Restaurant Impossible has come to town, and we were there for the reopening! I had never watched the show until I learned they would be here, but daughters Jenny and Julie have; and they were quick to get their husbands plus Larry and me reservations for dinner tonight at the reveal.
Robert Irvine is a doll. On TV I think he comes across as pretty brutal. However, he is so personable and charming in real life. He worked the crowd like an entertainer, and he even spent a few minutes chatting with granddaughter Gigi who is just 11 months old. And yes, those muscles on his arm are real and huge!
Our dinner reservation was for 8:50, but we never got seated until after 9:30. By then Gigi, who is normally a night owl, had had enough; so Jenny and Randy took her and left for home. And because it was so late, we ordered appetizers and salad so we could get out and get home ourselves. Larry had a deep fried salmon cake, and I had shrimp corn dogs. Both were delicious. We also each had a cup of sweet potato bisque - excellent.
While we were seated inside the restaurant, Robert asked the diners to be quiet and then asked if anyone in the building had ever served in the armed forces. There were a couple of veterans, and he thanked them for their service to our country. We all applauded for that really nice gesture. Then there was a priest standing in line, and Robert asked him to say a blessing for the food as well as for the workers. Outstanding!
The restaurant was full, and people were really enjoying themselves. The wait staff seemed to be pretty overwhelmed. We had three different waitresses, and our food was not served all at once. But I imagine these past couple of days were crazy for them with the work and the excitement. I'm sure once things calm down, they will have things figured out.
The restaurant is Michelle's in Corry, Pennsylvania. I really hope that this professional advice from Robert combined with the outstanding publicity will help turn things around for the owners of the restaurant. The food seemed to be rather high brow for this blue collar town, but hey - who doesn't need to be classed up!