Restaurant Revisited: Stella’s

by in Shows, August 8th, 2012

Restaurant Revisited: Stella's

In Stratford, Conn., Michael Savoie and his mother Cami needed Robert’s help to keep their 15-year-old Italian restaurant, Stella’s, alive. Despite working exhausting 90-hour weeks, Michael was clueless about food costs and lacked the leadership skills to effectively manage his staff. From management to decor, Robert and his team gave Stella’s a complete overhaul. We checked in with the Savoies a few months later to see how business is going.

In the months following their Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Stella’s are up 20 percent.

Michael is letting his mother have access to the business financials. He now has a better grip on how to manage food costs. As the new general manager of Stella’s, Cami is also handling the catering side of the business and helping to keep costs down.

The new, improved sauces are a big hit, as is the new pizza menu — Stella’s Special and the Popeye are customer favorites. “Now our menu is a combination of Robert’s new dishes and our old menu items, and it seems to have something for everybody,” says Cami. “The menu is still about half the size it used to be, so it’s helping us keep inventory costs down too.”

After Robert helped Michael with his managerial skills, the staff is now under control and more respectful. “The staff has been really flexible as we have gone through changes. The waitresses are happier with bigger tips, and the cooks love the smaller menu,” says Cami.

The Savoies say guests love the new decor: “We get a lot of requests to sit at the booths in the atrium, and the new bar is catching on,” says Cami. They have switched out the tabletops and are now using the ones Robert’s designer Taniya made that weren’t dry for the re-opening.

Overall, the Savoies are thrilled with the increase in sales and are optimistic that the business will only go up from here. “It was a facelift we needed, but couldn’t afford, so we’re grateful,” Cami says.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Italian Village (August 1)

Zandi’s (July 25)

The Main Dish (July 18)

Longbranch Steak and Seafood (July 11)

Horton’s Kids (June 13)

Pollard’s (May 30)

University Grill (May 23)

Ristorante Barolo (May 16)

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)

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Comments (174)

  1. Chris says:

    Went to Stella's tonight and the food was very good. Haven't been there in a while and liked the redecorating. More spacious. Everything was going well until we paid our bill. We had been there for a little over an hour and were catching up. Waitress came over and told us that in 15 minutes they needed our table because a party of 9 was coming in. When we walked in at the beginning they asked us if we wanted a table or a booth. We chose the table. If they knew the tables were going to be used then why sit us there. I'm not an eat and run type of person and we had just finished eating had barely paid our bill.

    • guest says:

      wah wah wah…

    • Don says:

      Dude, you were there by your own admission for an hour. From someone that has worked in many restuarants, and hour(and they told you , you had another 15 minutes) is more than enough time. Its a business, not a town park where you can just sit and chat. The way a restaurant makes money is by turning over tables. If you have on table there for two hours, you are not making any mone. You got their to eat. Get in, chat a little, eat your food, pay your bill , then leave.

  2. New Haven Italian says:

    Just saw the episode repeated and living in this area with many Italian restaurants, both good and bad, My husband and I definitely intend to visit Stella's. I am just hoping their pasta and bread are homemade. The pasta for my husband, and bread for my 9 year old daughter. She especially has an opinion on bread and rolls when we eat out. My husband is Italian through and through from New Haven County. For myself, I will try the pizza. We are frequent visitors to Pepe's (the original on Wooster). I can say only a couple places in the area come even close to Pepe's pies….and they are not on Wooster St. Good luck to the new Stella's and I am looknig forward to visiting your place!

    • Julie - Florida, says:

      Let us know how you like it. Make sure you ask them if they fixed the refrigerator! Also, I would ask them before hand if the past and bread is made fresh. Some how I doubt it.

  3. charliesbbq says:

    OK ReturnEndings2Show- You watched a re-play tonight and thought something was gonna be different?????? WHY???????????????????? You get REAL UPDATES here and not the fluff of just saying sales up X percent here……. You get feedback from REAL CUSTOMERS here and also REAL OWNERS so why is this way bad?????

  4. Lee says:

    Good golly, Miss Molly. It's puzzling to me that so many people come here to gripe about not having updates aired after each show. Firstly, production times are speedier these days, so when the shows were finalized before original air time there probably wasn't enough time passed to offer a comprehensive update.

    Personally, even when they had brief updates after the shows I still logged on to get more details. I simply Google "Restaurant Impossible" and add whatever restaurant I'm interested in. IMO, the handiest tool for up-to-date information on the showcased restaurants is using Yelp and UrbanSpoon. These sites offer real-time reviews from actual customers. And if they can't be found on these sites after being shown on Restaurant Impossible, they're likely closed.

    I do exactly the same with Hotel Impossible and Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. It's neat to see how all the businesses are doing.

    Just my two measly cents. :-)

  5. ReturnEndings2Show says:

    my grand parents are on Dial up and so are many people. and not everyone has Internet so i guess their left out what happens huh?

    and as for my Grand Parents, it takes them 30mins to load up FoodNetwork.com and no they can not update to anything better and no they do not have money to shell out for a new computer.

    they are Retired and make ends meet. but i guess they miss whats going on then huh? would it kill the FoodNetwork to add the Endings Back that only took a few Secs? Heck No! it wouldn't hurt them one little bit.

    • charliesbbq says:

      I fail to see at why the rest of the world needs to adjust to your Grandparents in-ability to connect to the net?? You can connect it appears so you can keep them informed JMHO)

      • ReturnEndings2Show says:

        your right what was i thinking. it must be great to never see an entire tv show, and only get cut Half Short.

        I also Mentioned that there are many that can't access the Internet and view what happened because they lack the Internet. my Grand Parents was an example i used from my own Personal life. Regardless who i say or bring up the point stands and your nothing more then a Jerk like the FoodNetwork is being to its Viewers "All of them" not just the Special few that have High Speed Internet or Internet that can come here to view it.

        Tell Me Smart Guy what happens when i view a one of these stories and i forget the ending to it? "Doh! i have to come back online here and re locate that Page just to re read it again. ohh and before you Claim you never forget, some do forget what happens at the end of the show.

        People like you only think of them self's and nothing more then them self's and its proof, true i have Internet, True i can come here as much as i want. But not everyone can watching the program. i'm thinking of the times when i had to Suffer with Dial up. trust me its not a great thing to have. going 2 maybe 3kbs/sec bites! so instead of Running your mouth and being a Dick to me.

        would it hurt to think of others that don't have the Luxury Life with High Speed Internet or a great computer for that matter? i'll say it again, it does not Kill the FoodNetwork to add it back to the Endings, its a few Seconds of their time to do.

        But it seems to Hurt People like you because God forbid people like me can't have a Voice in the Matter and Speak up for others.

        • charliesbbq says:

          Why is this show so much about you and your Grandparents?? YOUR WORDS: Tell Me Smart Guy what happens when i view a one of these stories and i forget the ending to it? "Doh! i have to come back online here and re locate that Page just to re read it again. ohh and before you Claim you never forget, some do forget what happens at the end of the show.

          You have in your mind that I am all about me and that is it right?? You couldn't be any further from the truth. You should know that if you don't keep up with technology you WILL BE LEFT BEHIND. Look at BETA, 8 tracks,cassettes, VHS and on and on JMHO

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            that's nice , you have Jack shi… about any clue what i do for a living. funny thing is i Build Computers from the ground up. don't give me the 3rd Degree on what Computers can and Can not Do.

            My Point is why must everyone now suddenly have to buy a Computer and High Speed internet just to know the ending to their TV Show. read that? "TV Show" do you know what that means any? ohh that's right its Television Show. if this was Online Only to Watch then I'd understand. but its not, its Basic Television.

            but you are very clueless to my point, Restaurant Impossible started the trend with it at the End of the Show and should have kept it this way, so it was Access to all and not the Lucky ones that have a good Computer and Internet.

            Not everyone can Afford these things in America these days, not with Job Growth in the Toilet.

            though you seem like a Dick so i can't wait till you Troll some more Stupid Nonsense my way, so come on Troll, try harder. because frankly i don't care what you say.

            my Point Still Stands that not everyone has the Honor to see what happened and is Left out in the Dark to never know. and its Unfair to All Viewers! "All" not just ones like me and you that have Nice Internet and a decent computer.

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            btw, Cassettes and VHS are still in use :P just thought I'd show a flaw in your message. don't believe me Google it on Shopping :P

            and with that i go back to living my Life. Respond or Not i really have no feeling what you say.

          • Priya says:

            Quit whining. Public libraries have computers with internet access. I agree with the previous posters-we should not have to change for your grandparents.

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            ohh grow up, i am allowed to protest if i wish to and if you dislike it "Ignore it! simple as that, you didn't notice that i have said them in Example. so you didn't read my post any you Skimped it like the other guy.

            and by your Logic your saying that every time someone wants to know what happened with the Show that they have to travel to the Library to see what happens. that's the Dumbest Logic i have seen. Bravo now people will spend more of Gas. >.>

            and whos We? working with foodnetwork are you?

            last i checked more then 1 user was Complaining about this. i can bring up before posts but ehh you aren't lazy.

            now then any other Dicks on this Friendly site? isn't there anyone with Common sense that wants to talk and not go Dick-Commando on me because i am protesting and a bit upset over the Shows Change up?

            and god forbid if i just say "Grand Parents again" can't have any Life Examples, i'll make up a Fantasy story next time. >.>

          • Priya says:

            Everyone has internet access-it's not that expensive.

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            not true, not everyone has Internet or can even afford it. that's a False Statement and you know it. and yes living in the country getting high Speed Internet is very costly.

            Dial up internet is cheap though. but in order to get faster internet though you are very limited. i would love to list everything. but your so smart you can look into it.

            thing is i don't see why i'm not allowed to protest without issues? tell me why am i not allowed to be Honest?

          • Priya says:

            Fine, do whatever you want. If you want to whine and complain, go for it. There are lots of people who don't mind coming online to read the updates

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            your right there are lots of people that have the Access and Luxury to do that, but not everyone does and that's my point to my post. so to them its Tuff Luck right?

            as for whining? bah and thank you for not acting like a dick

          • Seeing the positive says:

            How absolutely, ridiculous and pointless. I would be surprised to say the least if the vocation information is accurate. You are obviously on the computer. I'm sure in your vast computer knowledge you could find a way to assist your grand parents. Maybe they could give you a hug and you might not be so cranky and insulting. Just a thought.

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            Your name says "Seeing only the Dick Messages" and with my response Learn to read Posts and not Skim the messages or just maybe i wouldn't need to repeat to Stupid People over and over and i will even if it ticks them off :P

            read my 2nd post i Clearly said ""my grand parents are on Dial up and so are many people. "" <<<notice i said And so many people.

            also i used my Grand Parents as an example, i could had said my self because i've had Dial up in the country before as well and guess what its Garbage.

            i could have gotten satellite internet at that time, but it cost 300$ for installing and hardware, and 80-120$ a month for something that's Junk!

            Dial Up is 7-14$ a month, and Vastly affordable to anyone.

            Only thing i see from you Trolls is "You Don't Give a Dang!" yeah its great for you that, "You!" have the Advantage and Luxury to always see whats going on or you wouldn't be here then huh? but imagine if you can't then what? better be dang lucky there's people like me that Think of more then just My Selfish Self like you are here!

            all i see is how Selfish you 3 are, that's all i see. you 3 must be the 1% rich people in life that have it made. must! be! nice!

          • Priya says:

            We've worked hard in life, and hard work pays off

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            that's nice, and so do many and many people. and yet not everyone can waste their hard earned cash just to drop and buy something they can't Afford can they?

            i'll repeat it like i have been. stop Being Selfish and think of others then just your self.

            "you know what they say if Something Works don't mess it up"

            And this doesn't work for me and many others, so why don't you stop attacking me because your Annoyed that i am asking FoodNetwork to please go back with Endings the way they were.

            Tell me this, why are you 3 so Against this? huh tell me? whats wrong, it hurt you so much that 5secs of viewing time hurts you so much that you can't accept it? <<<thats only thinking of you you you.

            I bet someone says my Grand Parents again :P and don't even read anything i said, true my Statements aren't WoW Perfectly thought up. so Sue me i'm not making that perfect Statement to Please everyone. I'm Human and i'm not Perfect.

            So please forgive me to anyone i may have Upset or not made Happy. but i'm not happy with the change in the show and i Find it Unfair to the Viewing crowd that "Not" everyone is Allowed to at least know if they Failed or Succeeded <<<is that so hard to ask? just a little info on if they did well?

            if someone wants to see the Entire Story, that's great i think its a great idea to post it here for the ones that can read it.

            to the Selfish people here, i'm sorry you have Shallow minds and only think of the lucky few. and i'm sorry to upset you in any way.

          • Priya says:

            You also sound selfish if you can't adapt to things changing.

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            hmmm then so are you for complaining that i'm saying something. :P

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            BTW i'm so Selfish i sat down earlier to write up 1hours worth of how to learn a Language just for 2 friends because they were looking for help.

            i'm So Selfish i take my time helping Vietnamese/Chinese with there English skills. i take my Time out daily to help them to get better. and whats my Reward? a warm heart knowing that i am giving back to others!

            but you wouldn't know that about me unless i tell you it. but hey downgrade me as much as you like :P

          • charliesbbq says:

            If this doesn't work for you why do you keep posting here??

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            better question is why are you so Annoyed and going for more and not let this topic die? but you come back and thus i reply

          • charliesbbq says:

            Peronally I would rather see "real feedback" from real customers and owners as well and this is the way to get that. JMHO The few seconds at the end of show saying sells up so much doesn't tell the real story about what is going on. This show is about making folks bussiness be profitable and what better way to make the right changes than reading what REAL customers have to say JMHO

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            yes thank you for pointing out its a Show, and as a tv show people love to hear the whole story. theres real people thinking the same things i am.

          • charliesbbq says:

            This website is NOT about YOU/ME/ Robert/or anyone else other than the BUSSINESS OWNER. They get feedback here to become better and for the life of me I can't figgure out why that is wrong :(

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            your Correct is not all about me. its about the FoodNetwork that is a Television show that is telling a story on TV.

            Feedback is gotten here and if you have not noticed i have not made a 2nd topic post. "thus i am seen as 1 post that can be Ignored" but you can't seem to Ignore not to post and post more.

            Also if this was only for the Business Owners then we wouldn't be able to comment other then our stay at the place. but this is on TV and a TV Show.

            there is Feedback websites that are made for Restaurants. this isn't the only way to get feedback any. and to be honest this isn't even the best way to get real feedback.

          • charliesbbq says:

            Yep it is a TV show and the owners can come here and see what they are
            doing wrong/right and try and improve. The other sites on the net that I have seen doesnt have anything to do with anything when it comes to rating a restuarant :( Anyone anywhere in the world can rate a place even if they have never been there and that includes their competion :(

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            but when i come here and post 1 thing i get Harassed because i said Grand Parents? really?

            This is such a great place to be, say anything bad or wrong and i get slammed for Voicing what i feel is a bad idea to a great Show. all i want is people to all to be able to know what happened.

            <<<why just why is this such a Selfish thing to ask. yes i said i wouldn't watch it because i feel its unfair to all.

          • charliesbbq says:

            OK ReturnEndings2Show – Lets do it this way "I am a troll" and you are right, and I will not post anything else on your threads, fair enough???

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            i don't want you to do that, i want you to voice things with me. i don't mean to get Upset,

            but when i get hit by 3 people that say "your grand parents can do this or that" its like a brick in my face saying Get out of here your not posting something Positive that we want to see.

            but if you don't want me to reply that's fine. but i am sorry for starting a huge hate thing. and i'm not a Hate person at all.

          • charliesbbq says:

            YOU ARE WRONG This show is ABOUT the OWNERS , grant you the Food network makes money off the ads but guess what folks have to make it to keep this train rolling ;)

          • ReturnEndings2Show says:

            YOU ARE WRONG <<<<not big cap letters. you must yell to grab ATTENTION.

            you are also Wrong,

            its About a Story where Robert comes in with his Crew and it shows what they do to help these in need people. it talks about their place and why its doing bad and it also shows focus on how Robert and his Designers help change the place from its looks and to how its Ran.

            if it was Fully on just the Owners, we wouldn't see a redesign of that place. we wouldn't even see Robert.

            So what was that?

  6. ReturnEndings2Show says:

    I Care thanks, and please keep your "Shut up" comment to your self.

  7. bigtonydar8r says:

    I took my family back to Stella's a few days after the remodel, it looked better but i did not like Cami's comments towards Chef Irvine. We are big fans of the show and we were excited to be at our first remodeled Restaurant Impossible place. Cami told us how mean Chef Irvine was to her son and how they didnt like the menu and how they were changing it and adding more items to it. We hadnt even read the menu and she was bad mouthing it, we really were dissapointed. We were expecting to hear great things about Chef Irvine and how thankfull they were for his help. Im guessing quite a few customers will visit Stella's just to check it out because of this show. Heres a word of advice, dont bad mouth the show in front of customers, the only reason some of us came into your restaurant is because of the show. After watching the episode we did start to like Cami and Mike the owners a little more and we wish them well. But our first impression of Cami bad mouthing Chef Irvine and the menu has just made us not want to return to Stella's.

    • Pat says:

      It is unfathomable to me that people who are running FAILING restaurants get expert advice from wildly successful experts in the field and immediately revert back to their failing behavior and menu. It is totally unbelievable and, ultimately, they will fail and deserve to.

  8. @rob_twafsm says:

    Uh I thought Foodnet Work got rid of Irvine??? WTH???? I can't stand the Limey Git anyway!!!!! Give me Guy Fieri and Paula Dean anyday…..not Irvine!!

  9. Ginger says:

    We went to Stella's to order three dinners to take-out to a friend who we were visiting in the nearby rehabilitation hospital.We ordered two additonal salads to complete our meals. I specifically asked for bread and butter, dressing and utensils, since we were not taking the items home and made sure that I tipped the wait person who took the order.
    When we arrived at the facility and opened our package, we found we had a half a loaf of bread(uncut) no butter, only forks, about two tablespoons of dressing to accomodate two very large salads and no napkins… and all of this after a forty-five minute wait.

    The food, while somewhat tastier than previously, was certainly not what we expected..

  10. Pam says:

    I just wish people would stick to the real topic and avoid attacking or criticizing each other. Just a suggestion…

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