Italian Village | Click here for restaurant's website
The owner indicates this place was once a booming money maker. They never thought the good times would end, so they were living high on the hog. But it seems compliance and a stubbornness to let the owner's son who has college education in management make the changes needed. The owner is also keeping everything in the dark regarding their financial numbers, which limits his son on what he can do.
The food at this restaurant was very fixable. Basic mistakes were being overlooked, like overcooking the lasagna and not adding enough seasoning.
Lesson for Home
Don't let compliance set into your kitchen. Is there a recipe you cook all the time? I think it's easy over time to start taking short cuts or forgetting steps that makes that dish incredible. Take the time every so often to look over how you are preparing a often made dish.
Speaking of the food, this restaurant had a case of the too large of a menu. While options are good, too many options delays service and costs more money as more items have to be kept in stock. Robert has a knack for simplifying menus.
They also had a mouse problem, despite having an exterminator coming once a month. Apparently they were doing their job right. They lied about the mice and used air freshers to cover up any smells. The owner was played for a fool. With everything else going wrong with the place, it was probably easier to pull the wool over his eyes.
Drunken Penne Pasta | Click here for the recipe
Penne pasta is served with tomato sauce, vodka, proscuitto, and cream. They keep this recipe on their menu after the show.
Robert's assistance helped keep the Italian Village in business. They rolled out a new website after the airing of the show. According to Food Network's site, business is up 18% and the owner and his son are communicating much better. Also the issue with the exterminators has been addressed.
I looked over some of the reviews of the restaurant from Yelp since the makeover. There still seems to be complaints about the same things from before, dried out lasagna, under seasoned food. Also people were complaining that the service was poor which was really one area Robert didn't spend any time on during the show (you can only do so much in 2 days!). It remains to be seen if business will stay up because of the show or if it will fade away along with the restaurant itself. If you have been there since the makeover what did you think? Leave a comment below.
If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:
This cookbook contains 111 recipes many with complete timelimes and several that are gluten free. An example of the kind of recipes you will find are Lime-Cured Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Porcini-Dusted Pork Chops with Cremini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins over Horseradish-Scented Potatoes.
In this book Robert shares his personal stories (including cooking for First Lady Laura Bush) and cooking philosophy. There are also recipes to be had like Black Angus Beef Tartare with Toasted Brioche and Fried Quail Egg, Roasted Duck with White Bean Ragout.