Pantaleone’s before Kitchen Nightmares
Pantaleone’s, in Denver, Colorado, was opened in 1985 by couple Pete and Paulette Fafalios. During those early years, the restaurant amassed a great number of awards and positive reviews which were put on a frame and hung on the wall.
Unfortunately, Pete was stuck in the past and believed that his pizza was still top-notch, despite the fact that barely anyone now visited Pantaleone’s. Those who did also complained of bad food quality which Pete dispelled, insisting that there was some other reason as to why people weren’t happy with the pizza. Even his son Josh and grandson Gabe agreed with the negative reviews on the establishment, and they were also frustrated by Pete’s stubbornness in the matter.
The restaurant’s problems brought a significant amount of stress to the family, and its failure could force them to sell the place and lose their livelihood. With no other choice left on the table, Pete and Paulette had decided to call for Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares to turn their situation around.
Pantaleone’s on Kitchen Nightmares
Ramsay arrived at Pantaleone’s and shook hands with the Fafalios. During the meeting with the couple, Pete revealed that the restaurant was closed on Sundays and Mondays, with the former because he wanted to watch football. Paulette admitted that they also closed their doors during the afternoon so Pete could have his siesta. Josh, now 33 years old, still wasn’t promoted to head chef as Pete insisted that he will be at the helm no matter what.
While waiting for his food, Ramsay felt that the restaurant, which was virtually empty, had an atmosphere akin to a hospital room. Paulette also hung a creepy holographic clown portrait which was something you would expect in a haunted house than a pizza parlor. As for the food, the calzone had an obscene amount of undercooked filling, the incredibly-greasy thin crust sausage pizza was ridiculously large and as thick as a baguette, the meatball hero was described like a patch of grass after a cow relieved itself on it, and the linguini was like hospital food. As expected, Pete was insulted by the expert chef’s opinion of his cuisine and disagreed on everything Ramsay said about the restaurant and the dire situation of the Fafalios.
The next day, Ramsay did a little field work by going downtown where he had the public taste Pete’s pizza in comparison to two other similar dishes. Afterwards, he returned to Pantaleone’s to relay the results, and of course, Pete’s handiwork only gathered 10% positive remarks. After being threatened by Paulette and Josh in leaving him for good, Pete finally dropped his ego and vowed to change for good. Later on, Ramsay brought Pete and Josh to Las Vegas where they visited the popular pizza restaurant Rao’s and met with its owner Frank Pellegrino Jr. The father and son learned the importance of having a strong bond with each other when it came to running a restaurant. Additionally, while they were in Vegas, Ramsay gave the order to his team in renovating Pantaleone’s.
The makeover got rid of the restaurant’s depressing 80’s atmosphere and replaced it with a fresh, contemporary feel. Fresh coats of paint adorned the walls, while an assortment of signs added a modern hip vibe to the interior. The framed reviews and the scary holographic clown were taken down and replaced with pictures of Italy and the early years of Pantaleone’s. As for the menu, Ramsay reduced the food items and the portion sizes of the servings. He also provided a handful of new dishes that were modern versions of Italian classics. Finally, 1-800-Charity Cars donated a van to the restaurant so they can offer delivery services to hungry customers all over Denver.
During the relaunch night, customers immediately noticed the changes in the interior which were received with praise. Pete and Josh worked as a team in the kitchen, but the former was quickly overwhelmed by a large number of orders which caused his old attitude problems to flare up. This led to a miscommunication between the two and resulted in almost no orders being served. Ramsay summoned the pair outside and gave them some verbal lashing which did the trick in setting them back on track. Now, the orders were served in an organized manner, and the customers loved the fresh new taste of Pete’s pizza.
Pantaleone’s Now in 2018 – The After Kitchen Nightmares Update
As of 2018, Pantaleone’s is still open and has amassed above average reviews during the past years.
People gave positive remarks on the service of the entire staff, described the place as cozy, and praised the affordable price tags on the menu. The food items had mixed reviews, with some not in favor of the changes done in the pizzas. There were also remarks regarding the restaurant’s location which was not very accessible and proved to be one of their main problems.
Pantaleone’s maintains an inactive Facebook page where you can read some of the reviews. Click here to visit it. Alternatively, click here to see the reviews on their Yelp page, and click here for their TripAdvisor page. Finally, you should check out their official website at http://www.pantaleones.net/.