Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Reservation for Two Please
Ok. So its Top Chef NYC, Elimination night #2. Ariane Duarte, owner of CulinAriane in Montclair, NJ, is still standing. Barely.
For the second week in a row, Duarte has been in the bottom three. Tonight, it was as of a result of her Lemon Meringue Martini with Cherry Surprise, or whatever the fuck it was called. In explaining why the dish sucked, she actually said that they have this on the menu at her restaurant. A restaurant which, I might add, has quite a good reputation in the 'clair. It's so well regarded, in fact, that a friend of mine actually expressed dismay after learning that Duarte was on Top Chef because, as she put it, it was going to be even harder to get a reservation at CulinAriane then it already was. So yeah, the place is supposedly pretty effin good. Of course, I've never eaten there, but I've been meaning too. But obviously it's not one of those, hey, let's go grab a bite at yada-yada kind of places. (and did I mention that the joint is also one of the priciest in town?)
Anyway -- this meringue/surprise-dealy was apparently so fucking sweet that Padma (don't even think about asking me what she was wearing, cause I don't remember; or ccare; well maybe I care a little and I could check the DVR but is there really a need for more than one blog entry about what Padma's wearing?) What was I saying. Oh yeah, Padma actually spit the offending dessert out in her napkin! Right there at Craft. She might even have called it "violently sweet" (but that might be for some other as yet to come awful dessert). You'd think that if the biatch makes the dish every day at her own restaurant, that she'd be able to reproduce it. Right? Right? Cause - fucking excuse me - but I don't own a fucking restaurant, in fact I almost never cook, and there are dishes even I can reproduce in a heart beat.
The fact that this supposed Top Chef couldn't do what I can (and I'm not all that good of a cook to begin with) makes me wonder if I should even bother going to her restaurant. I'm sure that's a totally unfair jump to make -- from one or two bad dishes on some crazy reality TV competition show to over-rated restaurant -- I'm sure the food at CulinAriane is as good as it has been reported to be -- and it's much more likely that the multiple fuck ups are a result of nerves, or editing or timing or whatever-the-fuck, and not because Miss Thing can't cook. But, still, Duarte is not looking too good on the tellee. Two bad finishes in a row is never good.
And it's not just her cooking that isn't looking too hot. She's coming off as kind of a bitch. And a whiner. Of course, she's from jersey so i guess I should've expected that (well, not the whiner part -- we're usually a little more thick skinned around here -- I mean seriously - suck it up.) But bitchy -- duh, bitchy runs in the blood 'round here. Still, they didn't have to make the jersey girl the bitch. It's so cliche.
But whatever, Duarte's not doing much good for herself (or jersey girls -- hell. llo.) and she's probably not doing her restaurant much good either. Granted, I don't think they've referenced CulinAriane since last week (at least not out loud), but, COME. ON. if you owned a restaurant. And you were on Top Chef. And you made a total failure of a dessert. Would you really admit that you sell the SAME dessert in your restaurant? Really? Cause I sure as hell wouldn't. Lord knows who's watching. C'mon lady, You. Are. On TV. All the time. And they can do whatever they want with your image -- do you really need to give them ammunition? Because maybe the average Bravo TV watcher could give a shit about some tiny-ass-little-joint in some no-one's-ever-heard-of-it jersey suburb, but you can bet your ass that folks around here are sure-as-shit watching. And that can't be a good thing. (This is Jersey after all. Like I said, bitchy runs in the blood here and it's no secret that we're all a bunch of retched bitches just waiting to talk smack about someone.) Then again, maybe it is a good thing. Well, maybe not for Duarte and her restaurant. But it could definitely be a good thing for me because then maybe I could get a fucking table at a normal dinner hour sometime before next year. So, hell, bring on the smack talking Jersey. And everyone else for that matter. Cause I just HAVE to try Lemon Meringue Martini, Vanilla Wafer Crust, Cherry Surprise. Even if Padma hated it. Maybe even because Padma hated it.