Sunday, 15 May 2011

Kitchen Nightmares - The Olde Stone Mill - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares The Olde Stone Mill

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits The Olde Stone Mill, in Tuckahoe, NY, a wealthy town less than an house away from Manhattan. Owner Dean Marrazzo renovated the mill, turning it into a restaurant doing all of the renovation work himself. The restaurant struggles to fill and Dean spends his time at the windows looking out for customers. The head chef Michael has lost his passion for cooking and with an old people's home next door, the customers are mostly the elderly residents from the home. Gordon arrives on a motorbike, teamed with leather (drool) and he struggles to find the restaurant as there is no sign for it. He finds the restaurant and decides quickly to sit down and taste the food as he sees no problem with the stunning interior and believes it must be the food.

Gordon orders the crab cakes, shrimp, chopped salad, risotto and tilapia. He notices that the server is chewing gum in the restaurant! Gordon is not impressed with the "fresh" crab cakes as there is a sour flavour to them. The shrimps are no better, he doesn't understand why you would ruin shrimps by frying them in dough. The chopped salad has Gordon in hysterics, the fact is in a cone shape and the taste is no better. The tilapia comes out in a paper bag and even the simple mushroom risotto is not right. Gordon speaks to Dean about the dishes and is told that the crab is tinned despite the waiter telling him it was fresh. Gordon sits down with Dean and wife Barbara who appears to be in the dark about the financial situation, the fact they are in half a million dollars of debt is a surprise to her and she cries. It should be noted that at this time she is seen wearing a Burberry coat...

Gordon returns to observe a dinner service, busier as it is a holiday weekend and Gordon is in town. Chef Michael becomes frustrated as he is working alone in the kitchen. The food takes a long time to come out and when it does it is clear to see why, the dishes are over garnished and lavishly presented, with calamari in a Martini glass. Dishes are sent back to the kitchen, food is cold or the taste is bad. Dean insists that Michael rushes dishes out and Michael tells him that he is not happy with the risotto he is to send out. Gordon questions Michael who tells him that Dean insisted the food went out in whatever state it was in and Gordon confronts Dean who just wants to get customers their food. After service Gordon reveals that Dean is causing more damage by sending out sub standard food and they need to accept that the food is bad. A big argument breaks out with Dean and Gordon both insisting that the other is a fake.

Gordon visits the neighbourhood to see the competition, there are many Italian restaurants in the neighbourhood. He visits a local butcher and sees some magnificent looking beef on offer and questions why there are no local steakhouses, the butcher remarks that he would love to see one that he could provide meat for. He returns to the restaurant with prime rib and insists that serving this as a special will take some heat off the kitchen. Gordon introduces a new chopped salad and burns the funnel previously used to mould the salad. Gordon sits down with the staff and suggests that they become a steak house, Dean doesn't believe that customers will want this and Gordon tells them they will relaunch the next day with a new menu. Overnight, the restaurant is given a makeover and the next day he reveals the restaurant now has a sign so that people can find the restaurant. Gordon has put pictures on display of how the mill used to look and pictures of the restoration process. There are new crockery and table cloths and there are fresh flowers, Dean is impressed with the new décor. The menu has been replaced with more steak and fish dishes. The staff are also to take raw steaks to the customers to show off the fresh, local steaks in true steakhouse style. Tom however has great difficulty remembering the steak names and types.

For relaunch night, the restaurant is full and the local mayor arrives for dinner, Tom struggles with the new menu and tries to calm him down before sending the sweating mess off to clean himself up. There are delays in getting the food out and Dean notices the Mayor has still not received his food. He goes into the kitchen and Michael tells him that the printer is not working properly. Dean shouts at Michael and Gordon steps in as the shouting is heard in the dining room. Gordon gets everyone into the kitchen to help get them back on track and Dean charms the customers whilst they are waiting for the food. The relaunch was a success! Gordon talks to Dean and asks if he is scared of failure, Gordon then opens up about his failed restaurants.

What Happened Next?

In the weeks that followed everyone stepped up and with his passion returned, Michael's food is greatly improved. A barbecue was arranged to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the building and Dean is given the key to the city. Gordon also reveals a light up sign on the side of the restaurant. After the show aired, Dean appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 

Gordon revisited a year later and it looked like the restaurant was doing well with many satisfied customers. Dean reported that business was up 30%. However in 2009, The Old Stone Mill was sold to the DiNapoli family with Chef Michael remaining in the kitchen. For a while, Dean listed as owner and Louis DiNapoli as general manager. Recent reviews on Yelp look to be to be 1-3 stars and 3-5 on Trip Advisor.

Dean was a co-host of a hunting show called Suburban Adventures, a show about hunting and then cooking your kills. The restaurant under new ownership has since moved away from the Steakhouse concept that Gordon instilled and has moved more towards Italian food with a few classic American dishes. Dean has also had some acting roles in some movies.

Dean was co-owner of Siena Italian Trattoria with friend John Hirschbeck, which opened in Stratford in July 2011, serving Italian food, seemingly as a result of Gordon's suggestion that Dean should go back to his Italian roots. Reviews were mixed and the restaurant closed in 2015.

Extra Reading

Olde Stone Mill Trip Advisor Reviews

Olde Stone Mill Yelp Reviews

Olde Stone Mill Reviews

NY Times Olde Stone Mill Review (2008)

Olde Stone Mill 2003 review

Restaurant Review: The Olde Stone Mill (2013)

Local Flavor: Back To The Future At The Olde Stone Mill

Squirrel and other 'weird meats' get gourmet makeover

Siena Italian Trattoria opens doors in Stratford

Siena Italian Trattoria Menu

Dean Marrazzo IMDB

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

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  1. The restaurant is 10 times better now we love going there for the weekly entertainment

  2. Wow, still open? Good job Dean.

    1. It's under new ownership, actually.

  3. i liked the steak house bad he changed it...but if he's still open then he must be doing something right...they have a nice website

  4. We've had dinner there for 2 special family occasions and found the staff to be very attentive and the food delicious. The atmosphere is very elegant and romantic. Definitely will be frequenting this restaurant in the future!

  5. I don't know why they would make it into an Italian restaurant. There were already so many but not as many steakhouses. I think they should have kept the steakhouse. Or at least not make it Italian.

  6. On top of $ 1K Burberry coat the wife was sporting Van Cleef and Arpels necklace which costs $25K ...

  7. Maybe that's why she was crying. Because she was spending like they had money and now she realizes she was part of the debt problem, but only because she wasn't aware of the problem. He wanted to be the rich man she had always dreamed of having. Not enough images of her for us to figure out how she would respond to pulling back her spending habits.

  8. Dean must have thought he was in an alpha male duel for territorial supremacy, perhaps even thought Ramsay was there to steal his attractive wife from him. Quite a buffoon to sign up for help but then behave as if Ramsay was sent by the local mafia to bully him.

    Such an egomaniac. Some guys don't have any pride, this guy's got far too much.