Perella’s Ristorante in Warren gets facelift from Food Network show

WARREN, R.I. (WLNE) – A restaurant in Warren got a much-needed makeover thanks to the Food Network show “Restaurant Impossible”.

Louie Perella opened Perella’s Ristorante on Metacom Avenue in Warren 25 years ago. He’s been running it ever since, but two years ago his son, Lou, expressed interest in taking over the family business.

He said the Italian restaurant needed a makeover first, so he applied to the popular show that revamps failing restaurants, but the show was no longer on air.

It wasn’t until last year when they got a call that “Restaurant Impossible” was coming back, and Perella’s was on their list.

The crew arrived last October, along with celebrity chef host Robert Irvine.

“He held up my menu and said, ‘what is this?’ I said ‘that’s my menu.’ He said ‘the U.S. Constitution is not as big as this.'”

In just two days and $10,000 later, the work was done, and Perella’s had a brand new inside, a revamped outside, and a new menu.

“It’s working better, it’s brighter, people like the food,” said Perella, who now is coming around to the changes after being unsure about the project at first.

“It took me a little bit to process, you know, it’s like 25 years of my life just got swept away.”

But, Perella admits, he needed to keep up with the competition.

“There were 19 restaurants in Warren when we opened, now there’s 39.”

The menu has shortened but improved. Irvine added a twist to Perella’s signature dishes, making them more high-end. But, Perella said, he’ll be adding back customer favorites, like calamari.

“These guys are from the Midwest. I don’t know if they realize that calamari is the state appetizer of Rhode Island.”

His son Lou is now a sous chef at Capital Grille in Providence.

“He’s got a really good job and doesn’t have the headaches of the roof leaking!”

But Perella hopes his business will stay in the family.

“I’m always hoping, maybe someday he’ll decide to come back. You know, his name’s on the door.”

Perella’s is holding a watch party on Thursday night at 9 p.m. when the episode airs.

© WLNE-TV 2019