Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sabatiello's Kitchen Nightmares DeBriefing

1. I made the cut. The owner serves us steak, and I, smiling like an idiot, watch my husband cut into his steak. While the steak was good, the middle was undercooked, as were many of the steaks you saw served on the show.

2. I highly doubt that being on Kitchen Nightmares will give the resto a boost as the owner hoped. The show portrayed an Italian Steak House whose chef cannot cook a medium steak. Maybe the chef has figured it out by now, but I am too scared to go back and see. I'm afraid the owner will recognize me and ask me a question about the show. If someone else can go check out the steaks and report back, I'd be so grateful.

3. A lot of commenters on the previous post thought that Sammy came across looking like a jerk, but I bet a lot of owners are tyrannical when they have a million dollars sunk into a place.

4. The only horrifying thing to me was charging high prices for food that was not the quality that was promised: selling a lower quality steak than listed, charging $29 for sole with imitation crabmeat, and reheating week-old lasagna. What's the point of eating out? I can get better food for cheaper, and I can microwave a frozen lasagna dinner at home for 3 bucks.

5. I was happy to see that the kitchen was clean-- except for the raw chicken right beside the cooked, which Gordon Ramsay freaked over.

6. I think it's awkward that the main dining area is upstairs. Even if upstairs is full, the resto will look empty if people are not downstairs. Nobody wants to risk being the only one eating in a resto; people like to see who's there before they commit.

7. The show made me nostalgic for Dunn's Loft, the steak house that had a brief, glorious, rollicking run on Summer before it went down because, like Sabatiello's, there just was not the business to offset the high rent. However, at Dunn's, the steak was delicious and the atmosphere far more celebratory.

Related posts:

--Jan 2008-- Stamford Restaurant: Dunn’s Loft... Steak!
--March 2008--Stamford Steak Awards 2008
--Feb 2008--My experience with the TV show: Gordon Ramsey, Cleavage, Me, and a Kitchen Nightmare in Stamford

18 comments:

Julie said...

I didn't know that the main floor was upstairs! Part of the reason HB and I never went to Sabatiello's is that it always looked empty when we walked by so I think you hit the nail on the head there....Still have you guys tivo'ed for posterity.

gms said...

The man clearly belongs back in the pizza business, with his gum-chewing gf.

I felt a little sorry for him, but he's clearly in way over his head.

Jonathan "JR" said...

I never got to experience Dunn's Loft :(

Bruce Beckett said...

Who said there's no such thing as bad publicity? I DVRd the show and watched it last night. My wife reminded me that we had been to this restaurant a year or two ago. I can safely say I'll never be going again after viewing this program. The owner came across as foul-mouthed thug and his food clearly sucks. Not only that, I gather he buys his meat at Costco. Nothing wrong with that, unless of course you're charging $30 for an entree at a supposed top-end restaurant.

SJ said...

This was the first episode of Kitchen Nightmares that I'd seen. I was shocked at Sammy's attitude and point #4 mentioned above.
Then I watched the next episode about the Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Sunrise. I really, truly might never eat out again. So disgusting.

Anonymous said...

What really got me was the article in The Advocate, or more specifically, the photo. As long as Jose is still in the kitchen undercooking steaks, I'll never step foot in that place.

Anonymous said...

No reason to go there. Too many better options in Stamford.

Mr. Z said...

Sabatiello's was one of the first restaurants we tried upon moving to Stamford 18 months or so ago. We just wandered down Bedford St and stopped in because it looked like a nice place. I recall we had a decent meal, but the tables around us all had at least one thing wrong with their entrees. We've not been back. As Anon said above, there are just too many better options.

For those who haven't seen the episode, it's available at Hulu.com

Anonymous said...

It was a lot better when it was Cafe Morelli.

Anonymous said...

why is lauren with that jerk? she's hot.

Anonymous said...

yep..smokin

Anonymous said...

Why is she with him?

Because she has a few good years left and he looked like a solid bet, with a house in Greenwich and a new restaurant.

I suspect it all goes away, and soon, and she'll be looking for a new ticket to punch.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI from someone who works in the restaurant business. Normal kitchens are not run like that. I am suprised Jose did not walk out right in the middle of service. I feel the reason that kitchen did not run well was because of Sammy. He sets the mood for the kitchen, as all expiditers do, and he clearly is not fit for the job. Additionally, if you were at work and your boss was screaming and swearing at you to do your job right in front of you, at your desk, how would you perform? I hope all of you that have not worked in the resto business know that this is clearly not a professional kitchen, now was he told to pump up his already poor behavior for the camera? We will never know. But, I urge everyone to try it again, if only for the greater good. This man has obviously put alot into this and you have got to be desperate to go on the show, so maybe he deserves one more chance. Sorry, I have a soft spot for restaurant owners.

Anonymous said...

Regarding above:
p.s I promise,on my life, I have no connection what so ever to Sabitiello's.

Anonymous said...

We didn't make the cut, but my husband's order of the infamous "crab" stuffed sole did. I want our money back!
I felt bad for Sammy before watching the show, but substituting lower quality food and charging high prices is just fraud, and something I'm sure he went back to doing after Ramsey left.

Never setting foot in there again.

Anonymous said...

I am going to choose to remain annonomouys for reasons that shouldn't surprise anyone. To continue, Sammy used to own a restaurant in neighboring Greenwich, where I was an employee. The guy talks to everybody that way, customers, employees, girlfriends, however many he has. Eventually, you ignore it and laugh at it. Now, the cooking of italian cuisine wasn't as bad, I thought. Some dishes they created were tasty, but I think the problem is, it's a decent italian place, but not fine dining. However, for an italian dinner, or unique gourmet pizza, it worked ok. I always thought the boss' frugal nature would catch up with him. Customers told me they stopped going because of errors in the restaurants favor every time. Additionally, it would be 9:45, and the guy would say I clock ya out at 9:30. People just don't like that. And o yeah, when they ran out of eggs, I was sent to the Mobil to buy eggs from there.

Anonymous said...

Sabitello's is now closed.

MyNamesJeremyS said...

I am watching kitchen nightmares and I'm halfway through it. I am so DISCUSTED with the way this pathetic thug treats his staff and customers. He shouldn't even be allowed to MOP THE FLOORS OF THE BATHROOM in any restaurant. Id love to get my hands around his empty skull and just SHAKE IT! Pathetic.