A crowd of eager guests packed the on Wednesday night to watch the local establishment make a special appearance on Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible."
More than 75 people showed up to support owners Christina Locke and Giovanni Guerisoli's party for the nationally-televised episode on the restaurant.
The bar was decorated with balloons and a large projection screen was set up in the main dining room to view the episode. On the back patio they set up paintings of Bob Marley, Albert Einstein, Carlos Santana and the Rat Pack by painter Milo Buck. Guests were even treated to a fire dance show put on by Locke’s daughter Andrea Locke, who works for the Lunar Flame Fire-Art Productions.
But it wouldn’t be a restaurant party without food and drink. Items on Wednesday’s menu included and crispy wood-fired pizzas with all the works — mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, pesto, tomatoes, anchovies, and garlic. Entrees included chicken, salmon, and a cabbage veggie wrap topped with marinara sauce and zucchini along with some lightly-fried potato wedges.
Just before 10 p.m., guests flocked back into the bar and main dining area to finally watch the feature presentation of the night.
As soon as and unmistakeably huge biceps hit the screen, the room fell silent as the crowd watched, including Locke, with a content look on her face. Several cooks joined the viewing party to watch the show, but Head Chef Attilio Siena stayed in the kitchen pumping out orders.
Danny O’Callaghan made it to the party from Santa Cruz and was pleased the turnout.
"This is a very lively crowd," said O’Callaghan. "A lot of people love [the owners] and everyone knows them in different ways."
Wendy Bassi came to the party from Capitola and was happy to see the new decor and service at the restaurant.
"It’s beautiful," she said. "It just seems like everything’s cleaner, the people are more on it. If you need something, they’re right there."
"Restaurant: Impossible" Host Robert Irvine would agree. While he called it an "antique shop" , his crew left it looking like a modernized upscale eatery with hints of past eras.
"I’m kind of overwhelmed," Locke told Patch after watching the show. "My feet hurt a little bit. I’ve been going since 6 a.m. trying to get everything ready. But I feel alright. I’m happy."
Locke also relived some of her moments during the filming of the show.
"It was intense because they push the buttons and they tell you why you’re having problems," she said. "And then on top of that it was the long days. They work really hard. I even went to bed and they were still working."
But above the stress of filming, the payoff of being chosen is what she really appreciates.
"I was very surprised [to be chosen for the show]," Locke said. "It’s really fabulous and I’m pretty happy about it."
Did you watch the episode last night? Have you been to Ristorante Barolo since the Food Network worked their magic? Did you catch glimpses of Patch staff on the show (there were plenty)? Tell us in the comments!