September 25, 2008 11:39 PM by Lisa Stauber
Kitchen Nightmares heads to New York to save a lobster shack. There are three owners who can’t get along with anyone, and one is ready to quit. The Black Pearl restaurant also has arrogant owners, some of whom don’t want anything to do with Ramsay. One even tells him to get lost!
The owners started it as a cozy lobster shack, but wanted to move up to midtown and found an investor. The investor turns out to be a big problem. “This place is a nightmare due to lack of management,” owner Brian says. Greg is hardworking, but can’t make a decision. David is the boss the staff hates.
“We desperately need Gordon’s help,” Steven, a server says. It turns out the owners are never at the restaurant together. David thinks Ramsay is confrontational, even though all he’s done is order lunch! Ramsay thinks the decor is too eclectic and doesn’t match.
Steven and Ramsay tease each other a bit, and have some fun. Owner Greg comes out to serve Ramsay, and Brian makes an appearance as well. David and Brian are the original owners. Ramsay hates the food. “It’s like eating a wet diaper,” he says.
Phil, the head chef, isn’t allowed to season the lobster rolls, and Ramsay can’t believe they won’t let him cook the way he wants to. The restaurant is in debt over $250,000 and they need to make some money! The owners are passionate, and passionately mad at each other. There are major personality clashes.
Food starts coming back to the kitchen. David is on the pass, but doesn’t know what he’s doing and raw fried shrimp is served to the customers. The mussels are sandy, and David claims it’s supposed to be that way. He even goes out to the table to tell the customers the food should be sandy, that’s what the broth is for! Ramsay finds some old fish, but David argues that it’s fine even though chef Phil agrees it stinks.
Ramsay decides to take a look around the kitchen, and finds Canadian lobsters being served in the Maine Lobster Roll, because Canadian lobsters are cheaper. He has a meeting with the owners. “I see a place that is rudderless,” he tells them. There is no clear leader, and David argues with everything Gordon says. He even argues that there is no difference between Canadian and Maine lobsters.
Ramsay returns the next day, and holds another meeting. The staff asks the owners questions anonymously. “Why can’t you answer my question without another question?” a waitress asks. He answers with… a question. “David has the biggest ego. He’s very stubborn,” Steven says. “Why don’t we have one general manager,” all of the staff want to know. “Brilliant,” Ramsay says, “Who’s capable?” Greg steps up for the job.
Meanwhile, Ramsay adds a new special and teaches Chef Phil how to cook it. He also assigns David and Greg to run the front and the back of the restaurant, and then switch so Ramsay can see how they manage things. Brian gets sent home, but he doesn’t mind because he hates being there.
David’s in the kitchen, ordering drinks and being very specific about exactly what he wants. The servers are nervous about him being in the kitchen, because he yells at them when they check on their tables. Now it’s Greg’s turn expediting, and David’s in the front. “David can sometimes patronize the customers a little bit,” one of the servers says.
Greg is falling behind in the kitchen, losing orders and ordering others to be cooked twice. He manages to get control and things finish smoothly. Ramsay has decided that Greg should be the general manager, and staff agrees. Greg thinks he’ll do well, especially if he doesn’t have to justify himself. David claims that he thinks it’s a great idea.
The turnaround team redecorates and now it all matches. Everyone loves it, except for David. He starts giving Ramsay decorating advice. Gordon brings in a claw catching machine for the lobsters, a cool gizmo to drum up business. It’s filled with authentic Maine lobsters! A man in a lobster suit has been hired as well to paper Times Square with advertising.
A new menu tops off the makeover. “Standards will be set tonight,” Ramsay says. The staff all has a taste of the new menu, but David hates everything. He can’t find a nice thing to say. David and Brian are going to be eating in as customers tonight, while Greg runs things.
Greg stumbles along in the kitchen, while David and Brian sit at the table and make fun of the lobster tank. The kitchen is backed up and food is sitting for too long. Food is coming back undercooked and David just keeps criticizing everything from the coleslaw to the wait.
Greg finally gets it together and the diners really like the food. The staff is working well, the customers love the lobster tank, and Greg’s taking control. Ramsay compliments Greg on his passion, but thinks David and Brian don’t give a darn about the restaurant.
“You pretend to care,” he tells David. “How have I been lying to you, Gordie?” David sneers back. “You treat the staff like sh**,” he tells David. “You’re wrong,” David says. “The great Gordon Ramsay is wrong.” Gordon advises him to pull his money out and take off. He’s dragging the place down. “You’re soulless and ungrateful,” Gordon tells him.
Photos courtesy Fox.