Kitchen Nightmares

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Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps

Nino's Italian Restaurant

Aired: 2/22/13

Chef Ramsay heads to the coastal community of Long Beach, California, to save a 54-year-old family restaurant. Immigrant proprietors Inge and Vincenzo ran the restaurant with the intention of ensuring it was the best it could be, but with the onset of dementia at age 88, Vincenzo has separated himself from the eatery.

Vicenzo's eldest son, Nino, has become the manager of the restaurant, but his brother Michael claims he is the worst employee there. Because the establishment bears his name, Nino acts like he owns the place. Yet rather than working, he sits in the office and watches TV.

As a result of Nino's negligence, his sister Carina and Michael have stepped in to help save the family business, despite the fact that they both have their own careers. They fear that Nino is going to run the restaurant into the ground, so without consulting their older brother, they've asked Chef Ramsay to come and help.

When Chef Ramsay arrives, he finds a dated-looking dining room that transports him back to 1958. He asks Inge to gather the family for a meeting. But when Nino tells Gordon about all of the hard work he puts into keeping the restaurant clean, his siblings jump in to dispute his claims.

An argument soon erupts between the brothers. The only thing the family can agree on is the fact that the food is good. Despite the many menu misspellings, Chef Ramsay decides to sample the "egg plant," "meat balls" and chicken piccata.

When his meal finally arrives, Chef Ramsay declares the chicken piccata to be floury and dreadful and calls the meatball mushy. He comes to the conclusion that the manager and the food are undermining the restaurant.

Chef Ramsay calls a meeting with the entire staff. He reminds Nino that his mother carries all the weight of the family on her shoulders and urges him to hurry up and take some responsibility to lighten her load.

At dinner service that evening, Chef Ramsay confirms that even though Nino takes great pride in the cleanliness of the restaurant, the reality is that it's sorely lacking. Gordon implores Nino to accept the fact that the mess signifies how poorly the whole business is run. The almost 60-year-old manager tries to shift the responsibility from himself, saying he feels his mother hasn't given him authority to fully take over the operation.

The following morning, Gordon and Inge meet so that he can lay out a plan to spur Nino to action by pretending to shut down the restaurant. When Nino arrives, Inge says she has decided to close the business. But Nino declares that he wants to fight to keep the eatery open.

Still, Carina and Michael don't believe that Nino will stick to his promise. He implores them to trust him and vows that he will be more focused. They agree to give him another chance.

After Chef Ramsay gives the dining room a facelift and revamps the menu, Nino's is ready for relaunch. Following a smooth start, things get confusing at the pass, and Michael's attempts to run the show only make matters worse. Gordon asks him to step aside, and Nino gets things back in order. Although Michael isn't able to put the past behind him, the rest of the family is committed to the future of Nino's.

Despite some bumps in the road, the evening is a success. In the weeks that follow, Michael chooses to distance himself, but the rest of the family rallies to save the business. While Nino is taking on more responsibility, Inge continues to run the operation. Despite her own full-time job, Carina increases her presence in hopes that the restaurant will be a legacy for generations to come. With this renewed sense of cooperation, it looks like the decades-old restaurant is back on the path to success, and Chef Ramsay's work here is done.

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