Howie admits to us that he ran out of time -- Howie, HOW did you run out of time with a RAW preparation? I despair. -- and didn't have time to retaste his dish. This does not sound good at all. Starting with CJ's pan-roasted "fruits de mer," shaved cauliflower, saffron-paprika vinaigrette, prosciutto, and dried black olives, Portale tastes and notes, "It's good flavor" without seeming to make eye contact with CJ at all. Casey also uses cauliflower in her "fresh" linguine with scallops, mussels, cockles, and cilantro bread with truffle butter. Two questions: I highly doubt she made the pasta "fresh" herself, so is the Lee Anne Kitchen stocking that instead of dried? Because that's great. Also, what's with the cilantro bread? Again, I'm sure she didn't make it and bake cilantro into it, and normally, I would assume "cilantro bread" might mean that she made a cilantro butter, but she made a truffle butter, so how? PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE THINGS! Portale asks if Casey used conch in her dish. She didn't. "Yes," Portale minces precisely, "You were smart." I just can't shake the feeling that this guy lives in an all white apartment where no one is allowed to touch anything.
Tre poached shellfish in fish stock and is serving them with a grilled leek compote and a big pile of butter and chive oil-saturated summer corn. Portale samples Sara N.'s thing -- we don't know exactly what it is, but it's minced, creamy, and served in a scallop shell with tiny green scallion rings -- and says, "Nice." Micah tells Portale that she's serving him conch salad ceviche with sour orange, and on the side, she has "sky juice," which is, she explains, a traditional Bahamian drink. Portale sips some out of a spoon and says, "It's an acquired taste." I looked around for this recipe and all I could come up with was something involving gin and coconut milk. "Acquired taste" indeed, my stomach is curdling as we speak. Padma and Portale clink their big glasses of white wine Brian (MALARKEY!) is serving with his "tres rios, three rivers" dish. I'm sort of scared to ask what the three rivers refer to because it might make him break into song: "In the middle of the day/I go tripping in my brain/From the waters of the bay/To the rivers so insane/I must be crazy or something/Cooking weird and bizarre/But the river is wide/And I got sausage to char!" Brian (MALARKEY!) has a bowl of mussels, clams, and crawfish seasoned with white wine, Pernod, and butter, next is oysters on the half shell with a traditional red wine mignonette, and finally, conch toast. I don't know what is on the conch toast or if the "bread" is actually conch, but whatever it is, it's been spread with something green. Maybe it's conch pesto? That could be tasty.