The linguine is bland and watery, the chicken is a joke and the steak is burnt but Mike denies that there is any problem. Gordon witnesses the dinner service, the food goes out fast but the customers aren't impressed. After the service Mike admits that he is struggling and has no passion since his father died. Gordon inspects the kitchen and finds contaminated food in the fridge so the kitchen is given a deep clean and Gordon cooks some dishes with Daniel and Mike.

Gordon revamps the restaurant, ripping up the mouldy carpets and unveiling a new sign branding the restaurant as a Steakhouse. Gordon also changes the menu, adding more steak dishes. They sample the menu and they are impressed with the food. On relaunch night, Mike is tasked with delegating jobs to other staff to take the load off. The relaunch starts well with food going out quickly but Mike soon tries to do everything and starts confusing the kitchen. Gordon steps in and Dan is back in control. The relaunch was a success with the food going down very well with the customers.


What Happened Next?


In the weeks following filming business was booming and the menu was a big hit.Yelp reviews after filming were mostly good. They closed on January 21st 2012. This message was posted on their website

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Mike & Nellie’s will be open for it’s final night, January 21. It’s been a great run. Thank you to all my friends, relatives and loyal customers who have been there with me for the last 15+ years. When the time is right, I will let you know where I will be.
-Mike & (Nellie)" 

Chef Mike appeared on Fox show Good Day Cafe. In May 2012, Mike was reported in New Jersey Monthly as  managing and cooking at Ray’s Little Silver Seafood Market, he was there a month before moving to Park33 briefly.

Mike is now working for Blue Basil Catering , who offer catering services throughout New Jersey.
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Kitchen Nightmares - Leone's - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Leone's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Leone's, Montclair, New Jersey, a once popular family run business in started by Rose in 1996. Three years ago, she fell into a coma and her son Michael took over. Rose returned to a shambles, they had destroyed everything she had worked for. Gordon arrives and Michael is relaxing watching TV in the reception. Rose meets Gordon, telling him that she thinks that everything is wrong with the restaurant. Michael admits to Gordon that he only works part time in the restaurant and that he spends most the time sitting down. When talking about the finances, Gordon discovers they are losing $4,000 a week.

Gordon wants to sample the food and they prepare a sample of all 100 dishes that fill the dining room, he cannot tell some of the dishes apart and most are bland or have too much garlic. The chefs don’t think that any of the food is good. Gordon is not happy and leaves the restaurant. He returns for dinner service, the diners do not like the food  and dishes are sent back. Gordon notices the Chefs are not properly trained but also that the kitchen is filthy. He decides to look in the walk in and freezer, he discovers rotten food and improperly stored meat. He shuts the restaurant down and orders the staff to deep clean the kitchen.

The next day, Gordon takes everyone to an Art Gallery and he also gives Michael training to improve his cooking and management skills.  Gordon revamps the restaurant, modernizing the dining room and has installed a new POS system for ordering food. Gordon cuts the menu by half, adding some modern Italian dishes. On relaunch night Gordon has high hopes for Michael as his attitude is more positive. He gets off to a good start, dishes are leaving the kitchen and the customers are happy. However, Michael starts to lose control and sends out a tables orders twice. Gordon gives him a pep talk, he sorts the kitchen out and food starts going out again. Gordon is pleased with Michael's new attitude and tells Rose her son is ready to take over from her.



What Happened Next? 


The restaurant is still open. Yelp reviews since filming are good, Trip Advisor reviews are mixed and Chef's Carchi and Darryl were fired after filming. Gordon revisits the restaurant a year later, Michael is still there but staff reveal that he is there a few hours and spends the rest of the time in a local bar. Ramsay is happy with the food but not happy with Michael, he promises he will be a better leader and commit time to the restaurant.


Extra Reading


www.leonesmontclair.com

Leone's Yelp Reviews

Leone's Trip Advisor Reviews

Say what? Post Ramsay, two Leone's chefs get pink slips

It's a Wrap! "Kitchen Nightmares" Transforms Leone's

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Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Blackberry's, Plainfield, New Jersey, owner Shelly was successful in catering so decided to move into owning a restaurant. The place was funded by her mother who invested her retirement fund and they are in $200,000 of debt. Gordon arrives and is impressed by the town but not by the bright décor. Gordon orders the collard greens, the smothered pork chop, mac and cheese, chitlins, and red velvet cake. The pork is dry, the pasta is mushy, the greens are bland and the chitlins have a funny smell, he runs to the bathroom and gags/chokes. The meal is not all bad, Gordon thinks Mary’s red velvet cake is delicious.

When Gordon returns that evening, he discovers a dead mouse just inside the restaurant's front door. James, the General Manager, Shelly and Shelly's fiancé accuse Chef Ramsay of planting the rodent. Shelly is cooking in the restaurant but using only a wok and a pizza oven but the diners are not happy with the food. Gordon calls a team meeting and everyone thinks that Shelly having to be in control is a problem. Dwayne starts to tell his opinions of problems but Shelly tells him to leave. Gordon calls him back and highlights the problem is lack of communication. Mary is in tears and Shelly promises to solve the problems.

Gordon invests in new equipment for the kitchen and puts Mateen in charge in the kitchen. The restaurant is given a makeover and unveils the new menu with updated soul food classics including barbecued pulled pork sliders and fried chicken and waffles.On relaunch night, Mateen takes charge of the kitchen and the customers love the food. Shelly however is not happy to have to give over control of the kitchen and charges out. The relaunch was suceesful but afterwards Shelly refuses to speak to Gordon. Mary gets angry and tells her she is ashamed of her. In the following weeks Shelly sees the success and starts to embrace the changes at Blackberry’s.


What Happened Next? 


The restaurant closed in March 2013, according to Shelly

“I want to say we just no longer saw room for growth. We were so stagnant. We were maintaining, barely, but not able to generate the clientele we wanted,” Withers explained. “I think we gave it 10 good years. We had a wonderful time and are looking on to bigger and better things.”


Extra Reading


http://www.blackberrysrestaurant.com/

Blackberry's Yelp Reviews

Kitchen Nightmares at Blackberry’s in Plainfield

Chef Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares visits New Jersey restaurant



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
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Kitchen Nightmares - Oceana - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Oceana

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Oceana, New Orleans, LA, a sea food restaurant owned by brothers Moe and Rami . The brothers have an explosive relationship, the restaurant is dirty and has vermin. Gordon speaks to the waiter and discovers that they fire a lot of staff, he has been fired 4 times! Gordon orders the Seafood Gumbo, Crab Cake Platter and Blackened Bayou Duck. The gumbo is disgusting and tastes old, the crab cake platter is soggy and the duck is tough. Rami agrees it is tough but Moe disagrees and eats it himself. The chefs deny that the crab cakes are frozen but owner Rami tells him they are and the duck was cooked a month ago. 

Gordon oversees a dinner service and walks into a kitchen full of smoke. The warmer unit is not even hot, the crabs are milky and there are very old prawns that make Gordon retch/vomit. The crawfish and pasta is cooked days in advance and he then finds a mouse trip with 3 dead mice in. Gordon shuts down the restaurant based on what he has seen.

Gordon calls in the exterminators when a live mouse runs out and after he finds out they have never had a proper clean, the staff start deep cleaning the kitchen. Moe starts shouting at Rami as he blames him before shouting at the servers, throwing chairs and downing shots. Executive Chef Damon is sacked. and as Moe has all his recipes in his head  the chefs have no idea what they are meant to be cooking. Gordon starts by revamping the menu as Moe offers no recipes and Gordon teaches them a blackened salmon special. The owners allow Gordon to make whatever changes he needs to make. Gordon gives the dining room makeover with a fresh lick of paint and a decluttering. They sample the new menu and Moe likes it!

On Relaunch night, Rami is supervising the kitchen and Moe running the front of house. Moe abandons the front of house and hovers around the kitchen and has to be sent back out. The customers are liking the new menu and Moe appears back in the kitchen, moaning about the speed of the food. Moe walks out and Gordon goes after him. Gordon leaves and is unsure if Oceana will still be there when he revisits.



What Happened Next? 


Oceana Grill restaurant is still open. After filming, online posts seem to suggest that nothing had changed, the decor didn't look different, unhappy customers were still shouted at and the menu was mostly the same too. A lot of the staff featured in the show had left. Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews are mostly good , mostly done on mobiles, there is rumoured to be a promotion whereby you get a free drink for an online review on Trip Advisor.


Extra Reading


http://www.oceanagrill.com/

Oceana Facebook

Oceana Trip Advisor Reviews

Oceana Yelp Page


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
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Kitchen Nightmares - Zeke's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Zeke's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Zeke's, Metairie, LA,originally owned by a local icon named Zeke who died in Hurricane Katrina and the restaurant was bought by Darryl and Ellen Cortello. They sacked all of the staff, raised the prices but lowered the quality. Gordon visits locals before the restaurant and they say they have stopped going due to this. Gordon arrives during lunch service, is greeted by Ellen and orders some food. He is told the menu has remained the same with a few additions from Darryl. Gordon orders oysters Cortello, boiled shrimp, chicken fried steak and bread pudding. He is not impressed with the food especially the shrimp which he finds out is frozen, the oysters are no good  and the chicken fried steak has no seasoning. He is however impressed with the bread pudding, made by Chef Emil.

Gordon enters the kitchen to discuss the lack of fresh shrimp, Darryl claims he doesn't have time to buy it and it was his decision to use low quality meat. Darryl claims Gordon knows nothing about New Orleans food as he has no food returned. At the dinner service Gordon discovers that the shrimp is prebagged and is not impressed. The food is cold and the lasagne was made a week ago. Gordon announces to the dining room that it was made a week ago and the customers leave the restaurant. Chef Ramsay calls a team meeting the next morning and encourages them to voice their views to Ellen and Darryl. Jason tells them they are more concerned with customer numbers than quality food, customer service, respecting the staff and paying a decent wage. Ellen defends it by saying they have had to use their own funds to pay the wages and Darryl angrily tells them "If you don't want to be here, don't be here".

Gordon sets a challenge for the chefs to go to the Grocery store and come back with ingredients to cook a seafood dish. They make Salmon and Grits and Red Fish with Grilled Vegetables. Gordon serves them to Ellen and Darryl, they love the dishes and Gordon reveals they are made by Emil and Jason. The restaurant has a makeover overnight with fresh shellfish and a revamped menu. On relaunch night, some of the locals are present. Gordon encourages the servers to push the seafood buckets and Darryl is expediting, it starts to fall apart as he calls lots of tickets together and shows he is only focused on getting the dishes out quickly. Gordon tells them to focus on one dish at a time and communicate better. The relaunch turns into a success and the customers love the food and a local news channel arrives to cover the relaunch. 

What Happened Next? 


In the following weeks, customer numbers are up and morale has improved. The restaurant is still open and reviews look mostly good since Gordon was there. They hired a new Executive Chef Michelle Matlock who had plenty of experience and some vegan specials for the menu (see blog review). As of October 2012, the restaurant closed and was sold.


Extra Reading


Zeke's Yelp Reviews

Gordon Ramsay Shames a Restaurateur Over Frozen Lasagna



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Capri - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Capri

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Capri, Los Angeles, California, a restaurant run by identical twins Jim and Jeff Thiel. The staff call them overgrown boys, immature and say that they do as little work as possible. They don't open for lunch and only open 5 nights a week to save on wages. Gordon sits down to try the food, the menu is falling apart and the restaurant was dirty. Gordon tastes a meatball sandwich , Chicken Scarpello and the Colossal Pizza. The waitress confesses to Gordon that the restaurant has not been cleaned as Jim is lazy to do it. The meatballs are bought in and microwaved, the pizza is falling apart and Kim can't tell him exactly how old the frozen chicken is. Gordon gets the staff to clean up before the next service.

Gordon watches a dinner service and finds the kitchen to be dirty, there are rotten vegetables and warm sauce in the fridge. Lots of dishes get returned and there is a lot more sobbing. Gordon discovers that the chicken isn't being safely defrosted, tells Jim to take it off the menu but instead he announces this to the dining room and the diners walk out. Gordon brands the service lazy and tells Jim and Jeff to clean their kitchen alone. Gordon decides that they need to open for lunch and with help from the staff they open. Jim and Jeff arrive to a full dining room, Gordon had introduced a new simple lunch menu and sits them down to sample it. They make $300 and the twins realise it would boost revenue to open at lunch.

Gordon takes the twins to a boxing ring to allow them to get out their frustrations about the restaurant. They box each other and promise better communication. Gordon teaches them to make meatballs and Jim goes out to the street to shout about their meatballs. Overnight the restaurant is transformed and new menus are revealed. On relaunch night the restaurant is packed, Jim is in the kitchen expediting and the food quickly makes its way out the kitchen. Some dishes go out too quickly and are sent out cold. Not long into service that the kitchen starts to fall behind and customers are frustrated. Gordon takes them outside for a pep talk, the kitchen turns it around and the customers love the food.

What Happened Next?


Gordon revisits and they are open for lunch, Jeff controls the front of house and Jim is in the kitchen. Gordon sits down for lunch with the twins and feels under the tables for gum. They report that business is up 20% and Gordon says his pizza is delicious. Gordon has a surprise for them both, it is a certificate of appreciation for their meatballs from the local Chamber of Commerce. 

The reviews after the show are mostly good but there are some bad reviews on some dishes and  service. In March 2012, they won a poll for the best pizza in Eagle Rock.

Extra Reading


Capri Yelp Reviews

Capri Trip Advisor Reviews

Capri Eagle Rock-post Kitchen Nightmares

The Capri: No Longer a Kitchen Nightmare

Readers' Choice: Capri Wins Best Pizza Poll



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
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Kitchen Nightmares - Kingston Cafe - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Kingston Cafe

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Kingston Cafe, Pasadena, California, owned by radiologist and Olympic athlete Dr Una Morris. She runs the restaurant managing every aspect, the servers are in shirts and ties. Gordon meets Keone and he tells her it is his mothers management style that is the biggest problem. Gordon nearly drives by as it is not clear it is a restaurant. He arrives and sits down, Una reveals that she does everything even designing the menu. Gordon orders Jamaican patties, jerk chicken and Oxtail. The patties are gross, soggy and doesn't like the sauce, the chicken was dry and overcooked and the oxtail full of fat. Keone tells Gordon that he thinks everything should be cooked fresh but Una says it is meant to be dry, Gordon tells her it was inedible. They argue and Gordon leaves.

Gordon returns for a dinner service. As the orders come in complimentary salads are sent out in martini glasses and Gordon is not impressed. Gordon takes a look through the fridges and discovers that everything is in plastic bags. Gordon visits Una at her medical practice and tells her she is in denial and needs to make big changes. She says she has put in her last $300,000 and can only last another month. He sits down Keone who admits he is not as committed as he was and tells him to focus on family first. 
Gordon introduces a special BBQ menu with meat and fish cooked by Keone but in the kitchen they are still using the bags and day old rice and beans. The customers love the BBQ but are left waiting  in the dining room. Gordon brings in a wheelbarrow of plastic bags and dumps them on the floor. Overnight, the restaurant is transformed and a new sign is introduced out the front. The old menu is replaced with fresh Jamaican dishes and the staff are to wear t shirts. 

On relaunch night, it starts to go well with appetizers going out quickly. Soon, the tickets pile up, chef Daniel gets behind and the quality drops. Gordon takes Keone aside to tell him to step up, Dr Morris comes in arguing with him and Gordon tells her to let him find his voice. The kitchen gets back on track and most customers are pleased with the relaunch. Gordon praises Keone on his work but has a private chat with Dr Morris where he tells her to let Keone be more involved or let him go.



What Happened Next? 


Gordon revisits and meets Una, he finds out that Keone is no longer involved as he is focusing on his education. She has fired all the chefs and the serving staff and rehired. Gordon says the food is fresh, delicious and  more spicy. Gordon meets new chef Christie and Una is very appreciative of Gordon's help. 

Reviews are mostly good  after the show. The restaurant closed in November 2012 BUT reopened in November 2013, with a new dance floor, some new menu items but many of the old, themed nights such as a jazz night and an expanded bar. As of November 2015, they have very limited opening hours, only open for evening service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Extra Reading


Kingston Cafe Yelp Reviews



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Kitchen Nightmares - Cafe Tavolini - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Cafe Tavolini


Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Cafe Tavolini, Bridgeport, CT, where husband and wife Keith and Lisa bought the restaurant with no experience in the industry. The staff are frustrated that the couple watch the restaurant via CCTV from home, they are in $350,000 of debt and their marriage is suffering. As Gordon arrives, Van gets in the car and explains that Keith is only at the restaurant because he knows that Gordon is coming. They claim to be there most nights, Gordon asks server Ricky to send Keith to his table but he has already left. Gordon orders Tavolini's "grandmother's meatball salad", stuffed clams and the pan roasted salmon with risotto. The salad is "an insult to grandmothers", he can’t find the clams, the salmon is undercooked and cold and the risotto was made yesterday. He tells them that the food was a disgrace.

Gordon observes a dinner service that evening, the food goes out of the kitchen quickly  and he discovers that dishes are cooked and reheated. The kitchen soon falls apart and Gordon seeks to find the owners who are sat in their car eating. Gordon confronts the owners telling them that they are abusing the restaurant and they walk out. The next morning Gordon boards up the restaurant with closed signs as the restaurant will soon close if things don’t change. He
 introduces a new family style menu to help them stand out and gets both owners working in the restaurant, Lisa as a server and Keith will create and promote a cocktail to the customers. Lisa and Keith settle into their roles well and the diners love the new menu, however the customers who ordered from the old menu are disappointed with the food. The food gets backed up and Gordon tells Lisa they have  too many menu items. Keith walks out again and Michael once again has to step up to rescue the service.

The restaurant is given a makeover and the kitchen is extended giving the chefs extra room. He also extends the family style menu and adds a la carte options. Relaunch night starts off well, Michael is sending out the appetizers quickly and the customers are impressed until the tickets get mixed up in the kitchen and it all falls apart and the customers are left waiting. Gordon tells Keith to sort it all out and he goes behind the line, sorting out the fiasco and the kitchen recovers, sending out dishes to happy customers leading to a successful  relaunch. 

What Happened Next?


In the weeks after filming, Keith and Lisa did not commit to managing the restaurant and they separated. They closed in December 2011, their answerphone said they were closing for "medical reasons " and  a For Sale sign appeared not long after. Many customers were disappointed as they had purchased gift certificates and a complaint was made to the Attorney General. The closure appears to be due to struggling to pay rent, vendors and with debts including tax owed to the city. Some of the staff including Chef Michael Sirico are now working in B Line Bar & Grill in Black Rock.

Extra Reading


Cafe Tavolini Yelp Reviews

Black Rock restaurant closing sparks AG investigation

A "Kitchen Nightmare" @ Cafe Tavolini in Bridgeport



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Davide - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Davide

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Davide, Boston, MA, bought by brothers Frank and Anthony but Frank later found out that Anthony was embezzling money to support his drug addiction. Anthony went to jail leaving Frank to run the restaurant and the business went downhill. Anthony returned to the restaurant which is in $1million of debt. Chef Ramsay arrives and asks Anthony when they last updated the restaurant, he admits they haven't changed much. Chef Ramsay calls a staff meeting with the family and Anthony explains his previous behaviour and Mike explains his struggles with moving on from Anthony's issues. Gordon orders a Caesar salad, homemade lobster ravioli and Rack of lamb. He is impressed as the salad is prepared table-side and the pasta is homemade. However, the salad takes too long and the lettuce is soggy. The eggplant wasn't cooked and the lamb had a burnt garlic crust. Gordon finds out that the eggplant was cooked three weeks ago and the lobster ravioli is bought in.

Gordon arrives to watch a dinner service and finds Frank sat in a chair in the kitchen. As orders start rolling in, the kitchen quickly gets backed up. Gordon discovers there is a complete lack of communication and Frank had sent out fish he knew was bad. Diners send back most dishes and Frank explodes before walking out, leaving the rest of the staff to finish the service, his wife Kim breaks down and explains her husband feels demotivated. T
he next morning Gordon sits them down together. Anthony tells Frank that he knows he has damaged the restaurant but knows they can work together to get the restaurant back on track. Gordon asks Frank to create a dish he likes to cook, he makes a lemon chicken dish and Gordon loves it. Overnight the restaurant is given a makeover that reduces Kim to tears.

For relaunch night, Kim persuades Frank to put on his chef's whites and Gordon reveals a brand new menu with homemade gnocchi and Frank's lemon chicken. Gordon has invited some Boston Magazine critics for the relaunch and reveals this just before service. The food goes out quickly and the critics and customers are pleased. However as the kitchen gets busier the brothers argue and rush the food out resulting in undercooked pork dish. A pep talk gets the kitchen back onto track with proper communication and overall the relaunch is a success.


What Happened Next? 


Gordon revisits and Anthony is in front of house and Frank in the kitchen. He has the chef jacket on and his seat is back in the kitchen but only for before and after service. Gordon is served a variety of dishes, he loves them and thinks they are delicious. The brothers are getting along a lot better and business is up 15%. Gordon has a surprise for them, a hockey player from the Boston Bruins who gives them a Jersey. Reviews after filming were mixed, Yelp reviews were mostly 1 or 2 star whereas Urban Spoon and Zagat reviews were very positive. The restaurant closed in January 2014 to start a farm venture.


Extra Reading

http://www.daviderestaurant.com/

Davide Yelp Reviews

Davide, Once Featured on 'Kitchen Nightmares,' Closes

Kitchen Nightmares Chef Gordon Ramsay Revisits Davide Restaurant With Bruins Shawn Thornton


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Grasshopper Also - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Grasshopper Also

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits The Grasshopper Also, an Irish pub in Carlstadt, NJ run by husband and wife Mitch and Maureen Sandler and Maureen’s father Chief. Maureen is clueless as to why the business is failing, everyone blames Mitch, saying that he wastes time and fails to keep the quality consistent and Mitch feels like everyone is blaming him. Gordon arrives and asks to speak to each owner to discover the problems. He speaks to Maureen about the suffering relationship between Chief and Mitch, Chief has invested $3,000,000 and thinks the biggest problem is Mitch whereas Mitch believes the biggest problem is his Father in law. Gordon orders the French onion soup, Shepherds pie and Fisherman’s platter. The soup tastes like onions in dishwater, the shepherd’s pie is a cottage pie with a glue like gravy and the fisherman’s platter is bland with rubber like scallops. He inspects the fridges and finds scallops that have been previously frozen, old and slimy chicken, blood in mozzarella sticks and raw and cooked meat stored together. Gordon says he would have never eaten had he seen the fridges and declares that they should not open for dinner. They clean up the kitchen; Maureen takes leadership of the clean up operation.

The next day Gordon goes to the couples home where he speaks with Maureen about how Mitch has been worn down and they need to help him rediscover his passion. He speaks with Mitch and tells him to step up and lead the restaurant. Gordon introduces two specials, a shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, the new dishes are a hit with the staff. The kitchen are more concerned on getting the food out as soon as possible focusing on speed, asking whether they should pre fry the fish and if there is a way to cook burgers faster.
Gordon witnesses a dinner service and is worried about the outdated, handwritten order system. The service begins slowly, the specials are well received but the old menu is a disaster. Gordon realises the problems are the cooks; they don’t know how to cook burgers and sent out poor shepherds pies. After the service, Gordon calls in chef James to help relaunch the menu and train staff. The next day, they arrive to a restaurant makeover, the restaurant is more modern with a communal dining table in the centre and a computer ordering system to replace the handwritten system. The menu also gets a makeover with new Irish-American dishes including Irish Ale stew and an authentic shepherds pie. 

On relaunch night, James is overseeing the cooks while Mitch expedites and takes the lead. The appetizers go out quickly and the customers like the new food. However as the entrées steam through the kitchen Mitch begins to crumble and the kitchen grinds to a halt. Chief steps in but ends up arguing with Maureen and Gordon removes Mitch from the kitchen changing him to a server where he takes the wrong dishes to the wrong tables. The dinner service is turned around and customers are happy. After the service, Gordon sits the owners down to tell them that they need to make some changes to make things work and to listen to James. Within days of filming, Chef Mario is sacked and James stays on to train the kitchen staff. 



What Happened Next?


 Yelp reviews were mixed after the episode aired. The restaurant was sold in October 2012 and reopened with new management, new staff and a new makeover. It is now a sports bar called the Eastside Ale House.



Extra Reading


Grasshopper Also Bar & Restaurant Yelp Reviews

Restaurant review: Grasshopper Also in Carlstadt

'Kitchen Nightmares' takes on another local restaurant

Eastside Ale House Yelp

Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - PJ's Steakhouse - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares PJ's Steakhouse


Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits PJ's Steakhouse in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, owned by husband and wife Joe and Madalyn, they opened the restaurant in memory of Joes brother PJ. Neither has worked in the catering industry, they have invested around $2 million, into the restaurant and they can no longer afford the lifestyle they are accustomed to. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and there is no one to greet him, he approaches the bar where he finds owner Joe.  Gordon orders the Crab Cakes, shrimp and roasted garlic ravioli and the Filet Mignon. The Crab Cakes are disgusting with plastic bits of crap, the steak was tough and served with raw onions and the ravioli tastes disgusting. Gordon heads into the kitchen to tell Eric his food is bad. Joe admits he has given up but Gordon says that attitudes need to change for them to succeed. Later, Gordon meets with Madalyn, she tells him about PJ's death and that after they bought the restaurant Joe was no longer depressed about his brothers death. 

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service and Gordon soon discovers that there is a problem with communication and getting the food out quickly, eating at PJs usually takes around 2 hours. After a long wait the food arrives at the tables and most is sent back. Gordon heads down to the walk-in where he finds mouldy and rotten food. After the service he brings Eric, Joe and Madalyn down to the fridge, Madalyn blames Eric saying it is his job to check it. The
 next day Gordon interviews the locals to discover their opinions, the comments were very negative. Before the dinner service Gordon introduces specials including a mixed grill platter. He tells Joe to stay away from the bar and Madalyn is in charge of the restaurant. The first mixed grill is sent back for being cold and is popular but most of them were unhappy with it. Gordon says he has never seen anything that bad and Eric walks out forcing PJ's to shut down. Gordon says that he is willing to bring in a new chef and will pay for him for the first month to help them out, so they sack Eric. 

The next day, Gordon introduces a new name for the restaurant, PJ's Grill and the restaurant that has been decorated with family photos in tribute to PJ. He also introduces a new casual menu with steak frites and Irish stew and the restaurants new chef Mark and Edna, a General Manager to train Madalyn. Madalyn notices a dissatisfied customer has come for dinner and she has a chance to turn him into a happy customer. The kitchen gets off to a strong start but Edna finds Madalyn chatting to a friend and tells her to get back to work. She notices the customer hasn't got their meal and discovers that the food was sent to the wrong table. Madalyn uses her new customer service skills to turn the situation around and the customer is pleased. The relaunch was a success with all customers leaving the restaurant happy. Gordon is impressed with Joe and Madalyn and Joe tells Gordon he feels his brother is watching over him.


What Happened Next? 


Although business had improved, the restaurant closed a few weeks after filming in May 2009 as the takings were low and the debts were high. The owners returned to the construction business. Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews prior to closing were poor. A German restaurant called Manor Oktoberfest has opened in its place, reviews are mostly good.
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Kitchen Nightmares - Classic American - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Classic American

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Classic American, West Babylon, NY, owned by best friends Colleen and Naomi, they started out as waitresses before buying the restaurant in 2000. Colleen made her son the chef and her boyfriend Dom the "manager". Gordon arrives and is greeted by Dom who tells him he was in the building industry before working at the restaurant. He sits down with Colleen and Naomi and they tell him that they paid nearly $700,000 for the business and property. Gordon orders the fried calamari, the Bomb Burger and Mac & Cheese. Gordon is not impressed with the store bought, microwaved mac & cheese, the calamari is chewy and the Bomb Burger is chewy and lacks seasoning. Gordon sends the burger back to the kitchen and the chef agrees with Gordon. Gordon then tells the owners his opinions of the restaurant and doesn't hold back! Colleen starts to cry and tells Gordon that neither her or Naomi haven't paid themselves in over a year. 

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, Naomi tells Gordon she is good with the customers but spends most of the night in the kitchen. Gordon discovers that the waitresses have to hand write the orders as the computer broke and they can't afford to replace it. The food leaves the kitchen quickly but it is also returned quickly and halfway through the service they run out of burgers and clean drinking glasses. G
ordon calls a staff meeting the next morning and gets the staff to anonymously write down a question. One question asked is why Colleen gets so frustrated with the waitresses and she says they are often texting and ignoring the customers. Naomi is labelled too much of a pushover and admits she is in friend mode rather than boss mode. The main issue raised is with Dom and the restaurant constantly running out of menu items, he says as he isn't there every night but Gordon tells him as he is doing the ordering he should check what they need. Dom then walks out swearing and throwing things about in the back room.

For dinner service, Gordon asks Colleen to expedite in the kitchen and Naomi to be front of house. He also introduces a new slider special. They only have 13 menus as they couldn't afford to get more printed and whilst the diners love the new sliders they are not impressed with the old menu. Gordon notices a pathetic plate of broccoli and tells them that if they are going to serve that they might as well close. Gordon tells them he is going to make huge changes and he gives the restaurant a massive makeover. The interior is modern, a new computer system is in place and there are enough menus for each diner. The menu also has a makeover with dishes added and improvements made to their burgers.  
For relaunch night, Colleen is in the dining room while Naomi leads the kitchen. The night gets off to a bad start when the customers arrive and the waitresses are out smoking. They soon recover and the food begins to leave the kitchen. The diners are thrilled but Gordon is unsure as they fall apart when they are busy. A few dishes slip through with lower quality but are noticed by Gordon. Overall, the night was a success and Gordon tells them they can be a huge success if they don't drop their standards.

What Happened Next? 


Gordon revisits and Colleen and Naomi both look much happier. Colleen is in charge of the front of house and Naomi is in charge of the kitchen. Kevin is still cooking in the kitchen and business is up 35%. Dom is still buying the ingredients but is no longer in the kitchen. Gordon orders the meatloaf and thinks it is delicious, a 10.5/10. Colleen starts talking to him and Gordon continues eating so it must have been good! They are both very appreciative of his help. Gordon has a surprise from them both, he presents them with Long Islands Best Burger Award from Good Times magazine.

In August 2013, the restaurant closed posting on their website

"It is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that Classic American Restaurant has closed.
I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for your support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!
Thank You!
Colleen
We will still be offering our catering services and can be reached through facebook."


And on Facebook

"Yes it's true. I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for all there support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!! Thank you!! We will still be offering catering services and can be reached through Facebook."


Extra Reading


Classic American Yelp

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Monday, 28 November 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Luigi's D' Italia - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Luigi's D'Italia

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Luigi's D' Italia, Anaheim, California where Luigi opened the restaurant with the help of his father,his father retired to Italy and brother Tony stepped in to help. They argue frequently and Luigi's wife Grace joins in too. The restaurant is in $1.5 million of debt and can only survive another month. Gordon is curious on arriving as he believes the chef to be just 22 but the bio was written nearly 30 years ago as Luigi is 51! Gordon is pleased to be in another family run restaurant and Luigi introduces the family who soon break out into another argument.

Gordon sits down to sample the food and is greeted by a large menu, he isn't impressed by the 80's decor either, he orders the five cheese ravioli, the mahi mahi fish special and linguine pescatore. He is not impressed by the food and tells Luigi that he has been cooking the same food for too long. Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. The food is sent back to the kitchen, Luigi walks out and Tony goes after him to talk him into coming back. The next day Gordon sits the family down to watch a team meeting, they are not happy with the quality control, tension and at Grace for starting arguments, Grace cries and threatens to quit. 

Gordon takes the family into the kitchen for a cooking lesson, together they make sausages and it is clear that Luigi is starting to getting his passion back. Gordon shows them a message from their father encouraging them to work together and they vow to work together. Over night, the restaurant is given a makeover and the menu is changed, they sample the dishes and are happy with them. 

On relaunch night, the dining room is packed. The food leaves the kitchen quickly and the diners are happy with the food. At one point the communication breaks down and the food comes to a standstill but Gordon talks to them both to get them working together and the evening gets back on track leading to a successful relaunch. 


What Happened Next?


Over the next few weeks, Luigi's receives a great review from the local OC newspaper and is regaining it's good reputation in the neighbourhood. Luigi's is still open and Luigi reports that business is up 40% since the show aired. Yelp reviews are mixed whereas Trip Advisor reviews are mostly good.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - The Greek at the Harbor - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares The Greek at the Harbor

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits The Greek at the Harbor, Ventura, California, where owner Makis and his wife have been running the restaurant since 1994. The restaurant offers Greek food, has an amazing harbour view but they are running out of money. Makis is tired and the standards have dropped, son Aris wants to get more hands on but his father won't let him.  Gordon sits them down to talk about the restaurant and discovered they haven't made any money in years. The decor of the restaurant is really dated and features disco balls. Gordon sits down to order food, he orders calamari, sampler platters and moussaka. he says the food is "dreadful" and an embarrassment to Greece. The chefs just say they are doing what they are told.

Ramsay does a kitchen inspection and discovers everything is pre-cooked and reheated. The food goes out quick but customers send it back. The source of the tension between father and son is discovered by Ramsay, at his graduation party Ari said that he did not want to work in a restaurant and wanted to make something of himself, this insulted Makis. The air is cleared and Aris becomes more involved. They cook a dish together with Makis teaching Aris the dish and Gordon likes it.

The restaurant receives a makeover, removing the disco balls and the menu is also revamped. On relaunch night, Aris is in charge, it gets off to a shaky start with substandard food getting through to the customers but he pulls it off for a successful relaunch. Gordon is impressed with the way he quickly stepped into the role and importantly, the customers love the food.

What Happened Next?


Aris continued to lead the kitchen and is determined to keep up the high standards, the restaurant is packed and Makis is considering retiring! The restaurant is still open and their Facebook page shows regular specials and new menu items.


Extra Reading


http://greekattheharbor.com/

Facebook Page

Yelp Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - La Frite - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares La Frite

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits La Frite, Sherman Oaks, California, a French restaurant opened  in 1972, which was a big success. Son Alex was brought into the restaurant and later sister Celine  but they compete for ownership as their father Andre wants to retire. Alex and Celine disagree completely on how to run the restaurant, the numbers are down and it's empty after 9pm. Andre visits Chef Ramsay at his restaurant to give him the background before he visits the restaurant, he explains the biggest problems are Alex and Celine.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant, meets the manager Gail and inspects an ugly desert cabinet. He sits down to order food and Celine recommends the quiche Lorraine, he also orders a La Frite salad and a seafood crepe. Gordon is not impressed with the large bland salad with acidic dressing or the soggy Seafood Crepe, hot in the middle and cold at the sides. He knows the Quiche was microwaved but when he confronts the chef about this he denies at first.

At dinner service, Alex arrives but he and Celine don't usually work the same shifts. He discusses the problems with Celine and the conflict boils down to who will inherit the restaurant. The dinner service is busy and Gordon soon sees that Chef Martin is sending out unseasoned and overcooked food. Gordon tells them it is the most disorganised restaurant he's ever been to. Dishes begin to be sent back but Alex isn't interested. Gordon tells Celine to call her dad  to come to the restaurant. He tells Andre that his children cannot work together and  sits them down to restore the relationship. Gordon introduces handmade crepes made on a crepe station and removes the dessert case. For the evening's service, Alex is out the front making  crepes and Celine in the kitchen "expediting". being ignored by the chef. Overnight Gordon gives the restaurant a makeover and a new menu, he also brings in chef Chuy to support the kitchen and help teach the staff the new menu.

On relaunch night, the food begins at a good pace with the appetizers getting to the customers quickly but things break down when Celine asks Martin to communicate and he ignores her and the service slows down with food taking 90 minutes to leave the kitchen. The customers begin to complain and one table walks out. Celine breaks down in tears and Gordon asks Chuy to take over. The food begins flying out of the kitchen and the customers are delighted with their meals.


What Happened Next? 


In the days that followed, Chuy was hired as full time Executive Chef and Alex and Celine are still working together. Gordon revisits and Celine is  front of house and she reports they are doing well. Gordon also chats to Alex, they are getting along much better. Gordon orders a mushroom crepe and Andre sits down to join them. He says the crepe and quiche are both delicious. The restaurant is still open and reviews are mostly mixed. In July 2016 they had a re-brand and it appears that there may be a new owner, more to follow.


Extra Reading


http://www.lafritecafe.com/

La Frite Yelp Reviews

La Frite Sherman Oaks -- My Kitchen Nightmare

Diners Dash After Being Told to Pick Up the Tab on Kitchen Nightmares




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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - Downcity - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Downcity


Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Downcity, Providence, RI, bought by Abby Cabral and best friend Rico Conforti in 2005. Rico has a full-time job in finance and, Abby has been working in restaurants for over 30 years, Abby works in the restaurant while Rico injects the funds. Chef Ramsay arrives and is greeted by Abby, who rates the food 10 out of 10. He says he's starving because the room service at the hotel next door was awful, Abby reveals that they do the room service for the hotel. Gordon tells her the soup and crab cakes were cold and disgusting. Abby responds by telling him that is impossible. Gordon orders some lunch, ordering the crispy calamari, "3-way" nachos, and Meatloaf. The calamari arrives, Chef Ramsay hates the fact that it is covered in sauce and calls it soggy and chewy, the nachos are “more like a funeral in his mouth than a party in your mouth" and the meatloaf is lukewarm.

Gordon gets the staff together and discovers there isn’t a head chef. Gordon discovers Abby is responsible for the menu and after some arguing Gordon leaves. Meanwhile she tells the staff Gordon is wrong and the food is great. The staff admit that they don’t like the food and Abby says that she feels like she's been stabbed in the back. Rico arrives for dinner service and Gordon sits down for a chat with him, Rico admitting he has $1million invested in the restaurant and if it fails and he goes bankrupt he could lose his job as a mortgage adviser.

Gordon goes into the kitchen to investigate and finds a mess. He calls Rico and Abby down to take a look and Abby insists that the refrigerator wasn't like that before and starts screaming at Gordon. They get into a huge argument and Abby orders Gordon to leave so he leaves. Rico chases after him and Gordon explains that there is nothing he can do with Abby so deep in denial. Rico asks him to stay and Gordon agrees with Rico’s help. Chef Ramsay goes back inside and explains to Abby that he has made mistakes and had failures in business and it can be turned around. Gordon sits all the staff down for a meeting and Chef Jimmy admits that he struggles to keep up with standards with so many menu items. Abby admits she is defensive but promises to change.

Gordon witnesses a dinner service and Gordon removes half of the menu items to relieve pressure on Jimmy and the kitchen. He also introduces a roast chicken special. The food is improved, going out quickly and Abby is relaxed. However, before long the kitchen gets behind, customers are left waiting for food and Abby gets stressed. Abby says she is not sure Jimmy can run the kitchen despite the new menu. Gordon reveals he has called in a consultant chef, who is in the next morning. Chef Ramsay introduces a new comfort food menu featuring a goats cheese truffle dip, meatball sliders, lobster mac and cheese and a new improved meatloaf.

For relaunch night Gordon invites a local food blogger, Stacy Place, who had written a brutal review of Down City previously. As the night gets underway, the food is being sent out quickly, the customers love the new menu and the new food. After a communication break down the food slows down and customers are left waiting, including the blogger who tweets that she is waiting for her food. Gordon shows her the tweet and she goes on the line to regain control of the kitchen. The bloggers truffle dip arrives and she gives it a great review on twitter and after this the food continues to go out hastily and the customers are happy with their food. After Chef Ramsay left, Chef James stayed at the restaurant to train Jimmy and the other kitchen staff and Abby promoted Jimmy to head chef.

What Happened Next? 



Gordon revisits and is greeted by Rico and Abby, the reveal business is up 30% and Abby rates the food a 10 again. Chef Jimmy is still there and impressing Abby. Gordon goes into the fridge and it is organised, he sits down to lunch and thinks the food is delicious. Gordon notices that there is some tension between them and Rico tells Gordon that Abby lets the volcano erupt on him instead of the staff. Food blogger Stacy Place has answered questions on her appearance on the show,

Question - Why did they say you have 10,000 followers?

Answer - People assumed since Gordon was reading my Twitter feed that the show was referring to me having 10,000 Twitter followers. I don't. The producers had asked me how many people had read my blog and I replied about 250 per week. Multiplying that by 52 weeks, they rounded down to 10,000. Of course, 3,000 people have read it just since the episode aired!

and other revelations from behind the cameras.

Extra Reading


Downcity Yelp Reviews

Stacy Place (the Food Blogger from Episode) - Relaunch Night Review

Stacy Place - Returns to Downcity

Stacy Place - Answering questions about her appearance on Kitchen Nightmares

Farewell, DownCity

New Restaurant Taking Over DownCity’s Location



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
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