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‘Restaurant Impossible’ films at Wilbraham’s Abudanza Ristorante


Aug. 6, 2014
WILBRAHAM – Crews from the Food Network were in town recently, filming an upcoming episode of the television show “Restaurant: Impossible” at Abudanza Ristorante.

The premise of the show, hosted by Chef Robert Irvine, is to “save America’s most desperate restaurants from impending failure in just two days with only $10,000,” according to literature provided by The Food Network. Improvements range from operational changes to alterations to the menu to esthetic changes to the restaurant.

The show, which has been on the air for seven-plus seasons, marked its 100th episode on May 7.

On July 29 on the show’s Facebook page, an appeal for design volunteers to participate in painting, crafting, remodeling, cleaning, decorating on Aug. 6 and 7 was posted.

Representatives of the network confirmed the show was being shot in Wilbraham but did not offer any additional comment and further stated Irvine was not available to speak with Reminder Publications.

“Unfortunately the set is closed during shooting, as their schedule is pretty hectic and fluid, as they have a limited amount of time to shoot all [the footage],” Seth Hyman, public relations officer for The Food Network, said.

Chef Lou Maravilha, who also could not comment on the show due to a network requirement that prohibits talking about the show until after it has aired, owns the restaurant, located at 2341 Boston Road.

An airdate has not yet been determined, Hyman said.

Irvine, who is known for his brash style, owns two restaurants in South Carolina and was previously on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. He has also published two cookbooks.

Abudanza opened at the “X” in Springfield in 2006 before moving to its current location at the Wilbraham Shops in 2010.

Maravilha boasts 20 years experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to Abudanza, he worked at a host of restaurants and country clubs, including Sheraton Hotel at Bradley, Federal Hill Club, Suffield Country Club and Frigo’s. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 1993.

Abudanza’s current menu offers a wide array of dinner choices, from hamburgers, deep-dish pizza, steak, lamb and veal, and pasta dishes. A breakfast menu specializing in eggs and omelets is also available.

Users of the restaurant review website UrbanSpoon.com graded the experience at Abudanza at 71 percent. Many lauded the quality of the food, with the majority of complaints citing slow, inattentive or rude servers.

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