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Top Chef: New York, Episode 9 – All’s Fair In Love and Restaurant Wars


Leah continues to talk about having never cheated before. On TV, or altogether? Because it is surely a strange place to start. Hosea is guilty and off his game. Jamie is worried about the lamb. Finn is starting to worry about time. Leah is having trouble deboning her cod. Funny enough, Hosea is trying to help her with the boning. Man, I am shameless. He’s wondering why she portioned the fish before deboning. Perhaps your animal magnetism distracted her?

Carla is noticing that the freezer will not keep things cold. That is the freezer’s only job! Come on, GE! Fabio is out in the front with his feet up. Finn is also not freezing. However, instead of complaining, he is fixing it. He gives his stuff an ice bath to keep it cold. Carla tries to get Radhika to help her with the dessert and gets no real input. She says that there were still choices at that point, but Radhika is not making decisions and not leading.

Hosea is behind schedule. Leah is super-stressed and has actually not even seen the front of the house yet! What? Jeff thinks he is a hummingbird on cocaine. Fabio puts on his white suit – you can only pull that off if you are Italian or living in 1988. Fabio thinks the front is so good and his service will be so good that they could serve “monkey ass in empty clam shells” and still win. What is with the food/ass analogies tonight?

Commercials – the terrible Dr. Pepper series continues with Steph looking highly uncomfortable. This time with Howie and his guilt-free cherries jubilee.

The guests start to arrive at the restaurants. There is wine. There is a wait staff. Jamie says that Table Six wants “snapper, snapper, snapper, lamb, lamb.” Jamie gets on the waiters for not carrying the plates properly and confesses to us that this was really supposed to be Radhika’s job.

Judges arrive. Radhika explains the appetizers:

Whole Wheat Naan Bread with Garlic Oil – LP thinks it is French toast. Padma likes it, but she admits to being hungry. She may have been ok with beer nuts.

Curried Carrot Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil and Raito and Chickpea Cake with Seared Scallop, Mascala Tomato Sauce and Arugula Salad. First, it appears that Jamie made the soup, but not the scallop. So there’s that. Tom thinks that the soup has something going on that’s nice. She makes really good soup. LP likes the cake and the cucumber in the soup. A woman in a sundress digs the “yummy” scallops.

The entrees:

White Lentil Tabouli, seared Snapper, Tomato water and Pea shoots and Cinnamon and Saffron Braised Lamb Shank with Israeli Couscous. First…tomato water? Jeff? Come on. Second, that lamb sounds DELICIOUS! Tom agrees with my lamb assessment and thinks the fish was swimming in dishwater. LP thought that was rough. Toby doesn’t want the fish back where it was found. A dude in a blue shirt didn’t like the liquid.

Meanwhile, Carla is unhappy. Her frozen yogurt didn’t freeze well and is now cold soup. She says a train wreck is a coming’!

Dessert arrives:
Spiced Chocolate Cake, Crème Fromage and Cashew Brittle and Fig and Minted Frozen Yogurts and Baklava Cigars. First, cashew brittle sounds amazing. Second, I love frozen desserts. Probably more than is healthy. But that sounds disgusting. I would rather have many helpings of Richard’s bacon ice cream or Marcel’s ice cream abomination from his season.

Toby asks for a spoon for his soup. LP comments on the rapidly melting yogurt. Tom is pissed because he only has a fork so he cannot eat it. Padma asks about the frogurt and laughs. Toby makes one of his classically strange analogies on how the meal was like Elvis’ career – great at the beginning, and a disaster at the end. LP adds that it died on the toilet too. A woman thinks it tasted like lotion. A gay guy hated the spiced cake and wants it off his plate.

Radhika asks some folks to wait for a table and one of the waiters asks if she is ok later on. One guest thought she was going crazy, another couldn’t comment on her because she never introduced herself, while a third wanted her to relax. Jamie thinks Radhika spent way too much time in the kitchen.

Toby was disappointed in her and thinks that an extrovert needed to be out front. You think? Tom runs an experiment. He wonders if they got up and left if Radhika would say goodbye. They do, and she doesn’t, and LP laughs that Tom was right. It is here that I realized she was doomed unless Sunset Lounge crashed and burned.

And here they are! Fabio is laying on the charm and using his accent well. He asks a woman if he can light her candle and she almost jumps him right then and there. The judges arrive and he leads them to the table. LP thought he was fabulous. The meal begins:

Fabio’s amuse bouclé comes out – Vegetable Roll with Mushrooms, Carrots, Cabbage and a Sweet Chili Sauce. LP thinks it was ok. Toby has had frozen egg rolls that were better. A woman thinks it came out of a jar. Another woman doesn’t think it amused her bouclé.


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