Sunday, 29 May 2011

US Season 2 - Sabatiello's - CLOSED

Open or closed? CLOSED
Location: Stamford, CT

Episode Summary: Owned by Sammy Settembre, well known in the area for the once famed pizzeria he worked in that was owned by his brother Benny. His girlfriend Lauren is a waitress and has noticed a decline in customers. Sammy believes the decor and the food to be excellent so he does not know why they have so few customers. Waiter David believes Sammy is a big problem as he can be nasty to the customers and had bad customer service. Sammy is in $1,000,000 of debt and can barely afford to stay open another year. Gordon arrives and is greeted by Sammy who tells him that the decor is nice and warm and the food is good. He tells him all the food is made fresh.

Gordon sits down and orders some food. He orders the soup of the day called a Wedding Soup, lasagne and the New York Strip steak. The Wedding Soup is hiedoue with mish mash of s*@t bought tegether and the meatballs are anemic and it tastes bland and like it was made yesterday. The lasagne has white meat as if chicken or veal and tastes synthetic and is not homemade. The steak was tough , not seasoned properly and was greasy. He says the food is consistently poor. He meets Head Chef Jose who tells him the soup is three days old and that the lasagne was made last Friday and then frozen so they take out portions when they need them. The steak was a choice steak and not the aberdeen angus as advertised. Sammy denies anything is wrong with the food. Gordon inspects the kitchen and finds it to be spotlessly clean. However, upon inspecting the fridge he discovers cooked and raw chicken next to each other, which Sammy thinks is no problem.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. There is a Sole Special on the menu and Jose tells Gordon that it is stuffed with imitation crabmeat rather than the real thing. Gordon is not impressed and they taste the dish. Sammy says it is not bad whereas Gordon spits it out saying it is watery and mushy. Customers are not impressed with their food and one customer in particular is not happy with her lamb and returns it to be cooked some more. Sammy tells the chef to put it on the microwave and when the customer receives it back again she sends it back saying that it has been put in the microwave and she expected them to put it back into a pan. Sammy gets involved and goes into the restaurant to confront the customer, he handles it badly and refuses to apologise. It is girlfriend Lauren that has to apologise to the customers for his behaviour. Gordon tells Sammy that he is the biggest problem as he is so hard to work with. The next morning he sits Sammy down to talk about the past and his brother Benny and the original restaurant. For the next dinner service Gordon introduces two new specials, a homemade Lasagne and a Filet Mignon to be carved at the table. The restaurant is busy and Sammy is in the kitchen, Jose is not communicating with his staff and the problems begin. Jose has problems cooking the steaks and they are returned for being undercooked and the kitchen gets backed up. Gordon tells Sammy the kitchen is now a big problem and Sammy says Jose is on his last chance. The next day Gordon introduces a new menu changing the restaurant into an Italian Steakhouse, something unique in the community. Gordon introduces the new dishes to the staff and they sample all the new steaks on the menu.

Relaunch night arrives and the biggest challenge was whether Jose could handle cooking the steaks how the customers would like them without undercooking them. Jose proves he isn't up to the task and the steaks are sent back as undercooked so the kitchen falls behind. Sammy makes the decision to step behind the line and help them out. He successfully turns the kitchen around and after the wait the customers are happy with their food and happy with the changes Gordon has made and the relaunch is dubbed as a success despite the glitches.

What Happened Next: Sabatiello's closed in October 2008, it was reported that the owner was to open a pizzeria with his brother in Greenwich. Prior to closing there was a sign outside the restaurant and a flyer handed out that read "Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay's favorite Italian in Fairfield County". Since then it has become Quattro Pazzi and reviews are very good. It appears he did in fact open Sabatiello Gourmet Pizza in Riverside in December 2008 which closed as the rent was not paid. It then became Marco Polo Gourmet Pizza. Sammy has been arrested on various occasions, see the links below. Sammy can now be found working as a Chef in New York at The Appalachian Market, a gas station that also serves food, Pizza being a speciality.

Extra Reading

Quattro Pazzi Yelp Reviews




  1. So he's working at a gas station now...damn that's a long fall from a million dollar restaurant.

    Also, who knew that gas station pizza joints had chefs?

  2. Up here in the Adirondacks of NY, the gas stations are THE place to get pizza, much to my dismay, being from Boston and being Italian.

    Just watched this episode of Kitchen Nightmares and I have to agree that Sammy was the problem, got better, but his chef just couldn't handle it. he should have fired him and hired a ringer when Gordon was there.

  3. I actually liked Sammy, he seemed like a nice guy with a lot on his plate. When I watch these episodes, I always want them to kick butt and succeed. As a fellow New Yorker, I wish him nothing but the best. You fall down, but, as long as you're can get back up!

  4. Stupid Eye talians.

  5. HIS WIFE IS A DOLL!!!!!!

  6. What happened to his gf Lauren? I ask because I presume they never got married what with Sammy's horrible record after the restaurant closed for good. Lauren's beautiful and a sweetheart. I can't believe she was too lenient with that abusive Sammy.

  7. 6 years of running after these .......blokes, he's a social worker at heart..;) ....GR is also reminding me off Benjamin Buttons as the older he gets the younger he looks. Unfenbelievable.


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