(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: October 7, 2011
Mike & Nellie’s Steakhouse Address: 1801 Hwy 35 N Oakhurst, New Jersey 07755
Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse was an Oakhurst, New Jersey restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Mike and Nellie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in October 2011, the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay happened a little early in July 2011.
It was Kitchen Nightmares Season 5 Episode 3.
This episode of Kitchen Nightmares revolves around a family-run restaurant- Mike And Nellie’s Steakhouse in the small town of Oakhurst in New Jersey.
Side note – the correct spelling is “Mike and Nellie’s”, not “Mike and Nelly”. It’s also sometimes abbreviated as M&N Steakhouse.
This restaurant was started in the year 1996 by Nellie Farber and his son Mike Farber.
That means it’s been around for about 15 years at the time of the Mike and Nellie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode.
Nellie used to be the front man, attending the restaurant and the diners, while Mike was the chef.
Nellie’s daughter, Lexi, also worked at the restaurant.
Things were going pretty well until Nellie sadly passed away.
Mike was at a personal loss and was also overwhelmed with responsibilities on all fronts.
He was overworking himself and refused to accept help.
Instead, it was his two daughters who asked for help from Chef Gordon Ramsay.
Right from the moment Chef Ramsay walks into the restaurant, he finds it in deplorable condition.
There was a certain stinky smell around it, the carpet was filthy, in short, the ambiance was awful.
He jokes with Lexi Farber, one of Mike’s daughters, about whether or not someone died.
Once he made it to his table, Gordon Ramsay went ahead and ordered lunch – Linguini with shrimp sauce, Chicken Murphy, and Steak Nellie.
He found each of them equally gross.
The shrimp sauce was bland, the chicken was overcooked while the steak was totally charred.
And oh yeah, the linguini was rubbery.
Not a great start, right?
But hey – it’s Kitchen Nightmares.
It would be weirder if Gordon Ramsay did like the food.
Chef Ramsay returned at night to help them out at the kitchen end.
He found that Mike was the only one cooking.
Why? Because Mike didn’t trust anyone else with the cooking.
Even though he was pretty fast, he had to pay a price for it.
The food quality was horrible with constant complaints from the customers.
And yet another problem was Mike’s drinking habit.
A few hours into the evening and he starts drinking and simply loses control.
As you’d expect, the night fails horribly.
It was then that Chef Ramsay confronts Mike.
Mike admits that things are not going well and that he has a lot on his mind.
He admits that he hasn’t quite accepted Nellie’s death and that is why he resorts to drinking.
Next morning, Mike’s daughters speak to him and make him realize that he needs to let go certain things and accept Chef Ramsay’s help.
And Mike agrees to do so.
And thus begins the makeover.
Ramsay finds the kitchen in a mess.
The fridge is way too unclean with stale food stored for days.
The first thing the staff does – they mop and clean up the kitchen.
Next, Chef Ramsay teaches Mike a steak preparation with slight changes which they all love.
Next, the restaurant needed a revamp.
The smelly carpet was replaced with a new one, the old décor was changed to a modern look, new chairs and a new sign board were brought in.
After the changes and renovations from Gordon Ramsay, the place looked gorgeous.
But above all, a brand new flavorful menu was introduced.
Everybody, including Mike and Lexi, was excited about the relaunch.
It was decided that Dan (Mike’s cousin) would take up a bit of responsibility of managing the kitchen and things started off smoothly on the relaunch night.
The customers loved the food, Dan was in control of the kitchen, everyone was working together as a team.
But Mike again started interfering with Dan’s job.
With a slight reminder, things were back on track again.
That night was successful.
Mike was inspired enough by Chef Ramsay by then.
Mike and his daughters really appreciated his help.
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Mike and Nellie’s episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if this Oakhurst, NJ steakhouse is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Mike & Nellie’s Steakhouse Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Mike & Nellie’s Steakhouse Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Oakhurst, NJ.
Things seemed to start off well for the restaurant as the business boomed in the coming weeks.
The new menu was a total hit among the diners, they loved it.
Dan was totally dedicated to his job.
And as for Mike, he was slowly embracing the change.
Unfortunately, the positive changes would not last.
Let’s talk about the most important question on your mind first.
Then, I’ll share some Mike and Nellie’s reviews from after Gordon Ramsay’s visit, as well as updates for what’s happening with Mike Farber.
Is Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse closed in January 2012, which was around half a year after the visit from Gordon Ramsay and only three months after the Mike and Nellie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
As of 2023, the old Mike and Nellie’s Oakhurst NJ location is occupied by an Italian restaurant named Posillipo, which seems to have average reviews according to Yelp.
Here’s what the old Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse NJ location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
However, even though Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse closed, the Farber family didn’t totally exit the food business.
The the family now runs a private catering business, Blue Basil Catering Company with Mike as the main chef.
The company caters for house parties, corporate events, and aviation catering. More on that below.
So if you’d like to check out more of Mike’s cooking, give Blue Basil Catering Company a look.
To learn more, you can check out the Blue Basil Catering Company website.
On the Services page, you’ll see Michael J. Farber listed as the Executive Chef.
Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse reviews after Kitchen Nightmares
At the time that Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse closed, it had an overall 2.5 star rating on 18 reviews on its Yelp page.
Most of those reviews came from after the Mike and Nellie’s Gordon Ramsay visit*, which isn’t a great sign that the restaurant was sticking with Gordon’s standards.
*Remember – Gordon Ramsay’s actual visit was in July 2011, even if the episode didn’t air until October.
With that being said, a number of regulars seemed to complain about the new menu from Gordon Ramsay.
Beyond that, people seemed to complain about inconsistent food quality, as well as service issues.
Here’s a sampling of a few positive and negative reviews from after Gordon Ramsay’s visit…
4 star Yelp review from August 2011:
I had the best rib eye steak I have tasted in years at Mike and Nellie’s last night.
I am a meat and potatoes type and spend half the year in Miami and half between NY and The Shore.
I spend a lot of time in restaurants and this is a great value.
The meat is Prime and cooked perfectly.
The service was excellent and friendly.
The atmosphere is sedate and since it was a Tuesday night, I’m not sure how it is when it gets busy.
I plan on coming back soon to find out and bringing more friends with me.
1 star Yelp review from July 2011:
The is the 1st time we have been back to this restaurant since the Gordon Ramsay take over.
What a disappointment…poor service..limited menu and not willing to hear what you have to say.
We went there for my daughters 16th birthday mostly because she loved their vodka and penne but found out that the menu online was not the same as the actual menu.
When asked if could make the penne with vodka was told could not.
Disappointed in the menu and the service.
Never received our side dish and was left hungry after our small portion of food with no side.
Sorry that our last visit is now out last.
Wish it was like it was before.
1 star Yelp review from September 2011:
Went Sat night, party of 4 and we did not know of the menu change.
We were all highly disappointed as the old menu was great as was the food.
The new menu was very limited and honestly was not worth the prices.
The food was alright but none of would run back here.
We all loved the old menu.
The place looks great but definitely the food at thoses prices was nothing to write home about.
Unless they bring back the old menu this is definitely off our list and we eat out at least 2-3 times per week.
Please bring back the original menu…..
4 star Yelp review from October 2011:
Delicious food, a little pricey.
Went for dinner last night with my boyfriend.
No wait, plenty of open tables.
The staff was friendly and attentive.
For appetizers we ordered lobster bisque and steak tartar.
Main dishes we ordered the steakhouse burger and the 8oz flat iron steak with a side of macaroni and cheese.
All of the food was cooked perfectly and came out in a timely manner, not too quick or slow.
Went here because of its appearance on Kitchen Nightmares.
What happened to the Mike and Nellie’s daughters?
A lot of people are wondering what happened to the Mike and Nellie’s daughters, Lexi Farber and Samantha Farber.
Unfortunately, they don’t really have an online presence and I don’t like digging too much if people don’t want to be found.
I hope they’re doing well, though!
If you’re really interested, I’m sure you can pull up their social media profiles on Google.
But again, I generally don’t link to people’s personal social media profiles unless they’re very public with their Kitchen Nightmares connection.
What happened to Chef Mike after Kitchen Nightmares?
As I mentioned above, Mike Farber has been working as the Executive Chef at Blue Basil Catering Company since April 2014.
The Blue Basil Catering Company is a family business so Mike is still in control of the food.
The business seems to be doing really well, as he’s doing catering for private jets.
And again, you can see him listed on the Services page of the Blue Basil Catering Company website.
Here’s the description of him from the website:
Mike now brings his passion for food to his latest venture, Blue Basil Catering.
He specializes in house parties for 10 – 75 people.
He will transform your home kitchen into a restaurant kitchen for the evening.
You can sit back and enjoy your party as Mike and his crew take care of everything from set up to clean up.
Congrats to him – I’m glad he still gets to cook!
Final Thoughts on Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse
Mike and Nellie’s Steakhouse closed just a few months after the Mike and Nellie’s Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
However, Mike Farber, the owner and chef, seems to be doing well as he now runs a successful catering business named Blue Basil Catering Company.
He’s the Executive Chef and he gets to cater cool stuff like private plans.
As of 2023, the old Mike and Nellie’s New Jersey location is occupied by an Italian restaurant that seems to be doing well.
I’m not sure what happened to Lexi Farber and Samantha Farber, as I don’t want to dig too deeply into the Mike and Nellie’s daughters situation.
If you want to see some other nearby New Jersey Kitchen Nightmares episodes, you can check out our updates for Hannah and Mason’s in Cranbury NJ, Blackberry’s in Plainfield NJ, and Flamangos / The Junction in Whitehouse Station.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Mike and Nelly’s Steakhouse episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
What did you think about the Mike & Nellie’s Steakhouse 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: 2023-04-26 06:41