Leone's - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Leone's Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Leone's in Montclair, New Jersey.

Leone's restaurant was opened by Rose in 1996, business was good and people would wait in line to come in.

Three years ago, she fell into a coma following complications from a kidney stone operation.

Michael stepped in and took over the family business.

All he does is walk around and watch football all day before going home.

The actual work of running the restaurant fell into head server Trudy’s hands.

Michael’s lack of concern affected the whole restaurant as everyone else started doing the same.

The staff would take naps and play soccer instead of working as a result the restaurant declined.

Michael had no experience in running a restaurant and the restaurant lost a lot of money whilst he was in charge.

Rose returned and the restaurant she had owned for 14 years was in shambles.

She returned to a dirty disorganized restaurant that lacked management and everything she had worked for was gone.

The restaurant used to be fully booked and now they aren’t booking many tables at all.

Gordon arrives and meets Michael, who is relaxing and watching sports on the TV in the reception.

Gordon tells Michael how it is a bad first impression to come in to see him watching TV rather than working.

He then notices the strange art works on the wall and he thinks they are creepy and ugly.

Gordon meets with Rose and asks her what she thinks is wrong with the restaurant.

Rose looks at Michael, them back at Gordon, and says that everything is wrong at the restaurant.

Gordon is introduced to the staff and Trudy tells Gordon that the major problem is that there is no one leading the restaurant.

Michael cuts in and says the d├ęcor is the problem.

Michael admits to Gordon that Trudy does most of the jobs at Leone’s.

She does everything from ordering produce to payroll and creating the menus.

Gordon asks Michael if he actually has a passion for the job. He says yes but Trudy disagrees and doesn’t think he does.

Gordon finds out Michael only works part time in the restaurant and that he spends most the time sitting down.

When Gordon asks about the finances, he discovers they are losing $4,000 a week.

Gordon wants to sample the food and orders one of everything from the menu of over 100 dishes.

Looking at the spread in front of him he cannot tell some of the dishes apart and they look poor.

When he samples the dishes, most are bland or have too much garlic and the fish dishes are the worst.

Gordon asks Carchi and Darryl, the chefs to taste their food and they tell him they don’t like any of the food on the table.

Gordon is not happy and he leaves the restaurant.

Gordon returns for a dinner service to find out the issues with the restaurant.

The news of his arrival in town has led to Leone’s being fully booked for the first time in years.

The diners do not like the food and dishes are sent back to the kitchen.

Gordon notices the Chefs are not only properly trained but the kitchen is also filthy.

He decides to look in the walk in and freezer and it is disgusting.

He discovers rotten food, cross contamination and improperly stored meat and seafood.

The foods hasn’t been organized in a long time.

Gordon sees food that has been in the freezer for months and there are some items that have been in there so long the chefs can’t recognise what they are.

He shuts the restaurant down and orders the staff to deep clean the kitchen.

Gordon meets with the staff and they confess that they don’t believe in Michael. Even Rose doesn’t believe in her son.

Gordon tells Michael to step up and prove to everyone that he is ready to lead the restaurant.

The next day, Gordon takes the staff to an Art Gallery and on the wall are images of their food next to food from their competitors.

Gordon confesses the food tastes as amazing as it looks.

But when looking at the images of their food in comparison, it looks unappealing and it is hard to tell what some dishes are as they look bland.

In the kitchen, Gordon gives Michael training to improve his cooking skills.

Gordon teaches Michael new skills so he can have control of the kitchen and recognize when there is something wrong in the kitchen.

This way Michael can become an effective leader and improve the kitchen.

The food Gordon and Michael cooked together tastes great.

John confesses that it might just be the best food that has ever come out of the kitchen.

Michael says he hasn’t seen Trudy smile after sampling their food in at least two years.

Rose couldn’t believe the improvement in the food.

Over night, Gordon revamps the restaurant, modernising the dining room and has installed a new POS system for ordering food.

The staff enters and were surprised at how beautiful the place now looks.

Michael describes it as looking like a whole different world and Rose is in tears and hugs Gordon.

The outdated New Jersey restaurant has now become a modern classic Italian bistro.

Gordon also cuts the menu by half, adding freshly cooked, modern Italian dishes.

The staff sample the new menu and all loved the taste of the new dishes.

On relaunch night Gordon has high hopes for Michael as his attitude has become more positive.

He expects him to take complete control of Leone’s from his mother.

He gets off to a good start, ensuring quality dishes leave the kitchen and the customers are happy.

However, Michael starts to lose control and sends out a table’s order twice.

Gordon gives him a pep talk, he then sorts the kitchen out and food starts going out again without a complaint.

Gordon is pleased with Michael's new attitude and tells Rose her son is ready to take over from her.

Gordon meets with Michael and advises him to stay the course.

Rose congratulates Michael and tells him he would do great without her.

What Happened Next at Leone's

Leone's in Montclair, NJ is still open.

Yelp reviews since filming are mostly positive with the odd off service/dish.

Trip Advisor reviews are more mixed and also suggest the service has off days.

Chef's Carchi and Darryl were fired after filming.

Gordon revisits the restaurant a year later in a Kitchen Nightmares revisited episode.

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.

Gordon is happy with the food but not happy with Michael, he promises he will be a better leader and commit time to the restaurant.

Rosemary Leone passed away on 5th April 2014.

Planning a visit to the restaurant? Check out their website for opening hours and further info.

Leone's was aired on September 30 2011, the episode was filmed in July 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 2.

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. Very good Reviews.


  2. Good for Rose. Good staff, must've brought in a great chef. Too bad Michael's useless.

  3. If it weren't for the amazing staff, Leone's would've closed down a long time ago. I hope Michael realises how lucky he is.

  4. Jon is so cute wish I was a gay male! Mama Rose is adorable!

  5. I'm so glad they're still open. It always makes me sad when I find out the restaurants Chef Ramsay helped end up closing down.

  6. So glad this one is still open! Mama Rose deserves that. I hope Michael has stepped up since Ramsey revisited

  7. Honestly, this episode made me a bit angry. I felt kind of bad for Michael. Don't get me wrong, he was a bit of a plum, but I hate these episodes of KN where some poor kid has been forced to inherit a business they have zero interest in, then have scorn heaped on them for not running it properly. I don't think Michael wanted to be a restaurant owner and I don't approve of berating him for that.

    1. I'm the son of a very successful restaurant owner in southern France, he tried to push me into following his steps, I worked at his restaurant during weekends and holidays, hated every minute of it. I had no interest in working there. He could just find another job and tell his mom he doesn't want to work there, it's not like you can't replace him, as he's pretty much useless.

  8. Imagine my surprise to know that this place is still open. I've been watch KN and searching which places are still open. Good for Mama Rose! This makes me happy.

  9. I'm glad they're still open. So sad that Mama Rose passed away, but hopefully her legacy will live on and Michael will keep this place running.

  10. On the Google street view image capture (Oct 2020) you can clearly see Michael standing out front like a lop in his "I've never had to work a day in my life" uniform. The reviews are really good though so the people doing the work must be doing it well.


Comments will be moderated prior to being published. Those with spam links, offensive language or of an offensive nature will not be published. All comments are the opinion of the commenter and do not represent the opinions of the website owner.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter