Kitchen Nightmares

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Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps

La Galleria 33, Pt. 1

Aired: 10/26/12

Chef Ramsay goes to Boston's North End to pay a visit to La Galleria 33, opened in 2006 by sisters Rita and Lisa. The two siblings grew up in the Italian neighborhood and worked at their father's very successful restaurant, L'Osteria, which was established in 1985. They branched out and opened their own establishment only 100 feet away, hoping to feed off their father's success.

But the customers never came. The sisters blame everything from the weather to the tablecloths to the font on the menu. They don't know how to fix their problems because they don't know how to identify them.

The employees, however, know exactly what is wrong - Lisa and Rita. They say the sisters treat people badly and talk unprofessionally. Plus Lisa drinks on the job and Rita smokes in the restaurant. They have slipped into complacency about the failing business, but their parents stand to lose everything if La Galleria fails.

When Chef Ramsay arrives, he's confused by the restaurant's name, dated décor and proximity to their parents' eatery. He also discovers there is an issue with smoking and drinking on the job. Lisa and Rita in turn complain to him about the poor service and the lazy employees. As the icing on the cake, Rita admits that the head chef is her ex-husband, which causes a lot of tension.

After their chat, Chef Ramsay is anxious to try the food made by Rita's ex, Doug. As he places his order, Sara, the server, reaffirms what Gordon is discovering about Rita and Lisa's bad behaviors.

While the meal is being prepared, Chef Ramsay talks to another employee, Pat, an ex-shoe salesman who can't eat Italian food because he's gluten-intolerant. Pat tells Gordon he's the general manager/host. Rita quickly clarifies that he has assigned the title of general manager to himself and that he is in fact, the busboy, whom she has actually fired and rehired on occasion.

When the dishes finally arrive, Gordon discovers that while the food is made fresh on-site, they make more than they need and freeze it, thus diminishing the quality. He laughs when he discovers that the "special of the day" has been the same for two years and they have run out of tiramisu, their only dessert. His general assessment is that the food is overcooked and bland.

Gordon sends Pat to L'Osteria to get him some tiramisu because he is starving. Rita and Lisa's mother Lena delivers it personally and gets praise for her delicious dessert.

Chef Ramsay stops into the kitchen and has a chat with Doug, Lisa and Rita. Doug claims he gets resistance from the sisters, who fights back saying they don't restrict him at all. Chef Ramsay is appalled to learn that the chef doesn't eat Italian food himself and tells Doug that he's not giving his best.

That evening Gordon wants to see the restaurant in action to watch for himself how Doug runs the line and the sisters take care of the customers. Saturday is the one night of the week that La Galleria 33 is filled with customers, because it's the busiest night of the week in the bustling North End of Boston.

Gordon is baffled by the lack of communication and timing in the kitchen. And his bewilderment turns to disgust when Doug drops a piece of chicken on the floor and then puts it back in the pan to cook. He has had a firsthand look at just how low the standards are. Lisa and Rita are convinced Doug is sabotaging them to make them look bad in front of Chef Ramsay.

Out in the dining room, the customers are expressing how they feel about the dishes, and they are not pleased. When they ask to speak to the owners, Lisa and Rita both refuse to talk to them. Although the proprietors won't deal with the disgruntled patrons, it doesn't stop the diners from complaining about the poor quality. Sara says this is a typical night of unhappy guests.

When a plate of ravioli is sent back because it's cold, Rita returns the dish to the table saying it's plenty hot enough. She proceeds to argue with the customer about the temperature of the food. Gordon goes back to the table and apologizes to the diners. He tells Rita and Lisa that as owners, they need to remember that the customer is always right.

When yet another patron complains about bad food, Gordon goes into the refrigerator to inspect the fish. He discovers dead mussels and demands they be thrown out immediately.

A few hours into dinner service, Gordon has finally put his finger on the problem at La Galleria 33. Owners Lisa and Rita are in denial about the quality of the food, and head chef Doug's practices in the kitchen are completely careless.

When he digs deeper into the pantry of the restaurant, Chef Ramsay finds rotten onions, frozen pasta and frosted-over meatballs. He tells the sisters they should not be running a business, because they obviously don't care. He says no one there has any pride in what they are doing.

Fed up, Lisa can no longer take the criticism and leaves the restaurant. Gordon finds her outside and tells her, "You walk out, I'm out." They both turn from each other and storm off down the street. TO BE CONTINUED.

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