Kitchen Nightmares
Olde Stone Mill

Episode Report Card
Michael Neal: B- | 4 USERS: A
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Olde Stone Mill

It's time to gather all your rowdy friends who aren't watching Bionic Woman 'round the tube because, we've got another episode of "Making Your Shit Better" starring Gordon Ramsay. Incidentally, I love the Kitchen Nightmares intro. It's what I imagine Tarantino would pull off if he ever got his hands on Soul Train.

Location? Tuckahoe, New York, a wealthy old commuter town 45 minutes from Manhattan. We know this from a shot of a Metro North station as patient commuters, quietly lined up in a row, suffer the indignity and betrayal of their own mortality in the face of another day, excruciatingly similar to the last. It's enough to make Jim Carrey suddenly remember he had Kate Winslet erased from his brain 24 hours ago, or egg Diane Lane into a torrid but stupid affair with an obnoxious Frenchman who lives in a SoHo bookstore of an apartment. But are there any restaurants around here?

CUT TO: The Olde Stone Mill restaurant and bar. Let's see, it's old -- and in that "spell it like the English" kind of way; it's made out of stone; I'm not seeing a mill, but I trust FOX; and inside, indeed, is a restaurant with a bar. Also inside is the owner Dean, a stern chap who I will quickly character assassinate a la Woody Allen to Carol Kane in Annie Hall: let me guess right, ummm, father took you to your first Jets game the same day he showed you his new apartment away from Mom, but, uh, he gave you plenty of sage life lessons like "work hard" and [tsch] "don't fuck it up, champ," and you live by these words, which is why, now that your restaurant is in the, uh, dumps, you are swimming in displaced rage and mistrust at your staff and you keep your wife shut out from all your problems, even though they affect her, in order to maintain this fa├žade you've built up of being completely in control? [Tsch.] Am I -- am I getting through here?

Enough with the negative. Dean is a hard worker. He bought the mill where the restaurant now stands six years ago, as evidenced by an old photo of him standing proudly and shirtlessly on the roof of the building. With no investor money, Dean converted this place with his bare hands, literally doing all the work: the woodwork, the carpentry, the plumbing, everything but the electrical work. It's a near perfect construct -- an edifice. There is, though, the small matter of the food...

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Kitchen Nightmares

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