In this edition of Restaurant Impossible, Robert helps out an inexperienced restaurant owner (what's new) that was given the restaurant has a wedding gift 2 years earlier. After seeing this show, I think I would recommend something a little more traditional.
Longbranch Steak and Seafood | No website anymore
Problems Robert Had to Address
1. Bad food
2. Slow as a snail service
3. Management was basically non-existent
4. Cock roaches were found all over
This place did not have much going for it. Every time seem to be bad from food to service to the cleanliest of the restaurant.
Seared Medallions, Tomato Chutney, Blue Cheese Sauce | Click here for the recipe
A steakhouse needs a signature dish like this. It's beef tenderloin served with a tomato chutney and a blue cheese sauce. The sweetness of the tomatoes go well with the zing the blue cheese brings.
Check out my recipe review for a Center Cut Beef Tenderloin Roast
Seared Scallops, Polenta, Demi-Glace | Click here for the recipe
I have never had scallops. They have just never appealed to me. These scallops are seared and served over a basic herbed polenta.
Follow-Up Add Longbranch to the list of resturants that were impossible to save. A few months after the show, the place was still serving. The owner, Lisa had stepped in her role in management. But it wasn't enough to keep the place afloat. Sometime in August it appears the restaurant gave up. Their website has been removed and their phone number is no longer in service. On the page for this episode on Food Network site it confirms the restaurant closed. This restaurant is the 4th one that was impossible for Robert to fix.
One thing I want to note is that normally after a show, Food Network reports that sales at each place are up. But when they wrote about this place after the show, no numbers were mentioned. That seems to be a clear sign that this place didn't benefit in sales from the show. Could it be the cockroaches they found? I think people can overcome some dust and a bit of baked on grease because of neglect but when it comes to cockroaches, it's game over. Even after Robert helped clean the place up, I don't think people couldn't get over it. But I really don't know if that was it or not. Did anyone visit this place after the show and find problems you think lead to their demise?
Here are what some reviews said about this place before it closed. This first one is from Yelp:
"Tried twice to have lunch at this restaurant. They only care about their regulars. We sat at a table for a long time with no one interested in waiting on us. Not sure why we tried again, but got the same result. Left both times without eating."
To come in the restaurant twice and not eat anything, that's really poor service. The next two reviews are from Urban Spoon:
"What a horrible experience! Place wasn't busy at all and didn't see my waitress for close to an hour after she brought the check. I had to go to the bar for my own beer! I ended up closing the check with the bar tender because my waitress never did come back! I've traveled all across this country for the past 10+ years for business and have never had an experience as bad as this! The food was mediocre at best but the beer was cold."
Again the poor service!
"Slow service. Ordered a chicken salad: the chicken was over cooked, was not tossed in buffalo as requested, and had a small piece of plastic in it. A coke pitcher was left on the table instead of going to get refills for my husband's drink. So it was watered down and flat. Was not overly impressed."
At least it was plastic in their food not a cockroach! There was not a lot of reviews to find online but pretty much all negative. I really don't think the owner was ready to run this place. Robert can only do so much.
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.