24 Hours to Hell and Back - Bella Gianna's - OPEN

24 Hours to Hell & Back Bella Gianna's

In this episode of 24 hours to Hell and Back, Gordon Ramsey visits Bella Gianna’s in Congers, New York.

Bella Gianna's restaurant is currently owned by Vinny Vasti and Theodora aka Dori Vasti-Barbato.

The restaurant is an Italian restaurant that was opened by Vinny’s father Frank and his wife Theodora.

Once successful the restaurant started falling apart along with the family.

Theodora and Frank split up and she remarried Frankie, who became a part owner.

The restaurant continued to decline and business has now declined to almost nothing.

Part owner Frankie sadly passed away a year ago, causing further strain in the restaurant.

Vinny has very changeable moods and is either screaming at the staff or crying in front of them.

His father Frank still pays for the day-to-day expenses and he is owed over $1.2m.

Gordon’s team has told them that they are auditioning for a renovation series.

They have installed several hidden cameras to spy on the goings on at the restaurant.

Gordon gets into a disguise as an old man and takes his pretend family of three actors to eat at the restaurant.

He isn't impressed with the tacky, depressing decor and the staff make him feel unwelcome.

They order a variety of basic Italian dishes.

The baked clams are just salty and there are no clams. They are just shells with stuffing

The calamari is rubbery and tastes old, the salad is wilted and the dressing tastes like it is off.

They complain about the clams and Vinny offers to take it off the check.

When the dishes are returned to the kitchen chef Lou doesn't see any problem with the dishes.

This descends into an argument and they hear Vinny and the cook shouting at each other all the way from the table.

The veal is undercooked and when they complained about this dish Vinny is rude but agrees to comp the meal.

Gordon goes into the men’s room to remove his disguise and asks Vinny to bring the kitchen staff out.

He then closes the restaurant while he gives feedback on the meals.

Gordon tells Vinny he was rude but he isn’t taking the criticism and starts talking over Gordon.

The staff and customers are taken to the Hell on Wheels truck to show a video of what the team captured.

The staff are using bare hands to cook, there is improper storage of food items and dirty cutting boards.

There is old food with black mould on produce and Vinny fights with Theodora and the cook.

After the last video, Vinny reacts passionately that he never gave up and he is committed to making the restaurant better.

The timer is started, counting down 24 hours until the relaunch of the restaurant.

The staff are taken into the restaurant for a meeting.

Gordon tells Olivia, Vinny’s daughter to leave because she has school in the morning.

Gordon proceeds to read out the online reviews that name Vinny as rude.

The reviews also say that the food and service at the restaurant are poor.

Chef Lou knows the business is in a bad way and the stress causes him to clash with Vinny.

Theodora is asked a question but Vinny butts in to answer with a raised voice.

The staff say they cannot work with him when he gets that way.

Vinny starts crying after receiving a text from Olivia saying he needs to listen to Gordon to get the help he needs.

The first thing to be changed is the decor which is all torn down.

The walls are to be painted, furnishings changed and the lighting will be modernised.

Gordon inspects the kitchen and he opens the freezer that falls apart in his hands.

There are also old food items and frozen leftovers that Vinny had instructed them to keep.

The walk-in has a noticeable smell of food that has gone bad.

Lou cannot tell how old some food items in the walk-in are.

Gordon sees black mould on the dressing that his table were served at lunchtime.

The rancid smell is from an off dish and it smells so bad that it causes Gordon and a camera man to dry heave.

The food is thrown out and the kitchen is to be cleaned.

Gordon is worried Lou is bad at his job or has lost his spark.

Chef Lou admits to Gordon that he has given up somewhat and he promises he can change.

Gordon reminds him that he and the kitchen need to be at their best for Vinny to have a chance of turning around the restaurant.

Gordon takes Lou and the kitchen staff to the Hell on Wheels truck to introduce a smaller menu with a focus on fresh ingredients.

He demonstrates cooking a veal dish then leaves them to practice with his team of chefs.

Gordon goes back to check on the dining room renovation and hears Vinny shouting at the staff.

Gordon pulls him into the office with his sister to find out why he is the way he is.

Vinny tries to make it all about him and blames other people for his problems which infuriates Gordon.

Theodora is asked to help with the renovations while Gordon continues with Vinny.

Gordon tells him to stop playing the victim, grow up and get over it but Vinny twists everything Gordon is saying.

Gordon tries to make Vinny see the extent that it effects Olivia by showing some of her interview.

Vinny realises he needs to change and approach situations in a calm manner.

Th kitchen team push to stay awake and keep cooking while the renovation continues all night.

At dawn the staff get to taste the new menu and they all find all of the food delicious.

Vinny tells the team he is there for them and he will try his best to be supportive.

Gordon is so happy with Lou’s team he gives them a sneak peek of the new kitchen with new tools and equipment from Breville.

Gordon meets with Frank to ask him to stop funding Vinny.

He has now received over $100,000 worth of help and he should learn to make it work.

Vinny and Theodora are whisked away blindfolded in an SUV to see their business on an advert on a busy motorway.

Back at the restaurant, Olivia is back from school and is at the restaurant to see the new look.

The restaurant is more open, brighter with blue walls and has a very modern look with hanging lights.

Olivia is moved to tears by the new look of the restaurant.

The restaurant is ready and in the last seconds of the timer, the waiting customers are let in.

The kitchen struggles with cooking the veal due to the lack of sleep and Gordon asks Vinny not to shout so loud in the kitchen.

A veal dish disappoints a customers and Vinny apologised genuinely to the customer, who turned out to be a local food blogger.

Another veal dish is sent back to be corrected and Lou reacts badly.

Gordon has to pull him aside to remind him small mistakes can be corrected and he should push on.

The night ends well and the old customers are astounded at the difference in the place and the service.

The relaunch was a success and Gordon gives Vinny and Dori a pep talk, they can make it work if they can work as a family.



What Happened Next at Bella Gianna's?


Three months later, the weekends are busy with many customers but the weekdays are still slow.

The customers love both the new look of the restaurant and the food from the new menu.

Vinny is less stressed and still working on changing his ways.

Bella Gianna's is open.

Reviews are mostly positive, Trip Advisor reviews to be mostly positive both before and after the show was filmed but there are Yelp reviews that appear to suggest they are reverting to old behaviours.

Vinny is planning to continue and finish Gordon's renovations.

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

Bella Gianna's was aired on June 13 2018, the episode was filmed in November 2017 and is 24 Hours to Hell and Back season 1 episode 1.


Click for more 24 Hours to Hell and Back

Next episode - The Old Coffeepot Restaurant

This post was last updated in March 2021.

3 comments:

  1. Can't be too good when he's using a groupon...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why don't you go there and try it rather than making public judgements?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every time I see Vinny cry it breaks my heart. I see a man who is very passionate about what he does and loves his family dearly. But his Italian stubbornness gets in the way and he doesn’t know how to fix it he is a good man he just has to listen to the people who care about him. I’m rooting for you Bella Gianna’s hope you make it.

    ReplyDelete

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