Kitchen Nightmares - Bella Luna - CLOSED

Bella Luna Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Bella Luna in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Bella Luna is an Italian restaurant owned by Rosario Scollo.

She bought the restaurant in 2010 for her two sons Maurizio and Gianfranco.

Gianfranco graduated from culinary school and is the head chef in Bella Luna.

He always dreamed of running a restaurant and his mother made it happen.

Rosario's son Maurizio is Bar Manager and feels that the locals don't appreciate fine cooking and prefer microwave meals.

Unfortunately, the food is bad and customers complain and send it back frequently.

The staff think that the decor makes the place looks like a morgue and Rosario isn’t a good leader.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and is pounced on by manager Traci, who throws herself upon Gordon and is clearly pleased to see him!

She immediately tells him the situation at the restaurant and gives their management a minus two score out of ten.

The locals don’t love the place and they have tried everything to get customers including ‘50 Shades of Grey’ bingo nights.

She explains that Gianfranco is protected by Rosaria and customer complaints when food is sent back are ignored.

Gordon goes inside the restaurant and is puzzled by the Christmas decor, in the middle of July.

He is then greeted by Rosaria who gives him the background of the restaurant.

Gordon can’t believe she opened a restaurant with no experience but is please when she doesn’t they don’t cook anything from frozen.

She believes that one of the issues is that the customers are used to frozen food and cannot appreciate freshly made Italian food.

Gordon meets Gianfranco, who tells him there is a communication issue between him and his mother that strains their working relationship.

Gordon sits down to sample the lunch service and is given a number of different menus to order from.

He orders a veal dish, a penne pasta dish and mussels marinara.

Gordon talks to Nicole, a server, who says the biggest problem is management, who are unfocused and frequently shout at each other and the staff.

Traci brings his food and says that Nicole should not be listened to.

She says that she is not competent and should have been fired a long time ago.

The Veal Saltimbooca is hideous and bland. The dish is overcooked and caked in flour.

The penne dish arrives and he immediately removes a strange garnish, handing it back to Traci.

The pasta is disgusting, overcooked, drowning in sauce and he compares it to baby vomit.

The Mussells Marinara dish has very few mussels in it and he can tell the mussels are frozen by how chewy they are.

Gordon is furious and goes into the kitchen to give feedback and ask why the mussels are frozen.

Gianfranco says the mussels are not ordered often enough for them to buy fresh ones.

He knows it should be taken off the menu but he says Rosaria doesn’t want to do that.

Rosaria has excuses as to why it is still on the menu when it isn’t cooked from fresh.

Gordon watches the kitchen operate and sees they have no tickets, instead they use scraps of paper to write orders.

He sees more frozen items and they have frozen shrimp, frozen chicken and meatballs stored close together.

There is frozen chicken defrosting in the sink and the chef defrosts shrimp in the microwave.

When Gordon shows Rosaria the frozen items in the kitchen, she tells him to talk to the chef as it is not her area.

Gordon decides it is time to inspect the walk-in and freezer. In the freezer he finds containers of frozen chicken, calamari and mussels.

She explains they buy fresh but freeze it as they are unable to use it all when it is fresh.

Gordon says she should be aware of all that is going on as the owner, but she still says the chef is responsible.

She also sees no issue in the frozen food they use despite advertising that all of the food is cooked from fresh.

Gordon continues investigating and finds mouldy food produce and vegetables in the walk-in.

There is grey veal and a rotten turnip that would have taken months to get into the state it is in.

Gordon meets with the kitchen staff, they are defensive saying it won’t be served and they just got some of it in recently.

As Gordon is scolding them, a hair is found in food about to be served in a dish.

Gordon tells Traci to shut down the service for the night and apologise to the customers being asked to leave.

Outside, Gordon tells the owners that he is convinced they have given up but Gianfranco says he hasn’t given up.

He says that if he had given up he would have left the restaurant.

Gordon tells them they are in denial and they need to make changes and be more aware of what is going on in the kitchen.

The next day, Gordon sets up a fake trial in a public building and puts all the staff on trial.

First on the stand is Rosaria, she is given honest feedback on her attitude and she is defensive.

Gianfranco is also called out on his role on the failures of the restaurant from the kitchen.

Gordon brings in locals, who have previously dined at Bella Luna and they will be given a chance to defend themselves.

The main complaints are about the poor food, one man had a fly in his soup, incorrect meat served and one woman believes she had sour cannelloni.

None of the unhappy customers wanted to come back to Bella Luna.

The staff are embarrassed at the responses and Rosaria is especially shocked at the revelations.

Gordon begs the former customers to give Bella Luna one more try once he was done with fixing the problems.

Gordon’s team work over night to renovate Bella Luna and the staff are brought in with blindfolds.

The restaurant has been brightened and freshened up with neutral base colours and a pop of colour with red benches.

Gordon has also given them a new POS system to replace their tickets on a scrap of paper system.

The menu has been reduced in size with all the dishes made from fresh ingredients.

For relaunch night, the unhappy customers have returned to the restaurant to give them another chance.

Halfway through the service they get overwhelmed by the influx of tickets and tables are left waiting.

Gianfranco tries to send out the most ridiculous lasagne but Gordon catches him doing so and takes him outside to give him a dressing down.

Gianfranco regains focus and takes charge to correct the error and catches up with the backlog.

The relaunch night ends on a high note with customers saying they will return.

What Happened Next at Bella Luna?

In the months that followed, Bella Luna’s business increased significantly but they had issues with their landlord and had to close.

They are looking for a new location to reopen soon.

Bella Luna Ristorante closed 3 and a half months after filming in November 2013.

Yelp reviews were positive after filming with compliments to the new dishes on the menu.

Rosaria says they did not fail but had a dispute with the landlord and business was up threefold after filming.

The daughter of the landlord however refutes this claim and claims that they had not paid the rent in months.

After the closure, it emerged that they had been selling alcohol with an expired license.

The owners were said to be looking for a new location but they never reopened.

DeLorenzo's restaurant opened at the address in April/May 2014, reviews were good before they closed in 2019.

Bella Luna was aired on 16 May 2014, the episode was filmed in July 2013 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 7 episode 9.


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This post was last updated in March 2021.

8 comments:

  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.

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "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.

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  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.

    ReplyDelete

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