Restaurant Impossible Follow-Up — Sapori D’Italia (Fountain Hills, Ariz)

(Last Updated On: January 30, 2013)

It seems this show is becoming more and more about family drama. Especially with this episode, where you have mother, father, and two sons all yelling at each other. You can hardly go a minute without seeing someone cry in this episode. Will they overcome all the family drama and stay in business?

Sapori D’Italia | Click here for the restaurant’s website

Problems Robert Had to Address
1. The obvious fighting between each member of the family.
2. Food that was simply lacking include A red/tomato sauce that wasn't any good.
3. A wait staff that didn't seem to know what they were doing.

Most of this episode focused in on the family problems. Not as much on the food as I would like. Almost felt more like an episode of Dr. Phil than a Food Network show. I would rather see more food drama than family drama. When they did talk about the food, the thing that struck me the most was that their tomato sauce sucked. That is the basis for many Italian dishes. You can’t have a good Italian place if your sauce is no good. If you can learn to make a good tomato sauce then you have a world of dishes opened for you. A good sauce doesn’t come out of a can and you shouldn’t fork over $6-$8 for it come out of a jar with a chef’s face on it.

The Recipes

Shrimp Scampi | Click here for the recipe
An easy to make shrimp scampi with a white wine reduction.

Eggplant Parmesan | Click here for the recipe
A classic Italian dish is made better with the use of Panko bread crumbs.

So far even after all the family drama this place has managed to keep it’s door open. According to Food Network, for the 1st 3 weeks after the remodel sales were up $8000 a week. That eventually settled down to about $2000 a week more than the same time a year ago. Business is definitely better for now. Most of the reviews I read about the place after Robert’s visit were positive. People liked their food. I did hear some complaining about the portion size being smaller now. Robert is trying to help these places increase profits so cutting portions is on his list of things to do as lot of places in his mind give you too much food. But the downside to that is upsetting their original customer base. It’s a fine line to walk. One customer did complain about rude service. It’s not likely to believe that everything with the family is all perfect now. I am sure fights still do break out and maybe this customer was getting the fallout from one of those fights. I think this place does have a fighting chance to stay open.

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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.