Chef Robert Irvine and the Restaurant: Impossible crew visited Carmine’s Chianti Cow in Port Jervis, New York for this week’s episode. Their visit resulted in a name change from “Carmine’s” to “Chianti Cow” and the menu was revamped.
In the episode, titled “Out with the Old, In with the New,” Irvine meets Chef Keith O’Connor. The synopsis says that Chef Keith’s identity crisis is threatening the restaurant.
“Stuck in a rut serving the same food as the previous owner, Chef Keith needs a wake-up call or this potential small-town gem is doomed to close,” the synopsis reads.
O’Connor Has Owned the Restaurant for 20 Years
Alongside his wife Lisa, O’Connor has owned Chianti for 20 years. Last year, some of the longtime staff reached out to Restaurant: Impossible. O’Connor told the Record Online that he’d wanted to renovate for a long time, but it was never the right time economically to do so. They also had wanted to change the name of the restaurant for quite awhile.
“At one point we had plans for our addition, and even had blueprints,” O’Connor said. “But it was around that time that the housing market around us crashed, and we held off. We didn’t want to change the name without changing the business.”
O’Connor was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, so he is a professionally trained chef, unlike some of the restauranteurs Irvine helps out on the show.
Reviews for the Restaurant are Mixed
Since the renovation, there are not many new reviews for Chianti’s, but the ones that do exist are mixed. On Yelp, there have only been three reviews since the renovation. Two are five-star reviews, and one is two stars.
In the most recent review, user Jill O. writes that the restaurant is cute, quaint, and has top-notch customer service.
“The burger was delicious and so juicy messy! But cooked perfectly. I had an Israeli couscous steak salad and the flavors were delightful and fresh. The chef himself even came out to check on us. All desserts were amazing. We will return!”
The two-star review, however, mentions that the food is overpriced, though the service is good.
“Ordered crab cakes and was dissatisfied. 3 tiny cakes with mostly filler. Overpriced and underseasoned. We tried the Strip Steak. Too much fat. Should have been trimmed and also under seasoned. Burgers looked good but tasted like frozen meat. Dessert was rice pudding but the rice was still crunchy.”
Reviews on Google Reviews show a more favorable reception of Chianti Cow. The restaurant has a 4.1 out of 5 stars on Google with 92 reviews. Of the 16 reviews since October, 11 are four stars or higher.
One four-star review mentions that the food was great with good portions even though there was a limited menu. Another positive review mentions that the service was good.
One two-star review from a local guide mentioned that it was cold in the restaurant and the “Food was just okay. Service poor. Disappointed.”
Another two-star review went into detail about their poor experience, mentioning wings being “dry, not moist and also small.” They continue on to talk about the rest of the service and mention the renovations.
“The chicken Parmesan seemed like it was more bread than chicken. Don’t think we will be back anytime soon. Makes you wonder if Restaurant: Impossible was here to fix their issues it seems like they didn’t fix anything.”
The Facebook page for the restaurant has 4.4 out of 5 stars. Recently, they’ve shared pictures of their steak sandwiches, baked brie with prosciutto, and eggplant Timbale.
Tune in to Restaurant: Impossible tonight, January 30, 2020 on Food Network to see the completed renovations of Carmine’s Chianti Cow.