Cast Blog: #ROCCOSDINNERPARTY

Everything But the Kitchen *SYNC

Happy Birthday, Liza!

We Like to Party

Absolutely Fabulous

What the Bleepity Bleep Was in that Maple Syrup?!

Better Together

Love Shack

Thank God for Caviar

Fashion Plates

Seeing Red, and Fashion vs. Style

A Gastronomical Experience

Full Throttle

Proper

Bon Appetit

Wet Hot American Dinner Party

Girl Power!!

Give Me Flavor or Give Me Death!

Witchy Woman

Do the Chefs' Signature Dishes Translate to Signature Design Style?

Anything for Jeff Ross

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Finding Your Focal Point

A True Italian Meal

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The Importance of Nostalgia in Entertaining

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No Losers

Skins

All About Ambiance

Eternal Flame

A Real Crowd Pleaser

Everything But the Kitchen *SYNC

Two brothers compete in an Italian family-style challenge, and Al Manzo speaks!

 

Hello my little tortellinis! I hope you enjoyed this week's episode as much as I did because it featured two things I love: the Manzos and anything related to *NYSYNC. In the Signature Dish Challenge brothers and native Italians Fabrizio and Nicola competed against Franklin Lakes caterer Ninamarie. I've dined at the SoHo outpost of Quattro, located in the Trump SoHo, andfrankly it was amazing, so if the Miami location is anything like the NYC one, the brothers have a lot to be proud of. I'm guessing it is, so I had high expectations for the brothers. And one of them lived up to those expectations -- Fabrizio, who moved on to the dinner party challenge against Ninamarie, while Nicola was sent packing back to Miami. 

Fabrizio and Ninamarie both worked with design mentor (and total sweetheart!) Jes Gordon to create two very different concepts. Fabrizio wanted his diners to be transported to his homeland, Italy, while Ninamarie captured the Italian-American experience of Little Italy. They both, however, needed to create the sense of family and togetherness of big Italian dinners. While Ninamarie impressed the diners with many of her dishes, especially the traditional addition of peaches to her Veal Milanese, she failed in satisfying Sara Gore and her low-carb request, and ultimately failed the challenge. 

While Fabrizio's lasagna was a let-down, his little touches -- the Negroni cocktail and traditional antipasti -- created the perfect environment for his guests. Even his meatballs, something he admitted to not cooking often, impressed Rocco, a man known for his (or rather his mama's) meatballs. So, Fabrizio won, and is apparently taking his $20K and going on a Hawaiian vacay with his brother. Awww. 

Joey Fatone's call to *NYSYNC superfan Lauren Manzo was a great moment, but my "party pick" for this week is pretty much any time Al Manzo spoke. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen him so relaxed or talkative, and I loved it. Rather than working or handling family matters over on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, he was able to share a meal with adults, and talk about how he and his lady love met. Sooo, I need more Al!

Tell me: What was your "party pick" moment of the episode?