Kitchen Nightmares: Handlebar Restaurant-Watched it There!

Last night the crowds gathered in Mt. Sinai, NY, at The Handlebar to celebrate with the “temporary celebrities” for the viewing party of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

The place was packed with family, locals, old timers and newbies anxiously waiting to see how it all turned out.

To help everyone enjoy the show, owners Billy and Caroline LeRoy set-up a free buffet consisting of salad, very delicious penne ala vodka as well as some the remnants of some kind of chicken dish that was obviously tasty. None of these were on the menu.

Super server, Katie S., found us the last available table and brought us our drinks just in time for the show to start.

The Mood

It really was a great event at The Handlebar as Caroline nervously walked the floor and Billy relaxed in his usual pose-hanging back with his Bud bottle.

Full of witty comments, employee banter and Ramsay’s trademark filthy Scottish mouth, the episode was a hit. There were so many “bleeps” blocking out the curses from Gordon, Billy and the girls, I felt as if I was watching The Jerry Springer Show.

The Food

Ramsay sampled the clam chowder, seafood crepes and filet mignon fondue from the old menu. He was quite impressed with the chowder, but despised the crepes because of the tough prawns and imitation crab meat, aka “krab”.

As the cook was preparing the selection you could see her taking the frozen crepes out of a prepackaged container, peeling back the cellophane and nuking it. Homeade..yum! The filet mignon fondue was also a big miss. “Why the f#%K would anyone deep fry America’s best pieces of meat?” Nuff said?

It wasn’t long before Gordo had everyone crying, chain smoking, hating Billy and ready to quit. The lead player in this dysfunctional performance was Melissa. She played the part of the head chef but constantly reminded everyone with her piss poor attitude that this is just a job, the food sucks and everything and everyone is crap. Ah..the passion!

At least she is honest. What’s her culinary education you ask? Working in a small deli making egg sandwiches in Sound Beach NY. Lydia Bastianch she is notThe new menu is quite excellent. It’s fresh, new and exciting.A few of the new items include: Herb Fries with garlic aioli,  Fried Ipswich Clams, Beer Steamed Mussels, Portobello Mushroom Melt, Martini Marinated Fillet Mignon, Fish & Chips and many other cool additions.

The Dude

Gordon has given Billy and Caroline a once in a life time opportunity. You could say that they won the lottery but I don’t think that they know it. Between the thousands of dollars of new equipment, décor, creative menu and millions of viewers they have the it all but will they do the right thing? They just have to work it or be like one of last years makeover success, Fin McCool’s of Westhampton NY.  Up for Sale! Memorable Quotes:

“What the F*%K is a gastropub?”  - Amanda
“Chef Ramsay has some of the best restaurants in the world. I’ve seen them on the internet.” – Billy
“Crap” Said numerous times- Mary Jane

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