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 this restaurant has serious issues. In order to maintain the restaurant Alan Saffron used his son Daniels inheritance money without his permission and doesn't treat him as a partner, barring him from knowing about the restaurants finances. No one in the family is getting along and no one in the kitchen is either, which is mismanaged and serving below par food. Gordon is impressed by the location and interior but the owners say they are losing $6000 per month and blame ever changing chefs, menus and a Yelp conspiracy as Yelp are deleting good reviews. Gordon samples the food: a range of burgers and a meat pie. He is not impressed, calling the food bland, flavourless and not cooked properly. Chef David is the one said to be to blame for the flavourless food but he says he is not allowed to change anything and also says he has not been paid wages. Daniel is at a loss on what to do and does not trust his father.

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, this leads to a walk out. For the evening service, Daniel is sent out to work front of house and there is ticket confusion. Food speeds out of the kitchen just to speed back in so Daniel and David argue and Daniel throws him out the kitchen. The guests start to leave and David comes back for the money he is owed, Gen writes a check and asks Daniel to put cash in to cover the cheque. Daniel's partner Wendy tells Daniel's parents he isn't putting in any more cash and another argument breaks out. Daniel breaks down and is taken off for a chat by Ramsay.

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 so another argument breaks out between Daniel and Alan. 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 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 get on with it as he has proved he can. 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 

Read More »

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 Mike has been left to run the restaurant alone. Mikes daughters also work there as a hostess and a server. Mike has been doing everything and the restaurant has been neglected, allowing it to fall into disrepair. Gordon arrives and straight away notices an unpleasant smell in the restaurant. Gordon meets Mike who tells him the restaurant décor hasn't been changed in 15 years and  Server Jeanine confirms to Gordon that the smell is mouldy carpet.

Gordon sits down to sample the food and tries the linguine with shrimp sauce, Chicken Murphy and The Steak Nellie. He is not impressed, the linguine is bland and watery, the chicken is a joke and the steak is burnt. He tells Mike the food was awful and the menu outdated, he 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 drinks a lot, is struggling and has no passion since his father died. Gordon sits and talks to the rest of the family about Mike. Gordon inspects the kitchen and finds contaminated food in the fridge. 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 and also some popular classics. They sample the menu and they are impressed with the food. On relaunch night, the restaurant is packed, 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 but on the Facebook page on June 27th 2012 he says "Not anymore, that place is a joke." and that he is currently "cheffing in freehold right now at Park33, mostly banquets" and "no its a restaurant also, just beginning to morph it into mine"

Mike is now working for Blue Basil Catering , who offer catering services throughout New Jersey.
Read More »

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 after having kidney stones removed and her son Michael took over. He is lazy and Head Server Trudy does most of Michael's duties. 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. The staff think the problems are lack of management but Michael thinks it is the decor. 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 making a loss of $4,000 a week.

Gordon wants to sample the food and they prepare a sample of all 100 dishes that fill the dining room! Gordon cannot tell some of the dishes apart and say the dishes do not look attractive. On tasting the dishes, he describes most as bland and believes others 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 plenty of 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 mouldy, 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 state of the art system for ordering food which also has photographs of the food. Gordon  narrows down 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


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

Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares - Blackberry's

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Blackberry's, Plainfield, New Jersey, the 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. Shelly thinks the location and food is perfect but she has no customers. Sous Chef Mateen thinks she is in denial about the food and that she is a control freak and as a result Shelly is in $200,000 of debt. Gordon arrives and is impressed by the town but not by the bright décor featuring records dangling from the ceiling. Gordon sits down to sample the food  and takes a look at the menu. He orders the collard greens, the smothered pork chop, mac and cheese, chitlins, and red velvet cake. Gordon tries the pork and finds it dry, the pasta is mushy, the greens are bland and the chitlins have a funny smell. He spits these straight out and runs to the bathroom and gags/chokes. The meal is not all bad, Gordon thinks Mary’s red velvet cake is delicious. He describes the lunch as embarrassing.

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 fiancée, accuses Chef Ramsay of planting the rodent. Shelly is cooking in the restaurant using only a wok and a pizza oven. The diners are not happy with the good. 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 which keeps some of the records from the previous décor. Gordon 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


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
Read More »

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 arrives in the restaurant, which appears to be in 2 halves, with 2 different menus. 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 tastes frozen 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. Food is sent back to the kitchen, the warmer unit is not even hot, the crabs are milky, there are very old prawns that make Gordon retch/vomit and there is sour food. The crawfish and pasta is cooked days in advance, there are boxes of food going off  in the fridge and a bag of warm jambalaya. 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


Oceana Facebook

Oceana Trip Advisor Reviews

Oceana Yelp Page

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

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, the restaurant was very popular with the locals. Sadly Zeke died in Hurricane Katrina and the restaurant was bought by current owners 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 bought in frozen, the oysters are no good  and the chicken fried steak has no seasoning or taste. 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 but Emil reveals it was Darryl's decision to use low quality meat. Darryl claims Gordon knows nothing about New Orleans food as he has a full dining room and no food returned. At the dinner service Gordon discovers that the shrimp is prebagged and is not impressed. The food is going out cold and he discovers that the lasagne was made a week ago. As Darryl sees nothing wrong with this Gordon announces to the dining room that it was made a week ago, the customers leave the restaurant and Darryl tries to defend freezing leftovers. 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 good 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 don't make anything themselves 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 an impressive seafood dish. They make Salmon and Grits and Red Fish with Grilled Vegetables. Gordon serves them to Ellen and Darryl pretending he has made them, they love the dishes and Gordon reveals they are made by Emil and Jason. The restaurant has a makeover overnight and has a new area with fresh shellfish. Gordon also revamps the menu with new items such as a bucket of shrimp, catfish and alligator. On relaunch night, some of the put off locals are present. Gordon encourages the servers to push the seafood buckets as it takes pressure off the kitchen. Darryl is expediting the rest of the menu, it starts to fall apart as he calls lots of tickets together and shows he is still only focused on getting the dishes out quickly as many dishes go out under cooked. 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. The local news channel arrives to cover the relaunch. Gordon congratulates everyone on the successful 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 two "big kid" identical twins Jim and Jeff Thiel. The staff have negative opinions of the twins, calling 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 staff wages. Gordon sits down to try the food, the menu is falling apart and the restaurant was dirty with gum under the tables. Gordon tastes a meatball sandwich , Chicken Scarpello ad 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 is rotten vegetables, old dishes 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 loudly 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, featuring new dishes and improved recipes. 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. Jeff cries again. 

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
Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Kingston Cafe - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Kingston Cafe

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Kingston Cafe, Pasadena, California, a restaurant owned by radiologist and Olympic athlete Dr Una Morris. Her son Keone is manager and they often do not agree on things, as Keone wants to cook fresh. She runs the restaurant managing every aspect, even 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. He thinks the patties are gross, soggy and doesn't like the sauce. The chicken was dry and overcooked and the oxtail was full of fat. Gordon heads into the kitchen and tells them he did not like the food. 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.

He returns for a dinner service. As the orders come in complimentary salads are sent out in martini glasses and Gordon is not impressed. As food goes out it comes back as the food was cooked the previous night. 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. She breaks down and says that Keone isn't always dependable. He sits down Keone who admits he is not as committed as he was. He tells Keone the situation and tells him to focus on family first.

Gordon introduces a special BBQ menu with meat and fish cooked by Keone. In the kitchen they are still using the bags and Una told them to serve 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

Read More »

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 restaurant industry. Lisa’s son Van says the place is constantly empty. 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 for a chat and explains that step dad Keith is only at the restaurant because he knows that Gordon is coming. Inside he is greeted by Keith and Lisa and asks how often they are at the restaurant, they claim to be there most nights. After Chef Ramsay asks server Ricky to send Keith to his table, he discovers he has already left.

Gordon sits down to lunch and orders Tavolini's "grandmother's meatball salad", stuffed clams and the pan roasted salmon with risotto. He says the salad is "an insult to grandmothers", he can’t find the clams, the salmon is undercooked and cold in the middle and the risotto was made yesterday. He tells them that the food was a disgrace. Lisa says that they aren’t making any money, their house was foreclosed on and that she is considering divorcing Keith.

Gordon observes a dinner service that evening, the food starts going out of the kitchen suspiciously quick and he discovers that dishes are cooked in advance and kept in the refrigerator to be reheated. The kitchen soon falls apart and Gordon seeks to find the owners for answers and they are found, sat in their car eating. Michael tries his hardest to turn the service around. 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 to shock them as the restaurant will soon close if things don’t change.

Gordon introduces a new family style menu to help them stand out from other restaurants. He introduces a Tuscan bean soup and an olive oil cake. He also 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 kept waiting and are disappointed with the food. The food gets backed up and Gordon tells Lisa that they can't run a restaurant with so 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 the much needed extra room. He also extends the family style menu and adds a la carte options. Relaunch night starts off well, in the kitchen 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, slowing down and the customers are left waiting. Gordon tells Keith to sort it all out and he goes behind the line. He manages to somehow sort out the fiasco and the kitchen recovers, sending out dishes to happy customers and overall the relaunch was a success.

What Happened Next?

In the weeks after filming, Keith and Lisa did not commit to managing the restaurant, the relationship was beyond repair and they separated. They closed in December 2011, their answerphone had a message saying they were closing briefly for "medical reasons" but a For Sale sign appeared on the building 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. Their relationship could not be saved and Lisa and Keith separated. Some of the staff including Chef Michael Sirico, who Gordon was impressed by, 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 where brothers Frank and Anthony fulfilled a dream by purchasing the restaurant but Frank later found out that Anthony was embezzling money to support his drug addiction. Anthony went off to jail and rehab leaving Frank to run the restaurant. Frank struggled and the business went downhill. Anthony has returned to the restaurant and wants to forget about the past but he doesn't think Frank can. Anthony's wife, Deborah, agrees that Frank has a lot of resentment towards Anthony for what he has done. The restaurant is in about a $1million of debt. Chef Ramsay arrives at the restaurant and asks Anthony when they last updated the restaurant. Anthony admits they haven't changed much since buying the restaurant. Chef Ramsay calls a staff meeting with the family and Anthony explains his previous behaviour and that Frank was left with all the responsibility. His wife Deborah says that Anthony is trying to make things up to his brother but Frank can't move on from the past.

Gordon sits down to taste the food, he orders a Caesar salad, homemade lobster ravioli and Rack of lamb. He is impressed with the menu as the salad is prepared table-side and the pasta is homemade. However, the salad takes too long to make and the lettuce is soggy. He also dislikes the eggplant, which hasn't been cooked properly and tastes old and the rack of lamb had a burnt garlic crust ruining the dish. Gordon finds out from Frank that the eggplant was cooked three weeks ago and then frozen. Gordon asks when the lobster raviolis were made and discovers they were bought in and not home made.

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. Franks Kim breaks down and explains how her husband feels so demotivated.

The next morning Gordon sits them down together. Anthony tells Frank that he knows he has damaged the restaurant but knows they can both work together to get the restaurant back on track. Kim asks him to put his chef's whites back on but Frank refuses to put the jacket on because he thinks he doesn't deserve to wear it.Gordon asks Frank create a dish he likes to cook, he makes a lemon chicken dish and Gordon loves it. Overnight the restaurant is given a big makeover and it reduces Kim to tears.

For relaunch night, Kim persuades Frank to put on his chef's whites and Gordon reveals a brand new menu including 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 go back to arguing and rushing the food out resulting in an undercooked pork dish being served to a guest. This sends 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 but his seat is back in the kitchen but only for before and after service. Gordon sits down to try some food and is served a variety of dishes, he loves them and thinks they are delicious. They are getting along a lot better. The business is up 15%. Gordon has a surprise for them and it is Shawn Thornton, a hockey player from the Boston Bruins who had won the Stanley Cup, who awards them with a Jersey. Reviews after filming were mixed, Yelp reviews are mostly 1 or 2 star whereas Urban Spoon and Zagat reviews were very positive. The restaurant closed in January 2014.

Extra Reading


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 also Maureen’s father, a successful restaurateur with over 40 years experience. Maureen is clueless as to why the business is failing, manager Annette blames Mitch, saying that although he works long hours he doesn’t get much done and wastes time. Maureen’s father aka Chief also blames Mitch for not keeping the quality consistent and Mitch feels like everyone is blaming him. Gordon arrives and asks to speak to each owner separately to discover the problems at the restaurant. He speaks to Maureen about the suffering relationship between Chief and Mitch and that her father blames Mitch whereas she stands by him and her loyalty ultimately lies with Mitch. Chief informs Gordon that he has invested $3,000,000 to set up the restaurant and that the biggest problem is Mitch whereas  Mitch believes the biggest problem is his Father in Law who blames him for everything, he believes his food is good.

Gordon sits down to order his food and Annette rates the food as 3 out of 10. Gordon orders the French onion soup, Shepherds pie and Fisherman’s platter. Gordon is not impressed saying that it tastes like onions in dishwater. Next he notices the shepherd’s pie is actually a cottage pie as it is using beef mince and he dislikes the taste, saying the gravy is like glue. Maureen tries it and is not impressed as it is also cold. Lastly, he tries the fisherman’s platter and spits out the bland, rubber like scallops and is not impressed. Gordon heads into the kitchen where Chef Mario tells him he thinks the food was okay. Gordon lets rip on him telling him that the food was bland, cooked badly and had no flavour. He inspects the fridge and finds scallops that have been previously frozen soaking in liquid. He also discovers disgusting old chicken, meat blood in with mozzarella sticks and raw and cooked meat stored together. Mitch admits he has never gone through the fridge leaving the responsibility to the Chefs. In another fridge he discovers slimy chicken and salmon that looks like it has been attacked. Gordon lets rip and says he would have never taken a bite of any of the food had he seen the fridges and declares that they should not open for dinner. Gordon storms out for a walk. They clean up the kitchen; Maureen takes leadership of the clean up operation where it should be Mitch.

The next day Gordon goes to the couples home where he speaks with Maureen about how Mitch has been worn down over the years and how they need to help him rediscover his passion and take pride in his work. Next he heads back to the restaurant where he is impressed with the clean kitchen that greets him. He speaks with Mitch and tells him to step up to the task 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 staff however seem concerned on getting the food out as soon as possible focusing on speed over quality, asking whether they should pre fry the fish and if there is a way to cook burgers faster, this makes Gordon frustrated.

Gordon finally witnesses a dinner service and gets the Chefs to listen to Mitch when he is calling out orders but is worried about the outdated, handwritten order system. The service begins slowly but speeds up with the specials being well received but the old menu is a disaster with food being constantly sent back. Gordon realises the problems are the cooks; they don’t know who to cook burgers properly and become lazy sending out poor shepherds pies. After the service, Gordon reveals he has to do something drastic with the food and calls in a local chef called James to help relaunch the menu and train staff. The next day, Maureen, Mitch and Chief arrive to a restaurant makeover, the restaurant is brightened up and more modern. There is a communal dining table in the centre. There is also a new computer ordering system to replace the outdated handwritten system in place. 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 believing he is helping but instead ends up arguing with Maureen and Gordon removes Mitch from the kitchen changing him to a server but still flustered he takes the wrong dishes to the wrong tables. He is then removed completely from the kitchen. 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 staffing 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. Mitch steps up to become the leader he needs to be to succeed.

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 who once ran a bar in the property. Neither has worked in the catering industry, they come from a construction background. Chef Eric has a huge ego and thinks his food is great but the customers don't agree with him. They have invested everything they have, 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. He also meets Madalyn and Eric. Gordon tells them the restaurant is beautiful and is surprised it is not doing well, Joe admits he thought it would be easier to run.

Gordon sits down to read the menu and is surprised that there is only 2 types of steak. Gordon orders the Crab Cakes, shrimp and roasted garlic ravioli and the Filet Mignon. The Crab Cakes are f***ing disgusting with plastic bits of crap running through them but Eric has no idea where the plastic came from. The steak was tough and served with raw onions and the ravioli looks like the biggest pile of s##t and tastes disgusting. Gordon heads into the kitchen to tell Eric his food is bad. Eric says that he is running things, Madalyn objects saying that she is there every day and Joe should be helping out. 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 they need to make around $17-18,000 a week to break even and they are currently making $4,000. She also divulges they have sold everything to keep afloat but that after they bought the restaurant Joe was no longer depressed about his brothers death.

Gordon arrives that evening to witness a dinner service, the service is busy and Gordon soon discovers that there is a problem with communication in the kitchen but there is also a problem with getting the food out to the customers quickly. Madalyn says that eating at PJs usually takes around 2 hours for customers to dine. After a long wait the food arrives at the tables and most send the food back. Gordon feels he has seen enough of the kitchen and restaurant and heads down to the walk-in where he finds mouldy and rotten food and even a black lettuce. After the service he brings Eric, Joe and Madalyn down to the fridge to show them what he had found. Madalyn blames Eric saying it is his job to check it and their job to make sure he checks the fridge.

The next day Gordon interviews the locals to discover their opinions and shows the video to the staff, the comments were very negative. Before the nights dinner service Gordon introduces some specials including a mixed grill platter. He teaches Eric how to get the right timings and tells Joe to stay away from the bar, he is put on the salad station and Madalyn is in charge of the restaurant. The food leaves the kitchen too quickly as the first mixed grill is sent back for being cold. The dish is popular with many diners ordering it but most of them were unhappy with it when it arrives. Gordon says he has never seen anything that bad and Eric walks out forcing PJ's to shut down for the evening. 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. They make the decision to get rid of Eric.

The next day, Gordon introduces a new name for the restaurant, PJ's Grll and the restaurant that has been decorated with family photos in tribute to PJ. He also introduces a new menu that is more casual including steak frites and Irish stew. He also introduces the restaurants new chef Mark and Edna, a General Manager from one of his restaurants to help Madalyn with customer relations. Madalyn notices a man from the criticism video 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 sitting chatting to a friend and tells her to get back to work. She notices the customer from the video 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 served and 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.

Extra Reading

PJ's Steakhouse Yelp

Chowhound Topic on PJ's (Reviews and comments)

Gordon Ramsay Tries to Be King of Queens, and Fails

Manor Oktoberfest Yelp Reviews

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

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 in the business before buying the restaurant in 2000. They felt that they knew their customers and knew the restaurant so could carry on the success. Colleen made her son the chef and her boyfriend Dom the "manager". The restaurant was doing well at first but now the business has dried up. There are many problems at the restaurant, they often run out of food items and there is no leadership from the owners. Colleen has had to move back in with her parents due to the financial situation at the restaurant and Naomi is constantly in tears at the situation. 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 to discuss the restaurant and they tell him that they paid nearly $700,000 for the business and property from the previous owner.

Gordon sits down to order some food, he orders the fried calamari (recommendation of the waitress), the Bomb Burger and Mac & Cheese. Gordon is not impressed with the mac & cheese, noticing straight away that it has been microwaved. He says it is gross and asks the waitress whether it is home made and discovers that it is bought in. The calamari isn't much better as it is chewy and the Bomb Burger is also chewy and lacks seasoning. Gordon sends the burger back to the kitchen for Chef Kevin to try and he agrees with Gordon. Kevin then rates the food as 6/7 out of 10. 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 decides to go for a walk to think about where to begin.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. Naomi tells Gordon she thinks she is good with the customers but she 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 as the customers aren't happy. Halfway through the service they run out of burgers and clean drinking glasses. Colleen feels the pressure and walks out of the kitchen but Gordon goes after her and tells her that she shouldn't give up.

Gordon calls a staff meeting the next morning and gets the staff to anonymously write down a question or problem for the owners to answer. One question asked is why Colleen gets so frustrated with the waitresses and she answers that they are often texting and ignoring the customers, Gordon is not impressed with this. 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 it isn't clear what they need but Gordon tells him as he is doing the ordering he should check. Dom then walks out swearing and throwing things about in the back room.

For dinner service that evening, Gordon asks Colleen to expedite in the kitchen and Naomi to be from of house. He also introduces a new special of sliders. The restaurant is full but for nearly 50 diners they only have 13 menus available as they couldn't afford to get more printed. Diners have to wait to be able to read the menu and Gordon is astounded by this. As the orders come in Kevin and Colleen struggle to keep up. While the diners love the new sliders special they are not impressed with the old menu items. Gordon notices a plate of broccoli that looks pretty pathetic and tells them that if they are going to serve items like that they might as well close the business. They close for the evening and Gordon tells them he is going to make huge changes from tomorrow. Gordon gives the restaurant a massive overnight makeover, one of his biggest and best to date. 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 some dishes added and improvements made to their burgers with the new Classic American Burger. Everyone is pleased with the new changes and promise to move forward.

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 the back smoking. They soon recover and although rushed off their feet in both the restaurant and kitchen the food begins to leave the kitchen. The diners are thrilled but Gordon is not too sure as they tend to 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 that he is impressed and that 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 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!
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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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


Facebook Page

Yelp Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »