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Danny's Steakhouse/Sushi/Wine Bar...Red Bank, on Kitchen Stakeout 4/24/13

Did anyone else see this on the Food Network last night? I’m not sure what the requirements are to get on a TV show like this one, unlike Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares, this show primarily seems to focus on the staff rather then the kitchen or food. (my first time watching this show was last night)

In my opinion, Danny’s hasn’t been a good restaurant in over 10 years, so it wouldn’t surprise me that he feels he needed some help. However, it has seemed his bar business has held up well over the years and I assumed that was the driving force of his business. His sushi has been excellent and is really the only reason I would ever go there to eat.

This episode pretty much just concentrated on the staffing problems he has there, including that of his completely hapless grandson, who has been a server for 10 years.

One interesting food critique that came up is when a customer questioned his grandson if their French Onion Soup had meat in it. Quickly, I responded to the TV, no french onion soup does NOT have meat in it, however the grandson was unable to answer, and he had to go to the kitchen to ask. Much to my surprise the kitchen staff answered, YES, the onion soup has chorizo in it!?!?!?! Never in my life have I ever heard of a french onion soup recipe that included chorizo. (It was later discovered the menu didn’t mention this either).

All in all, not much of a surprise, Danny’s is a struggling restaurant in Red Bank I assume looking for the exposure being on this show provided him. Did this inspire me to go back again anytime soon? Nope.

(FYI interesting article in the Asbury Park Press lately that indicated Red Bank has 67 eateries, not including bakeries, candy stores etc. and that 1 out of every 3 retail locations is a restaurant. With a new one coming into the old Famabilia location! I’m really so over that town.)

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  1. Yep,watched it last night,Never been to Dannys,Enjoy watching the show.

    1. I've never been, but I feel for him. I do my own consulting with small businesses like this and wish they'd just reach out to get a little help. Bringing the right combination of communication, performance observation and management, and leadership would keep places like this from slipping. Most business owners don't realize that there are consultants out there who have only an interest in making them operate more successfully and profitably without the fanfare of the TV show. Many of us offer expertise in leadership and management that small biz just never considers important enough until it's a bit late.

      1. Pretty much every version of French Onions soup is made with beef broth, sometimes with chicken broth added in. So yes, technically it has meat in it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: equal_Mark

          Broth yes, but the woman on the show had literally chunks of "meat".

        2. Saw the show and, frankly, I think this one was really over-doing the reasons for the restaurant's apparent demise. One foul-mouthed bartender, another lifting some cash from the bar, two lousy servers....? They never presented any palpable problems with Danny's, especially with the food. I can't say if the food is good or not, haven't been for anything more than a drink in five years. But the saddest thing was that it *seemed* that the business had passed Danny by with no one there to hold things up.

          1. I actually went to Danny's about a month ago. It was a bad experience all the way around. My wife and I had a reservation at 7:30. We arrive at 7:20 and the host tell us it will be about a 20 minute wait. No big deal we take our pager and head to the bar. The bar was packed so we squeezed into a corner and waited. at 8:00 I went to the host stand and they apologize and say it will only be several more moments. At 8:20 we decide to just eat at the bar and give the bartender our pager. Now the food itself was good. Nothing spectacular that would justify an hour wait (with reservations) After dinner while trying to get another drink the bartender was more worried about finding her smokes and a lighter then helping us. Then after we paid the Bill Danny came out and apologized to us.( It turns out the hostess wrote down the wrong pager number and they never came to look fir us.) Overall just not a good experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Simmons5

              Ouch. I still like Danny's for the sushi and being a member at the bar. Sort of makes up for not going to law school. ;-)

            2. I go to Danny's about once a month. I enjoy the sushi and an ocassional special.

              The show was actually staged. The bad waitress and manager were actually actors hired by the show. The loud music from the kitchen was staged. The "fouled mouth" bartender is one of the sweetest person I have met. Although the wait staff is young - they are very competent, and I have never experienced an issue. I just think it was a little sad to participate in the show to drum up business - especially if you do not have any control of the content. I think I will go tonight to support a local business and not a chain.

              5 Replies
              1. re: stickman731

                Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Hard to believe, but you sound like you might have inside info. Makes it all even worse... and makes me ill (if true).

                1. re: stickman731

                  Ask Danny if he'll ever THINK about participating in something like this again. It appears he is quite upset re: the editing of the show, and let his fellow restaurant owner friends know. Back to food quality, Danny's was one of the first places we ate when we moved here 16 years ago. Great steak, I was really thrilled to have a great local place serving, iirc a dry aged steak. Steak/overall food quality has diminished rapidly over the years but we will still go. (kids want sushi, wife wants a salad, I want a cocktail...) I hope Danny can turn it around..

                  1. re: stickman731

                    So what you're saying is that each and every week, Restaurant Stakeout does a staged show, to bring publicity to that restaurant? I personally find that very hard to believe.

                    1. re: sockster

                      Plenty of info on Internet about it being staged - sad Danny did not do some background. Just Google "restaurant stakeout fake". Go support the local businesses!

                      http://www.realityblurred.com/reality...

                    2. re: stickman731

                      I walked in while my wife was watching, she got me caught up to speed as we have eaten here a few times but it has never been part of the regular rotation...when she told me they caught the manager stealing I thought that was weird that they would show that, why someone would allow their image to be used that way, even if they signed a release beforehand I would think the network's liability folks would prevent them from showing it...having it be staged with actors makes much more sense

                    3. I stopped in last night to visit a bartender friend of mine who recently left Park East and moved to Danny's.

                      I got there around 9:30 pm....and I was 1 of 5 people at the bar. Dining room was empty. Within 15 min's I was 1 of 1 people at the bar. I spoke with my buddy who confirmed that much of the show, including the manager and waitress were staged by the show. Additionally, he added that Danny's hosted a viewing party there the night the show aired, and Danny himself was appalled at how he was portrayed. (Rightly so in my opinion)

                      I had to use the rest room during my visit, it is a uni-sex bathroom near the bar. They were out of paper towels and the dispenser actually fell off the wall as I pushed the lever down trying to dispense a towel.

                      I was a little bit hungry and while I was 1 of 1 customer(s) at the bar, I was joined a few stools over by the chef/cook. (same as from the show) He was rather verbal about the grills being off and his wanting to leave (I assume the kitchen closes at 10pm) so not wanting to piss him off, I ordered a sushi roll, which traditionally was always good. No so last night. Maybe it was just me.

                      One other thing I will say is this......they have Wall/Doors which all open to the outside which is very nice. However the "smoking" area is directly outside the open wall/doors. Both cooks, and sushi cook smoked, the smoke wafts right into the bar. I'm not a nit picky person, but I found this to be a bit annoying.

                      I left around 10:15pm.....my friend said they have to stay open till 11, but it was obvious he wasn't expecting anyone else for the night. I parked across the street in front of the Galleria and couldn't help but notice the sizable crowd inside Taste. (Another of the many Red Bank eateries which I have no use for) Driving around town a bit on my way home I couldn't help but notice most places had a nice/decent crowd on the pleasant spring night. Danny's was empty..........not a good sign.

                      1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmjCIH...

                        Once on television, forever on YouTube! How could that kind of press be worth it? Train wreck tv is some of the worst tv out there.

                        1. Having been born and raised in Red Bank I can tell you the last time I enjoyed a meal at Danny's was in the 70's when it was Italian and his mother was in the kitchen. Now that being said anyone who knows Danny knows the publicity hound he is (who else would put a picture of himself on every menu, sign or ad) must have applied to every restaurant reality show until one was interested. If he's unhappy with the result I'm sure he asked for it.