Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Kitchen Nightmares - Nino's Italian Restaurant - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Nino's Italian Restaurant

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Nino's Italian Restaurant, a 54 year old Italian family restaurant, in Long Beach, California, originally ran by Inge and Vincenzo. Vincenzo left the restaurant as dementia set in at the age of 88. When Vincenzo left the restaurant his eldest son Nino became the manager, much to the annoyance of brother Michael. Nino throws his weight around as the restaurant bears his name but sits in his office watching TV.  Michael and  Carina have come into the restaurant to try to save the business alongside their careers. As a last resort they have bought Gordon in to try save the restaurant as Inge is funding the restaurant with her retirement money. Gordon arrives and says he is back in 1958 and meets Inge. He asks for the family to all sit down together, they rate the food as good and Nino tells Gordon that he works hard in the restaurant. The family disagrees with him and say he is not running the restaurant, an argument breaks out and Michael unloads all his frustrations about his brother.

Gordon sits down to sample the food, he notices many spelling mistakes on the menu. He orders the misspelled egg plant, one meat ball and chicken piccata. As Nino is telling Gordon about his heavy cleaning regime Gordon discovers gum under his table and cobwebs all over the dining room. Nino even shows Gordon pictures of himself cleaning!  The chicken picatta is dreadful with floury and slimy chicken. The one meatball is mush, soggy, bland and dreadful. It was made “2” days ago but the chef says Friday, so 5 days ago. Gordon calls a meeting with the staff and tells them the food was disappointing and that Nino should not be in a position of responsibility. Another argument breaks out between the family.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. He discovers a strange frozen lasagne and dry chicken. He calls Nino into the kitchen to show him and asks Nino to throw it away. The dishes leave the kitchen quickly but  food is sent back to the kitchen. Carina finds Nino sitting out the front eating dinner with Inge and Vincenzo. He goes into the walk in and finds the rotten mushrooms, frozen meatballs, pasta in water, unscaled salmon and worse that were made on “Friday”.  Gordon tells him he is not doing his job properly as a manager. He says he doesn’t have the authority to and that Inge is stopping him, whereas she says he is lazy.  

The next morning, Gordon meets Inge to let her know about his plan, he is going to board up the front of the restaurant as if it is closed and wants Inge to tell Nino that she is shutting the restaurant. Nino arrives to a boarded up restaurant with Inge out front, Nino says he wants to fight to keep the restaurant open. Carina and Micheal do not believe that Nino will step up but they agree to give him another chance. Gordon gives the restaurant a makeover with new family tables. The menu also gets a revamp.

On relaunch night, Gordon puts Nino in charge of expediting in the kitchen. The customers love the new makeover. Food leaves the kitchen at a good pace and the customers enjoy the food. As more orders come into the kitchen, Nino starts to get overwhelmed and the kitchen gets backed up. Michael tries to help and makes things worse, Gordon tells him to leave the line and Nino gets the kitchen back on track. Gordon chats to Michael and tells him to cool down but Michael shows Gordon he isn’t able to put the past to one side. Despite a rocky in places relaunch it is overall a success. They meet after, Michael walks out and is generally negative about the relaunch and changes.

What Happened Next?

In the following weeks, Michael distanced himself from the restaurant and Nino stepped up to take more responsibility. Inge is still running the restaurant and Carina decided to spend more time in the restaurant alongside her day job. The restaurant looks set to be on the road to recovery. Reviewers have said that they have the old menu at lunch and use Gordons new menu at dinner. Reviews are mixed since Gordon visited.

The restaurant closed in August 2016 due to their wishes to retire and spend more time with the family.

Nino's Yelp Reviews
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