Kitchen Nightmares: Handlebar Restaurant

From Colleen: Regarding The Handlebar Restaurant in Mt. Sinai, NY and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

“I was at the Handle Bar restaurant in the last week of August with my husband. This is a place that we like to go to without the children, a date night. I always had loved the seafood crepes, and had heard that they were serving fondue, which I haven’t had as a kid and was really looking forward to it. It wasnt there. I ordered the special of the day, a $22 1 1/2 lb Lobster, great price. I asked for spinach on the side, I received a double spinach side, lobster was great, spinach was metiocre. I was saddened to see some of my favorites, were gone and forgotten. The food is ok now, but I wanted more of a selection. This was always a place that wasn’t yuppy central, I dont know if Chef Ramsey was trying to make this place a Manhattanite dining experience, but seriously, if I wanted to have that experience, I’d hop on the train. Sadly, when I entered the restaurant, you could here crickets, it was empty. I honestly think that the new menu was horrible, that the owner was doing wonderful with the old menu. I think that Gordon Ramsey’s show has gotten to his head. He went in there trying to get ratings, what the public didnt know is that he had a lawyer and a psychologist in his trailer. The Dr, to tell him how he can set each individual employee off, and the lawyer telling him what he can and cannot say. Ratings, ratings, ratings.
So to you Chef Ramsey, your experiment failed, I hope your media attention helps this restaurant owner, and that the owner makes changes that will fit the community better.”

Posted Sep 7, 8:42 AM

Reply from The Man in the Kitchen:

Hi Colleen, Thanks for your opinion, I appreciate the review.

I am a huge fan of fondue but believe me, your kid could do a better job by tossing a Kraft Single into a jar of Pathmark Tomato sauce and dipping breadsticks into it. It really did…mm..I’m trying to look for the proper word…ah, for lack of a better word, IT SUCKED.

The “Italian” Fondue was jared tomato sauce and mozzarella. Really creative. It tasted as if you dropped your slice on the bar and scooped up what was left. The “Classic” fondue which everyone knows is compiled of well aged emmentaler swiss, gruyere, white wine, corn starch..yada yada yada. The “Old” Handlebar’s looked as if it was swiss cheese and milk. It was clumpy..lumpy and dumpy and never hot enough.

I do agree that the crowds are not there yet, perhaps because of the lack of advertising but this place will never be “yuppie central”.

Where Viagra pill whithout prescription I disagree with you is the part about the selection. I think the selection is great. They cleaned up the menu and added some real quality items with fresh ingredients. I’m not going to lie, I do miss the big mozzarella sticks but the new appetizers are very nice.

They did not stick to the Ramsay menu 100% but the food quality is so much better and they actually make things fresh.

For example, the cocktail sauce used to come from a big jug, now they make it fresh. For God’s sake, it is the easiet thing to make. The tartar sauce is also excellent. Here is the secret…they add a little bit of gin to the recipe.

Opps..gotta go. Heading out to the Handlebar to see the excitement and fear as Gordo shows the kitchen and rat turd. Back in a few hours!

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4 Responses to “Kitchen Nightmares: Handlebar Restaurant”

  1. Judy says:

    Can you please tell me the month and year that Chef Ramsey went to Handlebar?? Thank you Judy
    I go to Handle bar on occasion and I will try it again!!!

  2. Gutsy Gator says:

    Date: September 11, 2008

    Just tuned in to the show “Kitchen Nightmares” and Chef Ramsey is just amazing, what he & his staff has done to this restaurant, I plan on taking a trip back to NY and am looking forward to dining out at the handlebar Congrats to the owners and the staff and am also looking forward to getting autographs as they have become stars in their own rite…..

  3. Pete says:

    McCool’s up for sale? Did I read that right? Recent article in Southampton Press (ran last week) about the Mazzio’s and how their restaurant is flourishing.


    Gordo returns!

  4. Pernell Burton says:

    Can you review some seafood places or bars? Great info so far.Thnx.

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