Party Picks

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

Jun 29, 20110


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. 


I thought the show was great and really enjoyed watching the wonderful food being prepared and served in 2 such beautiful settings. A couple of things bothered me: a great deal was made of the fact that Fabrizio alone prepared five separate dishes to accommodate Sara Gore, who announced she was on a diet when she got there. Fabrizio had OVER AN HOUR to regroup & fix different things for her; Ninamarie had about ten minutes. A HUGE advantage for him. It also looked as though (from a viewer's standpoint) that Ninamarie did not forget to take the separate entree to her--the waiters forgot it. Last, where did Sara Gore learn her manners? Imagine: You are invited to a one-of-a-kind dinner party, with fabulous guests, for the meal of a lifetime, and you whine, "I'm on a diet!"? Shame on you, Sara Gore. Your mother should have taught you a long time ago, if you accept a dinner invitation, you eat what's in front of you, pleasantly and gratefully. If the main criteria for Fabrizio was the separate meal for the whiner--excuse me, "Dieter,"-- and not the fact that his lasagna was "tasteless," I think Rocco goofed on this one.


Actually, the "failing to satisfy Sara Gore and her lowcarb request" is bullcrap.. she should be eating 1 or 2 bites of the carb dishes and moving on... she was "on a diet".. give me a break, she weighed 103 pounds.. that's a self-important bullshit move... she knows she is coming on a show where there will be two meals.. she should do extra time on a treadmill if eating "carbs" is so horrible... to put the chefs in that position is a failure of the show, and a crappy decision anyway to have a "family italian" feast with two italian cooks and one caterer...

Boo this episode.. flawed in every way...

And I'm a television director... I'm not completely uniformed in these things...

But Sara Gore ruined this episode in every way.. concept, execution, all of it...

Viva la crappy reality tv...