Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open After Ramsay?

Is Leone's still open?

Current Status: >> OPEN <<
(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 Kitchen Nightmares update

Episode Recap

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.

If you’re not up on your New Jersey geography, Montclair is located pretty near to New York City, just to the East of Manhattan.

Leone’s restaurant was 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.

Rose Leone's owner on Kitchen Nightmares

In the 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.

Michael Leone's owner on Kitchen Nightmares

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 Ramsay at Leone's

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.

Gordon Ramsay and Leone's owner

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 my update to learn what happened next and if it’s still open in 2024.

Leone's Update - What Happened Next?

Now that we’ve recapped the 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).

This is the same episode where Gordon revisited Cafe Hon in Baltimore MD and Chiarella’s restaurant in Philadelphia PA.

In the revisited episode, Gordon was happy to see Leone’s restaurant still open.

But at the same time, 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.

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 that seemed to be doing well for the restaurant.

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.

I 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.

Michael was the original owner when Gordon Ramsey visited the restaurant 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 late 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.

As always – thanks for reading!

More Information


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.

Last updated: 2023-12-19 04:45

22 thoughts on “Leone’s Kitchen Nightmares Update – Still Open After Ramsay?”

All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.

  1. I am a great fan of Ramsey’s American Kitchen Nightmares.
    I am pleased to learn that Leon’es Italian Restaurant is still there although not firing on all cyclinders due to poor leadership .
    To hear that Rose has passed away is no surprise . She was clearly ill with a throat issue in the Kitchen Nightmare Episode.
    On my next visit to NYC , I’ll Bob across the River and book a table for one at the restaurant

    • That was a very sweet post. We are dedicated Kitchen Nightmare fans. We were so happy to hear they are still open. Hats off to Michael for his huge turnaround since so many are unable to do that and their restaurants fail.

    • FYI her throat issue was because she was in a coma for two years they would have had to put a trach tube in her throat which once removed will leave a hole in your throat it’s why she covered it with that white choker.

      Just in case you were curious

  2. Frank Marzulla I enjoy Leone’s very much staff are on point and really friendly and Michael is a really nice guy I eat there couple times every month . Love their pasta Fagioli and Chicken Marsala chicken Frances’s

  3. I was a partner in Leone‘s restaurant in 1999 put in $120,000 which was only supposed to be the most $30,000 after a year of them doing well I was asked to leave without them ever giving me my money back My first lawyer canceled on me after having a meeting with my partners and with other attorneys I only received $40,000! the rest I had to pay back to the bank. ever since then I have had more bad things happen to me than anyone would believe! …mostly anything you can think of where I don’t even feel safe in my own home…. Found myself realizing how corrupt our legal system and people can be! If I didn’t live it I would not believe this was possible! My eyes are now wide open!!!

  4. I live in montclair, I like going here but its not great food its just okay, but its right on the high street so it gets a lot of local business which is probably why they are still open and montclair is a really busy town and a foodhub for the area. The waitress’ from the show are still there and so super sweet, they definitely make you feel welcome and are part of the reason a lot of people like this place!

  5. Micheal was a lazy bum. The restaurant succeeds in spite of him. The Mother was creepy with her wet throat pipe. I guess that is how she put the special Mother Rose sauce on the pasta. Gloopy chunks of tasty lung crust.

    • Come on dude. The lady clearly had a trach put in while in a coma for 2 years because she couldn’t breathe on her own. I hope nothing bad ever happens to you that makes you “creepy.” Get it together.

  6. A halfway decent Italian restaurant just about anywhere has a chance to succeed. The cuisine is simple enough to make decently and really good in the hands of a master. Good work Michael.

  7. A heartwarming one! It is sad that the mother passed away, although it is not a big surprise. But I think it’s nice that she didn’t have to see the store go bankrupt but could even watching her son obviously turn the tide.

    As for Michael and whether he’s lazy or not: the store is his and he can do whatever he wants with it. Whether it’s clearing tables all day or sitting across the street in the bar watching TV. Since the store is obviously running, success proves him right. Ramsay and the staff can just keep their opinions to themselves.

    • No one disputes that Michael can do whatever he wants with his own business, but he’s a lazy guy who was handed that business by his mother. He has no respect for his staff or his customers, and he sat there in the update and looked right at Gordon Ramsay and lied to his face. He still comes in at 6:00, and goes across the street to the bar to watch TV instead of doing it in his restaurant. I felt sorry for his mother. The best thing in the episode was the servers, John and Trudy. Without them the business would have failed. It would be pretty stupid for Gordon to keep his opinion to himself, since that’s the reason he was there. No one asks him to come so he can keep his opinion to himself.


Leave a Comment

Share to...