(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 30, 2011
Leone's Address: 19 S Park St Montclair, NJ 07042
Leone’s is a Montclair, New Jersey restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in September 2011, the actual visit took place earlier in July 2011.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 5 Episode 2.
In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay takes us to Leone’s restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey.
Originally owned by Rose Leone (Rosemary), who unfortunately fell into a coma three years before Gordon’s visit due to complications from a kidney stone operation.
In the Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, Leone’s is now being operated by Michael.
Instead of being hands-on with Leone’s, Michael walks around watching football all day and leaves all the work to be handled by head-waitress Trudy.
Michael had no experience running a restaurant and the restaurant has lost a lot of money since he has taken charge.
When Rose awoke from her coma she was disheartened to find her restaurant in shambles.
When Gordon Ramsay arrived he was greeted with the view of Michael, who was sitting down and watching T.V. while everyone else was working.
Gordon sits down with Michael and Rose and asks Rose what she thinks the main problem with the restaurant is.
Rose then looks at Michael, then back at Gordon, and states that everything is wrong with the restaurant.
Gordon is then introduced to the staff and meets Judy who claims that no one is leading the restaurant.
When Gordon asks about the finances he is shocked to discover that the restaurant is losing around $16,000 per month (approximately $4,000 per week).
Gordon sits down to order and decides to order one of everything from an absolutely massive menu that contains 100 items.
How the heck is a chef supposed to be able to cook over 100 different dishes?
Even Gordon might struggle with that!
When the food arrives he cannot tell some of the dishes apart and states that the items look poor.
It doesn’t get much better once Gordon starts eating…
When Gordon samples the dishes he discovers that most of the dishes are bland or have too much garlic, stating that the fish dishes were the worst.
Here’s Gordon Ramsay “enjoying” the rissoto:
Gordon leaves unhappy and returns later that night to observe the dinner service.
Upon observation, Gordon sees that the diners are unhappy with their food and dishes are being sent back at a consistent rate.
Gordon also notices that the chefs are not properly trained and the kitchen is filthy.
Gordon decides to tour the walk-in and freezer.
You can probably guess where this is going…
Gordon finds that both are disgusting, discovering rotten food, cross contamination, and improperly stored meat and seafood.
Some of the foods have been in there for so long that the chefs can’t distinguish what the food is. Gross!
Gordon then shuts the kitchen down and orders the staff to deep clean the kitchen.
The next day Gordon trains Michael in the kitchen to improve his cooking skills.
Gordon’s hope is that this will help Michael have control of the kitchen and recognize when something is wrong.
The food Gordon and Michael cook together tastes amazing.
Overnight, Gordon Ramsay and his team transform Leone’s restaurant by modernizing the dining room and installing a new POS system for the servers to place their orders.
Gordon also changes the menu by removing half the items and adding freshly cooked, Italian dishes.
The staff samples the new menu items and everyone loves each dish.
The night of relaunch Michael is off to a good start as he ensures the quality of the dishes leaving the kitchen and the customers are happy.
Besides a minor hiccup of Michael sending out a table’s food twice, the night was an absolute success.
Rose Leone was also proud to see how Michael was handling the restaurant, which is a great turnaround for him.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Leone’s restaurant episode a long-term success?
Keep reading to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2023.
Leone's Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Montclair, NJ.
Overall, things seemed to start off very well.
In the year after Gordon Ramsay’s visit, business at Leone’s restaurant was up by around 40%.
But before I get to where Leone’s restaurant is today, I first want to talk about Gordon Ramsay’s second visit to the Leone’s Montclair restaurant.
Leone’s Gordon Ramsay Revisit in Season 6
After originally rescuing Leone’s restaurant in Season 5, Gordon Ramsay did pay another visit to Leone’s in one of the Kitchen Nightmares revisited episodes (season 6, episode 6, which aired on December 14, 2012).
Gordon was happy to see the restaurant still open, but he was disappointed to hear from the staff that Michael wasn’t spending as much time managing the Leone’s restaurant.
Still, Gordon thought that Leone’s did a great job with the food and, after talking with Michael, Michael promised to continue being a better leader and focusing on the restaurant.
Michael had also spearheaded some new improvements, such as pushing a delivery campaign.
If you want to see the Leone’s Gordon Ramsay revisit, it starts at around the 34:31 mark in the video that I’ve embedded below.
The video should start playing at the right spot automatically.
Is Leone’s still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
As of 2023, Leone’s restaurant is still open and happily serving customers in Montclair NJ.
That means it’s survived over 12 years from Gordon’s visit, which is something most other Kitchen Nightmares restaurants haven’t been able to accomplish.
We want to offer congratulations to Michael and the whole Leone’s restaurant team.
With that being said, the Yelp reviews aren’t especially impressive – it only has a 3.5 star rating on over 330 reviews.
However, the Google Reviews are much better as Leone’s has a 4.2 star rating there.
I’ll share some real examples of post-Kitchen Nightmares Leone’s restaurant reviews below.
If you’re in Montclair, New Jersey and you want to visit Leone’s, you can learn more and see the menu on the restaurant’s website.
And then here’s what the Leone’s Montclair NJ location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Next, let’s take a look at some reviews of the restaurant from after the Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Leone’s reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
As I mentioned above, Leone’s overall ratings are 3.5 stars on Yelp and 4.2 stars on Google reviews, which includes reviews from both before and after Gordon Ramsay visits.
To give you an idea of how the restaurant is doing after Kitchen Nightmares, I curated a few example reviews that were written after Gordon Ramsay visited…
4 star Yelp review from July 2011:
Post Gordon Ramsey Review:
Gordon Ramsey was here a few weeks ago for Kitchen Nightmares.
When I heard that, I wasn’t surprised b/c I wasn’t a fan.
But, I went there over this weekend, Post Gordon Ramsey, and it has skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list!
They hired new staff and our waiter was excellent.
Decor updated, as was the menu.
Food was amazing.
I’m dreaming of the chicken parm still (served, a la carte, which was a little surprising w/o no sides, but it was delicious)
Can’t wait to go back!
4 star Yelp review from February 2014:
We had no idea that this place had been on “Kitchen Nightmares”.
We really couldn’t understand why.
Place was busy (on a Saturday night) but we had good company so didn’t mind waiting the accurate 20 minute wait.
Everything we had was great…
Salads were fresh and crisp.
Pizza some of the best then crusts I’ve ever had.
Tilapia special and chicken parm standby were also above average.
We have since seem the episode of KN and the decor has changed and evident ally so have the two chefs from the show…
But def. worth a try!
5 star Yelp review from September 2018:
Came to Leone’s on a late nite and realized I had seen the owner in a Kitchen Nightmares episode.
He was very friendly and greeting people as they arrived.
Food was good.
Service was great.
2 star Yelp review from November 2018:
Came with a large party.
I Didn’t really enjoy this place….
Our table was full of chipped plates.
Ginger calamari was very good which is why I give this place 2 stars.
My main course: The shrimp pasta I got lacked flavor and was very bland.
Bruschetta was very bland as well.
I also got sick after eating my food.
I kinda feel like it was the shrimp.
I didn’t know this place was on Kitchen Nightmares until after I was there…
Kinda freaked me out honestly.
Who owns Leone’s in Montclair, New Jersey?
As of 2023, Leone’s is still owned by Michael Restaino, who was the original owner when Gordon Ramsey visited the restaurant in the Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode back in 2011.
What happened to Rosemary Leone?
Rosemary Leone originally opened Leone’s back in 1996 before passing control to Michael Restaino.
Unfortunately, Rosemary passed away in 2014, a few years after the episode aired.
She was 64 at the time of her passing.
Rest in peace, Rosemary.
You can see her obituary here.
Final thoughts on Leone’s restaurant
Overall, the Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares episode seems to have been a genuine success.
When I’m updating this post in 2023, Leone’s has now officially been open for 12 years since the visit from Gordon Ramsay, which is pretty dang impressive.
Sadly, Rosemary Leone passed away in 2014, but Michael seems to be doing a great job with the restaurant.
Reviews aren’t amazing, but they’re still quite good and it seems to be doing well as a business.
If you want to see some other nearby New Jersey Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can check out my updates for Bazzini in Ridgewood, Campania in Fair Lawn, Grasshopper Also in Carlstadt, Bask 46 in Woodland Park, and Spanish Pavillion in Harrison.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Leone’s restaurant episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Leone's episode of Kitchen Nightmares? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
You can also click the buttons below to share this post!
And don't forget to check out all of the other Kitchen Nightmares updates.
Watch Kitchen Nightmares Episodes at Amazon
Last updated: 2023-10-01 05:51