Kitchen Nightmares' Da Mimmo Has Yelp Divided On Its Food And Service

With so many of the restaurants that appeared on "Kitchen Nightmares" failing after Gordon Ramsay came in, fans of the family-owned Da Mimmo were thrilled when all the lessons and help actually seemed to turn things around during its October 16 airing. The Dumont, New Jersey-based Italian restaurant and pizzeria has seemingly continued on an upward swing since Ramsay's visit and makeover. Still, with only 18% of "Kitchen Nightmares" restaurants thriving as of 2023, there are reasons to be nervous. Yelp's mixed reviews of the revamped restaurant probably don't ease that concern.

Da Mimmo's has a solid 3.6 out of 5 stars rating on Yelp, which is great news for the Gigante family who runs it. It's also worth noting that of the 11 reviews with two stars or less, more than half of them seemed to have been written before Ramsay came to overhaul its menu and get everything back on track. One critique about soggy pizza and slow service received an answer from owner Melissa Gigantee on July 13, stating "We have recently updated our dough recipe and have a new menu altogether as well as new employees." Soem of the most recent negative reviews have more to do with portion size (in one case, a $22 order of calamari was likened to a kid's meal). One customer who left a one-star review didn't fault the food once it finally arrived but had issues with the wait: "I found the service slow but the pizza delicious."

Fresh ingredients and pizza lessons brought more positive reviews

When Da Mimmo appeared on "Kitchen Nightmares" it was a restaurant already $500,000 in debt, despite having only opened six months prior. Despite the fact that all three of her sons were supposed to help with the restaurant, only her son Antonio had stepped up. In charge of making the pizzas, he admitted his passion was to run a restaurant, but he had no training. One of the first things Ramsay did was bring in Dan Richer, the author of "Perfecting the Art of Making Pizza," to teach Antonio how to make an amazing pizza. Judging by the positive pizza reviews, Antonio paid close attention to Richer's lessons.

The other issue that was hampering Da Mimmo and its chef, Francesca, was the lack of fresh ingredients. Ramsay found multiple spoiled items in the kitchen, and Francesca expressed frustration to both Melissa and Ramsay about the use of frozen ingredients. "I've slimmed down your menu in favor of quality ingredients over quantity of dishes," Ramsay told them when he introduced the new menu.

Melissa makes it a point to respond to each and every review on Yelp, showing that she cares about what customers' experiences are at Di Mimmo. The restaurant appears to have shown a lot of improvement based on ratings alone. Time will tell if the Gigantes are on their way to being one of the rare "Kitchen Nightmares" success stories.