Restaurant Revisited: Barolo

by in Shows, May 16th, 2012

In Aptos, Calif., Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible team faced the daunting task of turning things around at Ristorante Barolo. Owners Giovanni Guerisoli and Cristina Locke struggled with the changing economy as well as family health problems, and could barely keep their 10-year-old business afloat. We checked in with the couple to see how things were going after Restaurant: Impossible.

Three months later, sales at Ristorante Barolo have increased by 37%. “The new decor and also all the publicity because of the show have brought new customers,” says Cristina. “People watch and really like Restaurant: Impossible.”

With Atilio in charge of the kitchen and Giovanni running the front of house, Cristina is finally able to spend more time with her children. “Atilio is doing a great job,” she says.  Despite her best efforts to reduce stress, Cristina recently suffered a stroke and is still recovering.  Because of the stroke, she was unable to finish cleaning out her office. When she recovers, she plans to ask Jessica to help her finish the task.

Giovanni’s health has remained a challenge for him, but he continues to run the front of the restaurant. “Giovanni is doing the best he can while still dealing with his health issues.” He never sold his collectibles at auction and continues to buy more.

“Doing the show was an amazing gift,” Cristina says. “I will be forever grateful for what Robert and the whole crew did for the restaurant and for my family.”

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)

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Comments (537)

  1. ghoti says:

    Why does anyone miss the half-assed 10 second "updates" at the end of the episode. Take 10 seconds and go to the website. That update is barely any better, but there are occasionally comments that tell you the real story if you are interested (and believe what you are reading).

    • Jerry says:

      How about the people who don't have internet access? Just because you and I do doesn't mean everyone does. Heck, if I didn't need it for work I wouldn't have it either. And no, I'm not an idiot who is going to pay $100 a month just so I can have a "smart" phone.

  2. This episode really inspired me. I’m very grateful there is someone out there helping restauranteurs. It is a very hard business and it is encouraging to watch every episode. I’m a owner of a restaurant and understand the difficulties and acknowledge the hardships of owning a restaurant. It is not all fun and games. It takes a lot of guts, courage and diligence to be successful. Chef Irvine is amazing and I look forward to every episode. He is saving lives and dreams! Keep up the good work! I don’t usually write reviews, but I felt after reviewing the comments of this episode it was important. Thank you and keep up the good work. It inspires us all.
    Donnie from Austin, TX

  3. 10second update. says:

    Can you people stop saying "bring back the 10 second update at the end of the show"? I think I have seen that comment 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,001 in this episode alone.

    By the way, can we bring the 10 second update at the end of the show?

  4. Jerry says:

    I'd like to see an new show called something like "Restraunt Impossible – Re-Visted". They could have anyone host it but it might be better if Robert did. He should go to the restaurants that his team has already helped in the past, maybe 6 months to a year back. Talk to the owners and see how things are going, talk to the customers coming in and see why they keep coming back and get their opinions on the restaurant. Check out the menu's and see what's changes and what's stayed the same. Get the audiuance a real view of how things are going.

    • Rob says:

      Great idea. However, I would only watch it, and it would only be a good show if they do not hesitate to show if a place has slipped back to unprofitability. Not to say that these places will, but a real concession must be made if this is the case to create an all important ethos appeal to the viewer.

    • sandi says:

      i would watch that… good idea !

    • Mike Griffith says:

      "Revisited" would be very telling, I'll wager. The Snooty Fox in Indianapolis just announced their closing.

  5. deleted4151634 says:


    This message is for you. The word is rIstorante and not rEstorante. Please learn correct pronunciation the next time before you decide to present an impression that you are cultured. You know food and establishing businesses, but you are not cultured. I was surprised by this level of ignorance from someone who is willing to point out everyone else's mistakes. You need to improve yourself too. Other than that you have done an excellent job in inspiring many of these owners to turn around their lives and thier businesses. But don't pretend to be something that you are not. It makes for horrible television for someone with the skills to point it out.

    In la bocca al lupo!


    • Mome says:

      I think you are not cultured too

    • Monica says:

      I find it funny that you start a sentence with the word But

    • a super fan of R I says:

      Ignorance is bliss. James you seem blissful !

    • Bystander says:

      Hey, James.
      Stop nit picking. Look who's being ignorant? Are you an English professor? Well, you sure did spell "thier" businesses instead of "their" businesses. Get it straight! People love Robert and are thankful for what he is doing.

    • just me says:

      you misspelled their

      • jbe333 says:

        I did mistype a word or too, but my point has little to do with grammar actually. I am sorry that all of you completely missed that. I am simply stating that a person should not make out as if he or she knows some Italian when the person mispeaks a simple world like restaurant on national television.

        At the same time, my comment was never intended to make it to national television, and I am therefore not in the least bit worried about my grammar in the comment section of the food network website. Bye the way, for all of the hypocrites that replied about my grammar and decided that sentences do not need to be capitalized or punctuated in any way . . . . "Bystander" was the only one who managed to at least live up to his own standards.

        • jbe333 says:

          Again, my comment had nothing to do with Robert's grammar. Many of you folks would be similarly disappointed if someone had pronounced "burrito" as "burrita" on national television. A person should not exaggerate his or her level of sophistication, and just because someone has some star quality skills in somethings does not mean that the person should pretend to have skills in other completely disparate areas of expertise.

          The comment might be better stated as simply that I and many other folks disdain when a person pretends to know something that they do not. Robert clearly knows the culinary arts. Robert clearly does not know Italian very well, and so he should just be himself and utilize his good English.

          • jbe333 says:

            Restaurante is Spanish. He spoke that word in an Italian restaruant, i.e. ristorante, with Italian owners who serve Italian food. That is uncutured. If anyone wants to discuss that further than please do. To analogize–it is as if someone went to Canada and said "!Holla, amigos!" instead of "Allo, amis!" or whatever the French is. It shows a complete misunderstanding of other cultures. The owner's Sicilian brother must have looked at him as if he was a blow hard. Only blow hards pretend to know something about everything.

            Moreover, for you grammar nazis, "but' can be used to intiate a sentence in the context of an editorial, such as this comment board (e.g., I went to the debate. But I did not buy the candidate's talking points.)

          • John says:

            James —

            You are taking issue regarding something that was never said. I don't remember any point in the episode that Chef Irvine said he was Italian, spoke Italian or misrepresented his knowledge or background.

            I am sorry that such a small verbal misstep could create such issues for you. It appears that you missed the whole point of the program. Attempting to say something Italian in an Italian restaurant does not seem to be unusual. Just reading the items on the menu will force that situation. It does't make them uncultured (not "uncutured").

            BTW – when you are critiquing someone's speech with such vigor, you should not be surprised when your writing is frequent with error. Calling ANYONE a Nazi is, in the very least, bad form. You should be ashamed. If you are going to hold high standards, hold them for yourself as well.

          • Vicky says:

            jbe, use than when you are comparing, like, the Sox are better than the Cubs.. Use then after something has been done., such as, when I finish my homework, then I will play on the computer.

          • kit-kat says:

            You sir are pretending to know the English language much better than you actually do. That makes you disingenuous at best, a fraud at the worst. You are trying too hard to sound educated. It's uncomfortable and sad.

        • Tina says:

          That would be "for all of the hypocrites WHO replied…"

        • urworstnightmare says:

          please just shut up and try not to post anything ever again….thank u

        • conniim says:

          He is English, so his pronunciations are going to be slightly different than a person raised in America. A well traveled & global person would know this. If you have ever traveled around the world, you would know that dialects sound different depending on where a person is from. Not everyone speaks foreign words the same as Americans. Broaden your mind, sir… You show your own lack of knowledge with this post.

    • Vicky says:

      James, Robert has an English accent. If you have paid attention, he says pasta[short a sound], while we [USA]say pah-sta. Could be his natural English accent coming out. Have you ever visited a foreign country? You, not I, might be very surprised by English speaking Europeans and Latin Americans. I understand them perfectly.

      • jbe333 says:

        This is the last time I will reply to this. I have no idea why so many of you have decided that what I said needs to be picked apart. The majority of the replies have been so remarkably self-serving. What is wrong with you people"." Have you all stopped being able to think for yourselves that you have to tear apart any view that is not politically correct or which does not fit into the schema provided to you?

        • Julie - Florida, says:

          Vickie: Maybe you were raised to be ignorant and foolish but I was not .
          What does any of these comments have to do with discussing the restaurant?
          GIVE IT A REST!

        • nomoreeatingout says:

          Yes, James, we are all self-serving. That is why we think for ourselves. You and your Bohemian friends may sit around the coffee house and engage in group-think, but it isn't going to happen here.

    • nomoreeatingout says:

      Oh, James, you are soooooooooooo……Bohemian.

    • Mike says:

      Wow such a negative comment to someone that has mad a career helping others. Shut up if you have nothing nice to say.

    • secrtsqurl says:

      Internet troll. Get a life.

    • Jan Hulswit says:

      Good god ! You're not full of yourself are you?

    • melissa999 says:

      We non-Italian speakers tend to not pronounce Italian well; English English speakers just make a slightly different set of mistakes than American English speakers. Neither of us do the double consonants, which do make a difference in Italian. We tend to ignore number; "panini" is plural of panino, but we refer to a single sandwich as "a panini" (or under the influence of the Department of Redundancy Department, "a panini sandwich", and we say "the spaghetti *is* al dente" etc. Yes, Robert's English parasitic "r" and use of the "short a" in "pasta" grate on us, but who cares? The important thing is what he managed to do for the owners and their family. Seeing how the years fell from Cristina and Giovanni's faces as they saw the new decor and evidence of the burden being lifted from their shoulders brought tears to my eyes, and I hope that they have done well.

    • caddygirl says:

      why are you pointing out flaws as if you are perfect or live in a glass house? hating on a simple grammatical error due to what you feel isnt cultured to your satisfaction is stuupid. No one is perfectly cultured, Did you forget no one speaks perfect language and are not cultured. let it go and be greatful for what he has done. Money talks, try donating instead of hating.

    • Linda says:

      James, please get over yourself. Robert is a good guy, no need to try to bring his good works down. Get some love in your heart!

    • mn777 says:

      The only skill you have is being rude and arrogent

    • Caprio says:

      Your last sentence is wrong. In Bocca al lupo is correct. We are actually REAL Italians, James! Don't be so uppity when you know nothing. Robert's amazing!

    • MickeyT says:

      I don't think you should be pointing fingers James. Honestly, you spell their as their AND that is really stupid seeing how their is such a thing as spell checking BEFOR you click the submit button. Grow up!

    • Brenda says:

      These kind of comments make you so small. They are not needed.

    • JADD says:

      Honestly if you spoke Italian you wouldn't care considering how everyone who doesn't speak the language doesn't pronounce things correctly. For example how people say gnocchi, mozzarella, parppardelle etc. and talking about nit picky si dice "in bocca al lupo" non ci vuole l'articolo :P

  6. Philly says:

    I completely concur with Connie with her observation about jbe333’s comments about someone’s lack of culture. Perhaps James you should look at your own examples of a “lack of culture.” A spelling mistake, poor sentence structure and incorrect English grammar reflect more upon yourself as someone who is not cultured than a single mispronounced word. Every single person who is on television has mispronounced or misstated a word at one time or another. So using your own standards maybe you should turn off your television permanently since everyone is obviously not as cultured as you. And since using the mere slip of the tongue is your standard for leaps of criticism, maybe the fact that you felt it necessary to point out this mere slip of the tongue reflects more to your own insecurities and lack of self worth than someone else not being as “cultured” as you.

  7. marcus says:

    Restaurant Impossible may actually be doing harm to people over the long term. It does give good business tips to viewers which is good. But for many of the poor owners it's just a cruel joke. This restaurant is a classic example. You have clear evidence of addictions and obsessive compulsive behavior which took years to develop and which can not be corrected in two days. Having a visit from Robert Irvine may be a helpful intervention moment which could push some people to seek real help. But a celebrity chef or a psychiatrist can't fix these kinds of problems in three days. All the restaurant's problems stem from the deeply ingrained behavioral problems. These people ran a successful business in the past. It's not that they don't know how. The problem has to do with deeper issues that are not so easy to correct. My hunch is that this is true with most of the restaurants Robert visits. For these kinds of situations probably the best Robert can do is shake people up and help them see their need for real help. But if Robert did not push these people to deeper more fundamental professional help, the whole exercise was a bit of a cruel joke.

    • Marcea says:

      Marcus. Give me a break. No kidding !! Rome wasn’t built in a day. All Robert is trying to do is give them the fundamentals they need to get their businesses back on track. And any positive publicity can help these restuarants. This episode was very unique to most of the places Robert has recreated. Are you a psychologist???sounds like you are!!! Ps. If the man is a hoarder let him hoard in a storage unit. Because lets face it that place was a mish mash of junk!!!

    • John says:

      lol. Most of the problems that the other restaurants experience are not because of "deeply ingrained behavioral problems", they're because most of those people simply dont belong in the restaurant business. Most of them admit to having little or no experience running a restaurant, cant cook, and have no business sense. All they admit to is "always wanting to own a restaurant" or simply "had the opportunity to buy the restaurant". If I had the opportunity to buy the worlds best lawnmower that doesnt mean I should be cutting grass for a living. lol

    • Kim says:

      I think that it is commedable that he is giving these people a second change to better their business and their lives. Sometimes people just need a helping hand to make it…give them hope instead of being a downer

  8. Johnny says:

    I loved it when Atilio said they both need to get out all they do is make a mess. That was f-ing hilarious. LOL!

  9. Irene Olis says:

    I totally dislike not having the the update at the end of the show. Yes, after months of watching the show without it, I forced myself to go to food network/ri web site & then had to go to this blog site. I find this is humiluting. Like having a ring in my nose and being led around as a marketing target. After a relaxing time watching TV, I do not want to rush to my computer to see the update. I want to continue to watch food network. I'm thinking of not watching this program since the update is an important part of it and I want to know the ending of a book once I read it and not have to go else where to find it. Consider this for future programing. Thanks

  10. Bart Portley says:

    I was looking at some of your articles on this site and I believe this web site is rattling instructive! Keep putting up.

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