I think we’ve got the answer. Credit: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Vox Media / Screenshot: Twitter / @alex_abads
In a promising premiere for a recast version of The Real Housewives of New York City, one moment stood above the rest, perfectly distilling the beauty of the petty, luxurious spats of the upper crust in NYC. That moment? A major tiff over a reservation at a restaurant that —gasp — was apparently way past its prime.
The fight boiled down to this: in a get-together prior to filming, cast member Erin Lichy booked a huge table for the group at a restaurant. Fellow cast members Sai De Silva and Brynn Whitfield left early from the gathering because they didn’t want to be seen at Lichy’s pick.Throughout the episode, all references to the restaurant were bleeped out, leaving its identity a mystery as De Silva and Whitfield thoroughly roasted Lichy’s restaurant choice. Whitfield said she wouldn’t be caught dead there.
“It’s not 2005 and I’m not a D-list model. Is it bad that I don’t wanna go to [bleep]?” she said. “Olive Garden, to me, is, like, chicer — like, the ones with the carpets. They have good breadsticks. They slap. I’ll go there and it’s fun, it’s like high-low, but [bleep] is this weird thing in the middle.”
The two women who skipped out also said it was a restaurant for teens and visitors from Florida.
“It was a huge group,” Lichy said in a confessional interview defending her choice. “Nothing was available. It was last-minute, so I picked [bleep] … The restaurant used to be the hottest place in New York. It’s easy to get to and it’s convenient.”
De Silva and Whitfield later posted on Instagram from Casa Cipriani, a hotspot for the moneyed class(opens in a new tab).
Naturally everyone wanted to know what freaking restaurant sparked this fight. This was an especially hyped episode of the show since Bravo had taken the bold step to fire the entire cast of the show and put in entirely new people. There was lots of attention.
Reddit threads(opens in a new tab) and tweets abound. A few key guesses rose to the top. The Daily Beast guessed a place(opens in a new tab) called Hearth. Lots of commenters suggested(opens in a new tab) Tao, a massive sushi spot. A viral TikTok suggested(opens in a new tab) Carmine’s, a Midtown red-sauce institution.
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) But two guesses struck me as the most likely answers. There’s Catch, a massive spot near the Meatpacking district. That was probably the single most common guess online. And then there’s Craft, which sports a bit of extra drama. It’s the flagship spot for celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, who is a staple of Bravo’s Top Chef. Might Bravo be protecting their star?
During the episode it did appear like the women were saying a restaurant that began with a “C,” though the network both bleeped the name and blurred their mouths. Vulture noted(opens in a new tab) that the place was definitely one syllable and even seemed to land on Catch being the answer.
But Monday afternoon things got a bit juicier. Whitfield posted about sharing her “NYC restaurant guide” on Instagram. Obviously a bit of shade. Cast member Jessel Taank commented: “Make sure C**** is on that ????.”
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Confirmation! Well….kind of. That could be both Catch and Craft. More people seem to think Catch is the answer online and, even though it opened well after 2005, it does otherwise seem to match the description. It was once a big-time hotspot, but see-and-be-seen folks don’t go to all that often anymore. Craft, meanwhile, did open to much acclaim in 2001. It’s an NYC staple, though maybe not the celebrity hive(opens in a new tab) Catch once was.
This being a wildly serious news story, I’ve reached out to Craft, Catch, and Whitfield for comment and confirmation or denial. Thus far none have responded.
I’ve scoured through the social media presences of the cast for clues, mostly to no avail, though it does appear this meal took place after Bravocon in October of last year. Though Whitfield and De Silva apparently posted their jaunt to Casa Cipriani as an auto-deleting Instagram story, the brief image of it on the episode appeared to show them in the same outfits and jewelry they wore to the Bravo event announcing the new RHONY cast in October.
Notice the earrings. Credit: Bravo / Screenshot: Twitter / OMFGRealityTV
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) So far, this bit of sleuthing has yet to turn up anything of relevance to confirm the identity of restaurant — but at least we have a frame of reference and a timeline. This was, potentially, the cast celebrating together, in public, for the first time and the reservation caused a fight. Fantastic.
Directly after the premiere aired on Sunday, the cast appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Bravo ringmaster Andy Cohen. Obviously, the restaurant debacle came up. Nearly the entire cast noted they had not been back to the mystery spot. But later in the episode of WWHL, Lichy once again defended her pick.
“Andy, you know the restaurant, it’s not that bad,” Lichy said.
“It’s fine, there’s a lot of athletes there,” Cohen responded.
Now this is an example of going too far down the internet sleuthing rabbit hole….but…what do athletes do?
Tim Marcin is a culture reporter at Mashable, where he writes about food, fitness, weird stuff on the internet, and, well, just about anything else. You can find him posting endlessly about Buffalo wings on Twitter at @timmarcin(opens in a new tab).