Padma rises, pulling down the hem of her totally gorgeous pale aqua dress that would only look good on someone with a dark skin tone (and I don't mean tanorexic), and leads the judges next door to Restaurant April. In the kitchen, CJ announces the judges' arrival. Colicchio sits quietly at the end of a kitchen table, examining his scallop dish. With his knife and fork standing straight up and down, he pulls apart sections of his scallop and peers down at them. Considering that Colicchio does everything but pin the skin back and look for the digestive tract, his meals need to be served on a black wax-lined dissection pan, not a plate.
Tre tells us that in his executive chef capacity, he knew a lot was on the line but he took a really relaxed approach to the challenge. The judges taste the scallop dish and Zakarian praises it. "I loved this dish before," Ted says hurriedly. Note: he didn't admit the same about the tuna tar-Ã§oise. Next up is the new house-cured salmon with beets and grapefruit suprÃªmes and a macadamia nut pesto. Tre explains to us that the salmon was cured in beet juice, sugar, salt, toasted fennel, and coriander seeds. I finally took the time to research why this dish of Tre's sounded so freaking familiar. Regardez!: In the citrus Quickfire from the second episode (oh, so long ago), Tre made cold salmon with macadamia nut pesto and crusted his hot salmon with coriander seeds. He did well with it, but I don't think it's a good idea to ever repeat dishes on this show.
Meanwhile, my analysis aside, the judges hate Tre's salmon. Padma makes a repulsed face, and Ted says it's the worst dish he's had in awhile. "The buck stops with the executive chef," Zakarian announces. "He let this come out of the kitchen. I think this is a car wreck in Times Square." Because as a New Yorker, he has to make sure everyone knows he's a New Yorker, so it can't just be a car wreck. It HAS to be in Times Square. Ted swigs on his glass of white wine to rid himself of the salmon taste. Next up is the chilled carrot-ginger soup with sake and vinegar, and the lobster salad with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and caramelized cauliflower. A diner thinks the lobster is too salty, and we get a kitchen shot of Colicchio taking a final bite of his lobster before standing up to get rid of it. Aw, what a helping boy -- he clears his own plate!