Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Restaurant Impossible - La Stanza - CLOSED

La Stanza Restaurant Impossible

Chef Robert Irvine visits La Stanza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he finds an Italian restaurant stuck in the past. The restaurant is owned by John Tripodi who bought the restaurant as he believed it would be easier than the construction trade. Two years ago he passed the restaurant to 24 year old daughter Lucia, who dropped out of college to run the restaurant. Both have no restaurant experience  and there was a recent controversy with under-age sale of alcohol. He finds there is a problem with the food, the sauce for the eggplant is good but the rest is poor. The biggest problems are the drab decor of the restaurant and lack of promotion. 

Robert discovers that the Chef is cutting corners  trying to help Lucia run the restaurant by saving her money with food costs. Robert meets the designer and wants to split the large, overwhelming dining room into two separate dining areas. He rips down the curtains in the dining room and they remove all of the clutter. Robert tests Lucia on the cost of their menu and she shows she doesn't know the cost of the ingredients or at what price the menu items should be sold at. Robert gets to work by adding new dishes to the menu and teaching the kitchen how to prepare an Italian Tapas menu. 

Robert is concerned about the repaint of the ceiling as the paint is not taking well to the porous ceiling and you can still see the dark colour underneath.  Robert reveals that he has made plans with a local television station to broadcast a feature on the restaurant. Robert is forced to call in reinforcements as the large space is taking longer to redecorate than planned despite the team working all night. Robert teaches Lucia how to run the restaurant including pricing the menu and how to manage the staff. 

On relaunch night, the dining room is finished in the nick of time and revealed to the owners shortly before opening. The customers love the new bright decor and the customers love the new menu. The chefs have their passion for cooking back and the kitchen is running well. 


What Happened Next? 

Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews since filming were mostly good. They only kept one of the dishes that Robert added to the menu, reverting back to their old menu. The restaurant closed in November 2014 and Asian Palace Restaurant opened in its place, an Asian restaurant that is also available as a wedding venue.


Recipes Featured in this Episode

Philly Cheese Steak Stromboli | Meatball Tom Toms with Parmesan Cream | Tempura Sardines with Tonnatto Sauce


La Stanza was season 2 episode 2 and aired on July 13 2011, there were 18 episodes in season 2 aired between July 2011 and January 2012 and the closure rate for Restaurant Impossible Season 2 currently stands at 67%

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