Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Trobiano's, Great Neck, NY, an Italian restaurant owned by Anthony Trobiano and his girlfriend Tiffany's parents. They have been struggling for 3 years and are months away from closing. They are all at the restaurant all the time so they argue a lot and are beginning to resent each other. Gordon arrives and they sit down to talk about the problems, Gordon discovers that Anthony has never worked in an Italian restaurant and says he is mad to open one having never worked in one. The restaurant runs a busy early bird special so Gordon arrives to sample the menu. He notices that the décor is drab and old fashioned like the customers.
Gordon orders the egg plant tower, chicken wrapped shrimp and salmon with spaghetti bolognese. He notices that the customer next to him has fallen asleep! The food arrives, the egg plant tower is ghastly, cold and tasteless as the mozzarella isn't home made. The chicken wrapped shrimp is confusing, the shrimp is rock hard and the salmon is very dry. When Gordon returns the food Anthony refuses to taste it. After the early bird special finishes the restaurant is empty and Gordon tells them that the biggest problem with the special menu is the portion sizes, as they are allowing customers to take large portions away with them. Gordon leaves but decides to come back to investigate the kitchen. He finds the kitchen to be filthy with a dirty oven, dirty floors and dirty plates. Gordon enters restaurant and tells them all to come into kitchen, he asks Anthony about the cleaning regime and he tells him that the staff are meant to do it and he doesn't do any cleaning at all. Gordon also discovers mouse droppings and walks out. Anthony goes after him and tries to talk him into returning.
The next day Gordon takes them out to a farm to milk cows to be able to make their own mozzarella and when they return to the restaurant Gordon gives them a master class of making mozzarella, telling them that with 45 minutes work a day they can have something that stands out from the competition. For the evening dinner service Gordon tells them to take down the early bird special. Gordon introduces two new specials using the fresh mozzarella and the specials are very popular. Anthony however is once again not tasting his food and this leads to food being sent back, the kitchen falling behind and customers are left waiting. Something is burnt in the kitchen setting the fire alarm off which Anthony has to turn off, meaning they are set even further behind. Prior to the relaunch, Gordon introduces a new menu of Italian dishes and the staff taste these and love them.
On relaunch night, the editor of Bon Appetit Magazine Barbara Fairchild comes for dinner, phoning Gordon to say she is attending, putting further pressure and creating a challenge for the kitchen. The kitchen was doing well, sending out good food until they are let down by the servers with handwriting problems and duplicate orders. Gordon tells them to sort it out as they are damaging the kitchen. Then a single dish comes back as cold however this is the only dish sent back. The Bon Appetit table love their food and all pass the food around sampling each others dishes. To end the night off Gordon presents Anthony with an engagement ring as he knows that Anthony had been putting it off due to the pressure of the restaurant. He proposes in front of everyone in the restaurant and the next surprise is that they are to get married that evening in the restaurant.
What Happened Next? The restaurant was seized by the state for not paying taxes and as a result closed in October 2008. Anthony then became a Chef at Speranza Food Studio which closed in 2011. He is currently Executive Chef at Cirella's Restaurant & Bar in New York. Anthony and Tiffany are still married and had a daughter in March 2010.
Trobiano's closed by the state tax authorities
Gordon Ramsay can't save Trobiano's in Great Neck
Trobiano’s No Longer A Kitchen Nightmare (original article)
Trobiano’s No Longer A Kitchen Nightmare
Italian as the House Specialty New York Times Review 2006
Trobiano rides again -- soon, in Woodbury
Dinner at Speranza Food Studio