(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 23, 2013
Sapori D'Italia Address: 11865 N Saguaro Blvd Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Sapori D’Italia was a Fountain Hills, Arizona restaurant featured on Season 5 of Restaurant Impossible.
Though the Sapori D Italia Restaurant Impossible episode aired in January 2013, the actual filming and visit from Robert Irvine took place before that.
It was Season 5 Episode 7.
Sapori D’Italia in Fountain Hills, AZ, is owned by the Manno family.
If you’re not familiar with Arizona geography, Fountain Hills is located right outside Phoenix.
Gasper purchased the restaurant for his wife Maria around five years before the Sapori D’Italia Restaurant Impossible episode.
She had always dreamed of owning a restaurant. The Manno’s invested close to $800,000 into Sapori D’Italia.
They also took out loans and borrowed money from friends, so they have a lot riding on the success of the restaurant.
Initially, everything went well. Gasper was working in the kitchen, and Maria ran to the front of the house.
Their profits have dwindled, and if Sapori D’Italia closes, the Manno’s will also lose their home.
Maria carries a lot of guilt because it was her idea to buy the restaurant.
Their son David didn’t think they needed to buy the restaurant.
The family is now struggling and arguing a lot.
Robert Irvine arrives and is impressed by the beautiful décor.
He is pleasantly surprised to see the floors are clean, and he can’t fathom why Sapori D’Italia isn’t crowded.
He meets with the owners to find out what is going on.
Maria says Gasper micromanages her and interferes when she is managing the dining room.
She also tells Robert how much money they have invested into the restaurant.
Even though Gasper paints houses as a side job, they are still in debt.
Robert Irvine stays to watch a dinner service. The servers aren’t friendly to the customers and are disorganized.
As the food goes out, Robert tastes it and thinks it’s bland.
Cheryl from the design team meets with Robert to discuss the plans for the restaurant.
After emptying the restaurant of its furniture, Robert wants to discuss service with the staff because he feels as if their attitude may contribute to the failing restaurant.
The servers won’t take accountability and try to blame the owner.
Robert gives them all one final chance to prove that they want to stay at Sapori D’Italia.
Before Robert Irvine leaves for the night, he gives the family homework.
He wants each person to write down something they love about the person who causes them the most frustration.
The next day, Robert checks on Cheryl and her team and is impressed with their completed work.
The family reads their homework to Robert, and after, they feel better about their relationships.
Next, Robert wants to meet with the servers.
The night before, Robert left the servers with a new version of the menu; he wanted them to study it.
Every server memorized the menu well, and Robert felt confident that they would succeed.
The city has many Italian restaurants, and Robert wants to find a way for Sapori D’Italia to stand out.
The cooks meet with Robert, who shows them modern Italian dishes using fresh ingredients.
The renovations are revealed, and the staff and owners are delighted.
Customers promise to return to the restaurant, having been impressed by the relaunch.
So was the Sapori D’Italia Restaurant Impossible episode a success? Keep reading to learn what happened and how the restaurant is doing in 2024.
Sapori D'Italia Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Sapori D’Italia Restaurant Impossible episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Robert Irvine and his crew left Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Things started off very well for the restaurant after Robert left.
There was a huge revenue bump immediately after filming. It shot up to $8,000 per week in the three weeks after Robert’s visit.
While that massive increase didn’t last, the weekly revenue is still around $2,000 higher than it was for the same time in the year before Robert Irvine’s visit.
While those numbers are from shortly after the Sapori D’Italia Restaurant Impossible episode, the restaurant seems to have continued with its success.
Is Sapori D’Italia from Restaurant Impossible still open?
As of 2024, Sapori D’Italia is still open and serving customers in Fountain Hills, AZ.
Reviews for the restaurant seem very good, as it has a 4.5 star rating on both Yelp and Google Reviews.
The restaurant also won a 2014 TripAdvisor Award of Excellence, which happened about a year after the Restaurant Impossible episode aired on TV.
Here’s a sampling of reviews that were written after the Sapori D’Italia Robert Irvine visit…
5 star review from May 2022:
My brother brought me here for dinner last night and to try Maria’s homemade desserts. Everything was fabulous! We sat at the bar, where Nathan, the bartender, provided us with excellent service. My brother had the lasagna, and I had the parpadelle(sp?) bolognese. They are both made with homemade noodles and both were honestly delicious. For dessert, we shared a piece of coconut cake. The slice was huge and worth every calorie. The owners are on hand and Maria does a wonderful job of making everyone feel at home while her husband creates an inviting atmosphere around the pizza oven while he makes the garlic bread and pizza pies. This place is truly a hidden gem!!
5 star review from April 2022:
outstanding service! great atmosphere and the food is exceptional. the bartender, Nathan, I believe) is very knowledgeable and courteous, very attentive to all of his customers!!!!! you really deserve to be pampered at sapori, we always are!!!
3 star review from April 2022:
Diner beware of a change in cooks. Had dinner there this week and entree size has decreased significantly. About four forkfuls of pasta with ur entree, that’s all u get now. Served on a plate instead of a bowl which is also kinda weird. Pasta not drained properly cuz lots of water remains on ur plate. What used to be a fairly-portioned entree isn’t any more. Stick with the delicious pizzas and skip the entrees cuz u will be as disappointed as we were this week.
5 star review from April 2022:
I was visiting Arizona from New York, so I know good Italian food. I normally wouldn’t have eaten Italian in Arizona, but a local recommended the restaurant. I ordered the brick oven pizza that was delicious and some of the best pizza I’ve eaten. I then ordered the chicken parmigiana which was massive in size enough to last me a few days and it was delicious too. I ordered the tiramisu and some of the best I’ve ever eaten. The portions are huge and delicious and if I lived in the area I be a regular at the restaurant. Also, had excellent service from the staff too making it an enjoyable night.
If you’re in the Fountain Hills Arizona area and you want to check it out, you can learn more at the Sapori D’Italia website.
You can also click here to go straight to the Sapori D’Italia menu. Most dishes seem to be in the $15-$22 area as of 2022.
What did you think about the Sapori D'Italia Restaurant Impossible update? 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 Restaurant Impossible updates.
Watch Restaurant Impossible Episodes at Amazon
Last updated: 2022-05-19 03:43