Sunday, 18 May 2014

Kitchen Nightmares - Bella Luna - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Bella Luna

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Bella Luna in Easton, Pennsylvania, an Italian restaurant owner by Rosario Scollo. She bought the restaurant for her son Gianfranco to celebrate him completing culinary school. The restaurant is a family run business with Rosario's son Maurizio also working in the restaurant as Manager. The customers aren't thrilled with the poorly cooked food or the hairs that have been found in dishes. The décor is terrible, manager Traci thinks it looks like a morgue, she also criticises Rosario's leadership skills and believes her to be very disorganised. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and is pounced on by Traci, who throws herself upon Gordon, and is clearly pleased to see him! Gordon enters the restaurant and sits down with Rosario who assures him that they only serve fresh food and never use frozen food. She believes that the customers are the problem, that they are used to poor quality frozen food that they are unable to appreciate freshly cooked, authentic Italian dishes. 

Gordon sits down to sample the food and orders the Mussells Marinara, Veal Saltimbooca and a Penne pasta dish. Gordon tastes the strange looking veal dish and is not impressed, it is over cooked, under seasoned and there is too much flour in the sauce. The penne pasta dish is just as unimpressive. Gordon hands some yellowing herbs to Traci and declares that it tastes like baby vomit. Finally the Mussels Marinara is brought out to Gordon, which has very few mussels and plenty of marinara sauce. Gordon finds the mussels chewy and asks whether they are frozen, it is confirmed they are frozen, despite Rosario's assurance that everything is fresh... Gordon goes to speak to Gianfranco about the frozen mussels and his defense is that the menu is so large they can't keep fresh mussels as they would not sell them, he wants to take them off the menu.

Gordon returns to observe a dinner service and with Gordon in town the place is fuller than usual. He discovers that they don't have tickets for orders, just scraps of paper with orders written on. The cooks defrost shrimps in the microwave, Gordon finds that frozen chicken has been defrosting in a sink and begins to question Rosario's claims of everything being fresh. Gordon decides it is time to inspect the walk-in and freezer and finds container after container of frozen chicken. Rosario tells him that they buy the chicken in fresh and then freeze it, which somehow doesn't mean that they are serving frozen food, she continues to insist that the food is fresh. The walk-in is no better, there is mouldy food and food well on it's way to being mouldy. Rosario has the usual excuse of the produce being her own or being stored for someone or something else. Gordon tells Traci to shut down the service and ask the guests to leave. Gordon tries to talk to Rosario who continues to be in denial about the restaurant.  

The next Gordon sets up a fake trial in a public building and puts all the staff on trial. The crimes are the usual, Rosario is too laid back and lets people walk all over her and Gianfranco has lost his passion in the kitchen. Everyone goes on the defence of their crimes and the trial is over. Gordon isn't finished yet though and brings in locals who have previously dined at Bella Luna. The main complaints are about the poor food and one woman believes she had sour, off cannelloni. After the court room, Gordon brings everyone back to Bella Luna, which has had a makeover over night with new furniture and new tableware. There is a new menu, which has been significantly cut down and is made only with fresh food.

For relaunch evening, Gordon invites the disgruntled customers from the earlier town hall trial. They are impressed with the décor and after some hiccups with the service they are impressed with the food. The relaunch services starts smoothly but Gianfranco struggles with the new ordering system on proper tickets. He tries to send out the most ridiculous lasagne and Gordon catches him doing so. He takes him outside and shouts at him to get it together before chucking the lasagne on the floor. The relaunch was a success overall, despite some hiccups.

What Happened Next?

Bella Luna Ristorante closed 3 and a half months after filming. Rosaria says they did not fail but had a dispute with the landlord and business was up threefold after filming. The landlord however, claims they had not paid the lease in months. After the closure, it emerged that they had been selling alcohol with an expired license. The owners are currently looking for a new premises so watch this space. DeLorenzo's restaurant opened at the address in April/May 2014, reviews so far are good.

Extra Reading

Bella Luna Yelp Reviews

Bella Luna, site of 'Kitchen Nightmares' taping, illegally sold alcohol, state police say

Bella Luna could've succeeded after "Kitchen Nightmares" former owner says

'We didn't fail,' says Bella Luna Ristorante owner ahead of 'Kitchen Nightmares' show

DeLorenzo's restaurant will move to former Bella Luna building in mid-April

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares


  1. Is it just me, or has the editing of the show significantly changed this season?

    It's the same run time, but I feel like I'm getting short changed. They seem to rush through it now, like the remodel and reopening is far sooner than it used to be.

  2. Most of the episodes this season are two hours and they have plenty of time to show things.

  3. Know what you mean Jeff seems quite rushed. I feel myself losing interest before the episode has finished more and more. Especially with episode 4, it may be time for Gordon to call this season it's last he seems tired and bored of dealing with idiots who are in the wrong business.

  4. As one poster noted, most of this season were two parters so they spent more time with one restaurant than before. One reviewer I read elsewhere said the tone changed as well, implying that instead of lots of bickering/fighting there was more emphasis on the food. I would say it was somewhat more like the UK version this season, in which Gordon found himself butting heads with fools for chefs and owners and trying to convince them to simplify their menus and cook fresh food. That show had conflicts as well, though not as pronounced as the American version. While this season was short, it certainly had some interesting episodes. So far only this one (Bella Luna) is closed while the others are open and for the moment surviving.

  5. This is the last season of Kitchen Nightmares, at least the U.S. version.
    It didn't surprise me in the slightest that this restaurant closed. It was just another example of people who have big dreams, yet do not possess the capability to succeed in the endeavor. I always wanted to be a famous musician, but I just don't have the talent. I hope that anybody who is thinking of getting into the restaurant business looks at a few episodes of this show. Even now that the economy is in much better shape, 3 out of 4 new restaurants close within a year. That said, I do want to point out one major difference between the UK and U.S. version of Kitchen Nightmares. Ramsay, for the most part treats the people much better in the British show. Maybe he is more jumped up because of the existing persona from Hells Kitchen, but he crosses the line to abusive regularly. I know that the owners are asking for his help, but nobody deserves to be talked to the way he does. I'm actually a bit surprised that nobody hauled off and knocked him upside the head.

    1. well, someone could haul off and knock him upside his head, but everything is on camera for one and he is there to help. so not only to they risk jail time but for sure loosing their restaurant.
      So, generally if he is yelling, he is doing it for a reason. serving him rotting food ect.
      I would be pissed too because its happened to me in restaurants.

    2. "I always wanted to be a famous musician, but I just don't have the talent." Hey now. Talent means very little if you don't put in the work. And the same goes for the other way around. A lack of talent means very little if you *do* put in the work to make up for that lack of talent. Of course, that also requires a good deal of motivation. I think this show should spend more time training the chefs, spend more time on the food, and should go through more than one test run. I feel like the UK version does take more time, or at least, it's presented that way.

  6. If they keep the new standards from the Kitchen Nightmare show, they should do well when they find their new location and I hope they find a good new location.


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