Sunday, March 10, 2013

Maniaci's Italian Bistro - Restaurant Impossible Update

Maniacis Restaurant Impossible
Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine is going to the Maniaci's in Mohnton, Pennsylvania to provide help to a struggling restaurant.  Three sons took over the restaurant after their mother passed away, and they are running the business into the ground.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Maniaci's to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews and comments are post Restaurant: Impossible):

The Positive Reviews:
  • "I drive from Buffalo NY to Mohnton PA regularly and never miss Maniaci's! It was always a comfortable pleasant place with good food at a great value. Staff and owners were always friendly and acommodating. Since Robert Irvine came in, it actually got better. Smaller menu but good variety and quality is excellent."
  • "It was good before, but better since Robert Irvine redid the place for an episode of Restaurant Impossible. Now the decor is brighter and less cluttered. Reminds me of an old Italian farmhouse. The menu is smaller than before, but the dishes we tried are much better.... Forget about the old Maniaci's and go back to try the new." 
  • "This place has just been done over by Food network's Robert Irvine. It's small but cute. Servers were very friendly. Caprese salad was the best I've had. Osso Buco was magnificent! And the lemony cake delectable. Others were not so pleased with the chicken parm over pasta, but pizza was very good. Would go back again! Good work!"
  • "Food was excellent; menu much smaller - and more interesting - than previously. new decor makes it feel like a whole different place. hope that diners who haven't been there in awhile will go back and try the "new" Maniaci's."
  • "Great food and wonderful renovation! Thanks for the opportunity to experience it for cheaper."

The Negative Reviews:
  • "Service was slow."
  • "Did not get waited on for quite some time and the food was not good"
  • "The service was absolutely horrible."
  • "Food not to our liking - Chicken Parm was heavily breaded & was deep fried almost to a crisp. Not many healthy choices at this restaurant."
  • "Chairs were uncomfortable with very low backs and just felt like we were in the middle of things. Their service was poor, we didn't even get a refill on water, nor were we asked about another beverage. The food was odd and not in a good way."


The reviews of the restaurant were not too bad before Restaurant Impossible came, although there were a good amount of complaints about bad food.  It sounds like most people like the changes that were made by Restaurant Impossible such as the smaller menu and decor.  It also seems like people like the food better, with the exception of the chicken parmesan, which had multiple complaints.  One thing they will need to continue to work on is the service, as there were a lot of complaints about slow service.

Maniaci's has had deals on Double Take Deals ($15 for $30 worth of food) and currently has deals on They also keep their Facebook Page up to date, so they are putting in the effort to turn things around, unlike some of the previous owners on the show.

Our Facebook Page - Like Us
Reviews from Yelp,, and Tripadvisor

UPDATE - The restaurant has said they had “almost $15,000 in dining room sales for the month of December.” and that "bar sales are up, as well, nearly $6,000 for the same month."  They have also stuck to the menu Robert suggested with the exception of not offering the branzino.

UPDATE 6/6/2013 - A local article stated that the restaurant is still seeing a surge of customers three months after the show aired, and that Robert Irvine still checks in on the restaurant.

UPDATE 4/2013 - Maniaci's has closed. More information on the closing.


  1. Is the restaurant no longer owned by the original family?

  2. Not surprised to see branzino fall by the wayside. Irvine seems to be pushing this fish on quite a number of restaurants. (For the record, I like it but it's usually as expensive as salmon on most menus, and darned if WF or my big-city foodie fishmonger carries it).  In order to get fish of this caliber and freshness, it takes a topnotch purveyor willing to deliver regularly if not daily (ditto with meats & produce).  How many struggling restaurants in such dire straits that they need to go on "RI" can convince such purveyors to extend them the credit they need to buy & serve this stuff?

  3. I plan to visit your restaurant for the first time this coming Friday evening for a St. Patrick's Day event being sponsored there. One of our closest friend's niece has worked there for 15 years, and he invited us to join him there on Friday. I just caught the "rerun" of the show on Comcast's On Demand. I'm actually excited to find a new restaurant in this area because I recently moved to exactly 3.1 miles away (according to mapquest) from the restaurant. My thanks to Robert Irvine and the three owners and staff for giving me a new place to enjoy a good meal. 

  4. mean SYSCO isn't providing SYSCO product regularly from SYSCO to a place that can't pay for it?

    (gotta get the necessary product placement into the post)

  5. I watched it on tv and i want to say way to go guys your mon would be proud

  6. Sysco doesn't care about the little guys. They put outrageous minimums on the little guys to where they cannot afford it. Plus they constantly are back ordered or just never deliver it. When its brought to their attention they make no effort to rush it to you. Most little guys don't even use sysco because they are to expensive.

  7. I'll bet pennies to dollars that the extravagantly negative reviews are planted by the competition who must be shivering in their shoes.

  8. According to its Facebook page, Maniaci's has just closed:
    "Maniaci's is sad to report that after almost 20 years, we will be closing our doors for good on April 5th. We have tried our hardest to keep up with rising costs and rough times; but, unfortunately, we have not been able to overcome all of the obstacles. We want to thank all of our loyal customers that have been with us through the years and, also, the newest customers. We don't always know what God's plans are, but we will continue to follow the path he leads us down. We appreciate all of the support we have had from all of you over the years.
    We will be having a final goodbye event for all of our customers on Saturday, April 5th. Please stop in anytime after 6 pm to wish us well and hang out with the Maniaci family for one last time. We look forward to seeing you April 5th."