- "All in all it was a very nice dining experience and I will be returning frequently to watch the growth ,enjoy the food,and offer support and feedback. To Robert Irvine, I would say Italians know how to cook great Italian food...and Abudanza can do that very well. Sincere wishes to Abudanza for a huge success. Let's all support them."
- "How do I start? Robert, from the food network...has saved this restaurant. The experience before was average at best...food was fantastic but the decor was bland and the service completely lacking. I was wary to give them another chance. Now? I am so happy I did. Exceptional and unprecedented are the only words I can use to describe the experience. The atmosphere is very bright and welcoming, the service was attentive and personable, and the food? My god the food. Absolutely delicious."
- "Four of us went for dinner, love the new look, love the new amount of wait staff which made services more attentive and friendly....The menu was smaller with more distinctive meals, good more normal size portions, the food had always been good but this was such a great improvement in service so glad to give it another try!!... Not one complaint, so happy they have turned it around...they have taken changes to heart! Well be back for sure!, this is NOT the same place!!!!"
- "Dinner, nice new look, same caring attentive staff, food NOT so good, sadly worse meal ever at this palce. Have been eating there for many years. Not so sure I will return"
- "Makeover??? Food Network went in and now the only thing they had going for them - good food with large portions - is Gone. 5 items on menu to choose from. 1 salad, no choice. Cost more than before...So disappointing to wait a week for a reservation and then only have a lettuce (from a bag-it was bitter) and burnt crouton salad that came with a half brown slice of lemon."
- "We have been to Abudanza a number of time in the past. The food was always good and generous but the service was always poor. Went last night to see the results of the Restaurant Impossible makeover. The dining room is brighter but the service is just as bad as before. The waitstaff doesn't seem to have assigned tables. Different people bring you different things"
*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon
Other News and Links:
- Here is the Abudanza website and current dinner menu.
- Here is the Abudanza Facebook page, which is kept up-to-date.
- The restaurant opened in 2006 in Springfield, MA. Due to growth, they moved to Wilbraham, MA to their current location with larger seating capacity, a full bar and a banquet hall. (Link).
- In late August, a few weeks after the makeover, the restaurant expanded their menu to include some of the old favorites. (Link).
- The restaurant actually opened an Abudanza Express restaurant in Ludlow, MA (a few miles away) on September 3, 2014. (Link)
- In a local article a month after the makeover, Robert Irvine said, "It’s the first time I’ve ever wept at the close of a show. It was very moving. This was a very tough show." The article also states that just prior to the Restaurant Impossible visit, the restaurant owners received a foreclosure notice on their home. Robert said about this, "I was moved so much by this family that the show and myself, out of my own pocket and out of the show’s pocket, outside of the budget for the show, paid an amount of money to pay off the mortgage in arrears so they could stay in the house." So this is probably the "much needed surprise" from the episode description.
- In that article Robert claims an 87% success rate in the last 3 years.
- Here is a GoFundMe fundraiser set up for LJ, who has ROHHAD Disease (Short for rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysregulation, hypoventilation, and autonomic dysregulation.). The disease is 100% fatal and the odds of having this disease as well as autism is one in 14 billion according to the fundraiser site. Unlike another Restaurant Impossible episode, this fundraiser was actually set up 5 months ago and before they were selected for the show.
The reviews for Abudanza are mixed since the Restaurant Impossible visit, and people seem to like the food and the decor changes made at the restaurant. There are still a few complaints about service and some people were disappointed in the menu changes, which usually happens. This restaurant was most likely chosen for the uniqueness of their story, and it seems that their story moved Robert Irvine.
One thing that doesn't add up is they reached out to Restaurant Impossible for help, have a GoFundMe fundraiser set up, and received a foreclosure notice on their home. With all of this, just one month after the Restaurant Impossible makeover, they opened up another location (Abudanza Express) in a nearby town.
UPDATE 5/2015 - Abudanza has Closed. More information on the restaurant's closure.
*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant: Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold. Also Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter