Restaurant Impossible - Tornatore's Pizzeria Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Tornatore's Pizzeria

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Tornatore’s Pizzeria in Orlando, Florida.

Tornatore’s Pizzeria is owned by Denny Tornatore.

This episode is different because the owners wife Gina is applying secretly for her husband.

She thinks the show is her husbands last hope to save his restaurant from failure.

Denny has owned the restaurant for five years and it breaks Ginas heart to see him struggling.

He is stressed and exhausted when he comes home from the restaurant every night.

With a baby on the way something has to change for the sake of their family.

For the first time, Robert’s intervention will be an ambush on the unsuspecting owner.

Robert’s producers have not prepped the owner or set up any of their equipment.

However, the landlord is helping trick Denny into being at the restaurant with a fake safety inspection.

Denny is shocked and moved to tears to see Robert.

He admits that he is in trouble and Robert is his idol.

Denny is given time to regroup and the team sets up all their equipment to being filming the episode.

When Denny and Robert sit down, he explains that he has had a tough past.

His mentor set him straight and got working in the restaurant business.

Soon he saved up to start the restaurant and got partners to invest.

They did not get off to great start and after a while he was forced by his partners to buy them out.

As a condition to the buy-out he had to change the name so there is a different name inside and outside the restaurant.

He is in debt and his wife has been taking care of them at home.

It is too early for Robert to observe a service but Denny assures him that his food is good.

Robert meets with his designer Cheryl and Tom to discuss the plans for the space.

The original decor is a bland boring fast-food joint and they want it to look more like a classy pizzeria.

Robert meets Gina, who came in after Denny’s phone call informing her of the team’s arrival.

Robert and his team go shopping for construction items they will need.

After they return the restaurant staff empty out the restaurant.

Roberts team are worried they are behind on the work with the late start.

Denny finally gets an opportunity to cook for Robert.

Robert tastes the Rigatoni dish, he like the pasta but hates the sauce.

The Raviloli dish is disappointing as well due to the sauce.

Robert is impressed that he makes his own pasta fresh every day.

However, the sauces are all bland and let the dishes down.

The recipes he uses are those that are left over from the previous partners.

Robert meets with a producer to solve Denny’s sign problem.

He paid $1300 for a sign from a sign company and the Producer Jason will track the company down and get it done.

Robert meets with staff and shows a video of their service.

Denny frequently works shifts on the floor and in the kitchen to cut down on labour costs.

Denny is an ineffective micro manager and frustrates his staff by not delegating properly or assigning roles.

The next day, Robert meets with Pasquale, Denny’s mentor and friend who he fell out with.

Robert hears things from his side and how Denny only wanted to do things his way which is why he and the other partners left.

Soon Denny joins them and he apologises to Pasquale.

Robert helps them repair the relationship.

He would like for Pasquale to keep being his mentor and give him direction when needed.

Robert hopes that Denny will listen to the guidance he is given.

Robert goes back to the restaurant where work is ongoing.

The old sign is being taken down but the new one is not there yet.

Robert goes to the kitchen with Denny and his kitchen staff to give them some cooking tips.

They work on making some new sauces and a new ravioli dish.

At 5pm they are still putting the final touches on the inside but the sign has not been finished.

Later, Robert takes Denny, Gina and his sister to see the interior.

It is brighter and looks more like an upscale restaurant.

There are whites and blues on the walls and new wooden tables.

Pasquale also gets to see the space and he is speechless.

He shares a hug with Denny saying he is proud of him.

Robert takes them outside to see their brand-new sign with Denny’s name on the front.

On relaunch, the customers are let in.

They all love the changes including a takeout area they are excited about and praise the atmosphere.

They also love the food especially the new sauces and promise to return.



What Happened Next at Tornatore's Pizzeria?


A few months later, the restaurant is doing so well they now take reservations.

The food is now getting great reviews, especially the new sauce.

The menu is a mix of Roberts dishes and their own additions.

Denny and Pasquale speak more frequently since they have become friends again.

Tornatore's Pizzeria is open.

Reviews since the episode were filmed are mostly positive.


Tornatore's Pizzeria 2019 Revisited episode

In 2019, Robert revisited Tornatore’s Pizzeria.

He visited owner Denny back in 2015 for season 11.

This was Robert’s first ever ambush episode.

Denny hasn’t watched this episode since it aired.

Robert is on his way to see if Denny was able to make the restaurant a success.

This ambush was four years ago.

The inside of the restaurant hasn’t changed since the renovation.

Robert hugs Denny and they sit down to discuss the restaurant.

Robert tells him that this was his favorite ambush.

Denny has hired one of the best chefs from Orlando.

He isn’t doing everything in the restaurant now.

Instead he’s hiring the right people as it should be.

They had 12 employees when Robert first came and now they have over 20.

He’s able to pay himself and his staff well.

Gina and Denny got divorced but they are still friends.

Denny is now debt-free.

The year that Robert came, they brought in $660,000.

This year they are going to take over a million dollars in sales.

Denny is opening an Italian market in the space next door.

They’ve included a painting of Robert on the wall.

Denny makes some dishes for Robert to try.

Robert loves the food and says he sees more confidence in Denny.

Robert tells him that today he wants to test him.

He’s going to fill the restaurant with people to test the service.

Robert has filled every seat in the restaurant.

Things are going very smoothly and the customers love the food.

Denny says that this is what he’s dreamed of.

Robert is surprised by how far Denny has improved.

Robert is proud of Denny’s improvements and is excited for his future.

Tornatore's Pizzeria was Restaurant Impossible season 11 episode 7 and aired on 6th May 2015.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - The JuJu Bag Cafe

Previous episode - Gigi's Music Cafe

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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