Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Restaurant Impossible - Peppino's Ristorante Italiano Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Oviedo, Florida to makeover Peppino's Ristorante Italiano.  In this ambush episode, an employee reached out to Restaurant:Impossible for help.  Owners Susan and Luigi bought the restaurant and hoped to pass it onto their son Nato, but are having second thoughts due to his poor work ethic and attitude.  Robert needs to update the old menu and decor, address the bad service, and figure out if Nato has what it takes to run a restaurant.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Peppino's Ristorante Italiano to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

Positive Reviews:
  • "Food was delicious. Service friendly. We waited for our meals a bit longer than I expected. The ambience is casual and nice."
  • "Great Italian food. Greeted by a sweet lady who happens to be the owner and was extremely hospitable. Would return again for sure."
  • "The main courses were very good. I had spaghetti with a meatball and a sausage link. The sauce was tasty, the pasta was cooked al dente and the meatball / sausage was very good. My companion had linguine with marinara sauce and she enjoyed it very much. The decor was improved, however the a/c was blasting which made the dining room very cold. "
  • "My husband & I haven't been here in years so after we heard about the Restaurant Impossible being there, we wanted to check it out. The food was excellent but they need to work on speeding up the service. I think they're overwhelmed with how busy they are now. Hopefully they will work it out. The place looks very nice."
Negative Reviews:
  • "We wanted to give this a place one last try since our 1st 2 experiences were not good at all. And we really wanted this to work out. But, sadly, it did not....The food was only so-so; I've had much better and much more reasonable prices.There is entirely no reason to wait 2+ hours to get a meal. We even saw other diners that came in after us, have their meal and left before we even got our food. We will not be coming back again. "
  • "The pasta in the chicken alla maria was overcooked and the chicken was undercooked. I had to spit out a piece of chicken after I bit into it because it was practically raw....The inside of the restaurant was frigid to the point of shivering even in pants and a long sleeve shirt. All around it was a negative experience and it is a shame that the place still sucks even after Restaurant Impossible came and fixed the mafia fronted shithole."
  • " Food took 1 hr and 45 minutes to get here. Yes, we should habe left but it was already late and there were 14 in our party. Totally dissapointed and will not come again which is a shame because this was our go to home cooked Italian place."
  • "Came here Saturday night after the renovation, it was awful. Actually I don't know how the food was because after 45 minutes of waiting we left. We did manage to get our drinks. And 3 rounds of bread. When we angrily ask the waiter for our check, for the drinks, The owner came over and asked us to please date it would be about seven more minutes. Keep in mind they were working off of a Limited menu and three of us at the table ordered a meatball Parmesan sub. The 45 minutes waiting for our food was ridiculous and unacceptable. There are too many choices around to eat at in places like this do not deserve support."
  • " It was terrible and I will NEVER go back again. The service was terrible (we were there for almost two hours, saw our server 3 times at most, only received one drink refill), food was terrible (two of our guests were given wrong ingredients in their meals, the manicotti was a rubber consistency and disgusting), management was terrible (the manager reprimanded an employee in front of the customers while he decided to discuss his personal problem with a table of friends he apparently knew). It was an overall bad experience and I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone"
  • "Absolutely disgusting. The food was horrible. The presentation was horrible. I will never go back. Not even close to real Italian cuisine, just a bunch of microwaved garbage"
  • "Went to Peppino's with my family for dinner. Sat down at 6:30 and the restaurant was not to busy. Waited an hour and half and still no food. I went to the woman at the front to find our server so we could pay for our drinks and salads and leave. Finally they brought the food to us at 8:10 yet the table next to us that was there first was still waiting for their food."
*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google

Other News and Links:

  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover happened in February 2016, so not long before this episode aired.
  • Here is the Peppino's website and their menu which is pretty large.
  • Here is the Peppino's Facebook Page, which doesn't post things too often. 
  • The restaurant is currently offering Groupon deals (Link).
  • Here are some past restaurant inspections for Peppino's. (Link)
  • Reviews from 2014 and before seem to be better than the most recent ones from 2015 through present (Link).
  • Fortunato (Nato) has been arrested multiple times with charges such as forgery and grand theft auto. Here are the case files from the Seminole County website if you are interested and here are some of his mugshots.


The reviews of Peppino's Ristorante Italiano are definitely more negative than positive since the makeover with a common compliant being about service time.  There are mixed reviews about the food and people seem to agree that the decor needed updating.  It appears the restaurant was not equipped to handle the additional customers that come after a Restaurant Impossible makeover and they will need to work on making wait times for food much smaller for this to be a success.

UPDATE - Peppino's closed in January 2020 after over 30 years in business. (Link)

*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

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