Season 6 | Episode 9 | “Bella Luna” | Aired May 16, 2014
You know how this goes, Kitchen Nightmares fans: The restaurant sucks. The food is hideous. The management is in denial. The staff is fed up. And Gordon Ramsay is there to yell obscenities at them all. It’s everything we love about this show, and the season 6 finale — and Chef Ramsay — deliver (especially when Bella Luna does not).
Let’s break it down the easy way, shall we?
Here are the top 10 problems with Bella Luna, an “Italian” restaurant in Easton, Pennsylvania (“Italian” because to be honest, I’m not really sure that baby vomit, which is what Chef Ramsay declares the food on the plates looks like, is representative of one single country):
1. The management (owner Rosaria, son/chef Gianfranco and manager Traci) all blame either each other or the people of Easton for the restaurant’s failure.
2. Bella Luna’s décor, according to Traci, “looks like a morgue.” Yeah, the
dead dried flowers and dark curtains support that claim, but the questionable seashell Christmas lights (in July) and crappy gas-station beach souvenirs (think starfish snow globes) beg to differ. I don’t know what it is, but it looks a little bit like a Motel 6 lobby in Daytona Beach.
3. The food they serve Chef Ramsay is disgusting. The pasta is [bleepin’] overcooked and swimming in [bleepin’] flavorless sauce, the veal is [bleepin’] chewy and overcooked, and the mussels are [bleepin’] frozen, despite Rosaria telling Chef that all the food is fresh.
4. ALL THE FOOD IS [BLEEPIN’] FROZEN.
5. Despite the fact that the freezer is packed with chicken, shrimp, calamari and mussels, Rosaria denies the fact that she serves frozen food to Chef’s face and throws son/chef Gianfranco under the bus by blaming it all on him.
6. Gianfraco takes one look at all the frozen food and throws mama under the bus, blaming it all on her.
7. The refrigerator is full of moldy, rotting food. (Side note: How stupid do you have to be to not to clean out your fridge when you know the Kitchen Nightmares team — and cameras — are coming to your restaurant? Especially after you were the one who initiated the visit? [Bleepin’] ridiculous.)
8. There is a hair in the food.
9. THERE IS A HAIR IN THE FOOD.
10. THERE. IS. A. HAIR. IN. THE. FOOD.
If reasons 1 through 7 weren’t enough, reasons 8 through 10 are. Chef Ramsay shuts down the restaurant, yells a few [bleeps], and I pause my DVR to go dry heave in the bathroom.
Chef has a come-to-Jesus talk with Rosaria and Gianfranco about the state of Bella Luna. There are tears, accusations and [bleeps] galore. You know, just your typical family gathering. But one thing becomes clear: This team — and this restaurant — isn’t working.
The next day, Chef brings the entire team to the City Hall and has them all sit up in the big chairs where the City Council usually sits, complete with a nameplate on the desk in front of each team member that not only has their name engraved on it, but their position at Bella Luna. Wow. That took a lot of effort on some poor intern’s part for very little effect. Just sayin’. If the direction this experiment is going sounds confusing, that’s because it is. But let’s put our trust in Chef, shall we? He doesn’t usually steer us in the wrong [bleeping] direction.
Chef has Rosaria and Gianfranco come down to the podium and lets the other team members (and by “other team members,” I mean Traci) lash out at them and detail (and by detail I mean DETAIL) all the terrible personality traits they possess that have contributed to Bella Luna’s downfall. I know. Harsh. And also fantastic! I want to do this with my own family! Wait. Did I just say that out loud?
After Rosaria and Gianfranco get their self-esteem kicked to the curb, Chef apparently decides that they need to really feel like crap, so he brings in about 30 community members who have all dined at Bella Luna in the past. One by one they approach the podium and, with the TV cameras giving them all the confidence of a (slutty) Sandy Dumbrowski, proceed to tell the Bella Luna team what they really think:
“There was a fly in my wedding soup.”
“The food was subpar … disgusting.”
“I will never come back.”
“The cannoli was sour, then the replacement was fresh. Why didn’t you serve me the fresh one first? WHY?“
Why, indeed. Ew.
But have no fear, residents of Easton, Pennsylvania. Chef Gordon Ramsay and the Kitchen Nightmares staff have come to your “Italian” dining rescue! Because as always, with a stern talking-to with the staff, a quick makeover (it still kind of looks like the inside of a mobile home, if you ask me) and a new, delicious menu (that no one in the restaurant knows how to actually cook), Bella Luna reopens to a full house and a (surprisingly) pleasant staff. And guess what? The customers love it! Of course they do.
And with only a hiccup from Gianfranco halfway through the dinner service, when he plates a lasagna that looks a mess and Chef goes apeshit and throws the plate on the ground in refusal to serve it while yelling many [bleeps] (you go, Chef), the staff is suddenly — miraculously — supportive. As usual. Funny what edible food and tasteful décor can do for morale, isn’t it? Put this one on the “W” side, folks. It looks like Bella Luna might make it after all (even though they are currently homeless due to “landlord issues” — riiiight).
Bon appétit, Kitchen Nightmares season 6! In the words of Chef Ramsay, it’s been a bloody [bleepin’] ride!