We keep hearing that being on Kitchen Nightmares can be the kiss of death for a restaurant. Cameramen and producers come in wanting to tell a dramatic story that you know too well – a restaurant in despair with all of its flaws on America’s HDTVs. We were terrified to sign on to be Gordon Ramsay’s punching bag. But we had to do it. Despite 4 Star ratings and high scores from every online review website, our passion for the setting we were in was fading. The restaurant was getting stale – not hard to do in a neighborhood that thrives on traditional recipes from our parents and grandparents – and we felt it. He was right. We were becoming a “restaurant of convenience”.
Take it from us – we know the North End. The North End restaurant week reviews that stand out these days aren’t from Italian restaurants with a decade-old menu and faded recipe cards. The restaurants succeeding in a neighborhood so stacked with competition are the ones that are incorporating the old with the new. Tradition meeting change.
We needed a kick. Chef Ramsay brought it in a BIG way.
He empowered us in an incredible way and we still feel that power coursing through our blood, and the restaurant, today. We’ve taken risks. We’ve branched out from the expected chicken parm and antipasto plates of the North End (though we love them too!). We’ve done the things we’ve always talked about doing – like adding brunch. We brought in a young, passionate chef with a crazy impressive background (Cleo, Tremont 647, to name a few) and he’s firing up the kitchen like never before.
You could say our groove is back.
One of us misses Gordon Ramsay every day. The other doesn’t exactly miss the conflict. We both agree, though, that the spark he brought – even during arguments – was just what the doctor ordered for La Galleria 33. We’re still nervous to see how Kitchen Nightmares will portray us tonight, but we’re not the least bit nervous about where we stand as a restaurant now. We’ve brought the crème de la crème of servers, Chef Alex is inspired and hungry (no pun intended) for success, and we’ve taken back control of our restaurant’s future.
We’re ready to welcome the customers that the show’s popularity brings in – North End style.