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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: carole and adam's cookbook

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 16 - The Countess Bride

Glenn Rowley

luann-de-lesseps-engaged

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, Luann's engagement is the talk of the Big Apple, but Tom's romantic past with both Ramona and Sonja creates tension at the celebratory dinner in her honor. Plus, the 'Wives hit Mohegan Sun for a fun-filled weekend away, though Jules and Bethenny remain at odds. Read on for my full recap of the drama...

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After all the bonding last week on the party bus, it's finally time for some fun at Mohegan Sun! (Yes, for those of you wondering, this is indeed the same casino Kim Zolciak-Biermann did an appearance at last season on Don't Be Tardy. No, I can't get over it.) Once Ramona Singer "randomly" assigns rooms for all the 'Wives, Sonja Morgan asks Jules Wainstein how things are between her and Bethenny following their blow-up at Joanne Trattoria. The newbie finds it ironic (and not in the good way) that someone with a brand called Skinnygirl would be gossiping about someone's eating disorder behind her back. Jules doesn't want to have to worry about Bethenny mocking or belittling her at every turn going forward. Of course, in their room, Bethenny and Carole Radziwill are dissecting the drama as well, and conclude that Dorinda Medley must have got away with stirring the pot and riling Jules up against them. Either way, there doesn't seem to be much hope for a friendship between the newbie and the two vets any time soon. As far as Jules is concerned, she won't be sharing anything personal with Bethenny or Carole ever again.

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Dinner that night is light and bright. Now that Bethenny's made up with Sonja over the Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl controversy, the 'Wives can focus on more important things like Dorinda's past as an aerobics instructor and Bethenny's ability to bust into a headstand before dessert is served. The women hit the casino and I daresay they're all actually having fun together. Sonja's not drinking, Jules is chanting in Hebrew to summon Lady Luck to the blackjack table and the weekend turns out to be entirely different from last season's drunken disaster in Atlantic City. In fact, the trip is so drama-free that it only takes up the first 12 minutes of the episode...and that's saying something!

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Back in the Big Apple, Carole and her boyfriend Adam Kenworthy are ruminating over the status of their relationship. The lovebirds may be struggling to write a cookbook together, but Carole opines that they actually have the healthiest, most normal relationship out of all her friends. (This is particularly ironic considering how much flak she took from Luann de Lesseps about dating a younger man.) Even if they were to hypothetically break up before The Reluctant Vegan hits shelves, both Carole and Adam figure that they can be amicable for the sake of the inevitable press tour. After all, that's what being adults is about, right?

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Meanwhile, Ramona is out shopping with Sonja and suggests putting together a dinner to celebrate Luann's engagement. Lady Morgan rightfully points out that neither she nor Ramona really has any business planning something for Luann - especially considering their respective pasts with her now-fiancé Tom D'Agostino. However, Ramona's already sold on the idea in her head and informs Sonja that since she couldn't get ahold of Luann, she decided to text Tom about the party. According to Sonja (who seems so full of good advice tonight), it's never a good idea to text another woman's man, but Ramona doesn't see the harm in it if she desperately needs to reach Lu. Note to the Singer Stinger, Girl Code 201 is as follows: do not text the guy you used to date who is now engaged to your fellow Housewife (and who also happened to be hooking up with Sonja for the past 10 years.) A love triangle involving three Housewives and the same guy is never agreat example of etiquette.

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The one 'Wife who won't be able to make Luann's celebratory dinner is Bethenny, who's taking off to Aspen with her daughter Bryn despite her doctor's recommendation to avoid unnecessary travel. Luckily, the Skinnygirl's trusty personal assistant Julia gives her a much-needed reality check that she needs to put her health first. However, in classic form, Bethenny refuses to change her plans and risk having to go to the Countess's engagement dinner instead. She does, however, promise to take it easy in Aspen and spend most of her time in bed while Bryn is in ski school. So let's call it a draw?

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Dorinda meets Ramona at Bistro Chat Noir to go over details about the dinner for Luann. Right away, however, Dorinda echoes Sonja's sentiments that Ramona probably shouldn't be the one hosting the dinner, and adds that the Countess seems to have an issue with Ramotional every time she comes up in conversation. Besides, shouldn't Dorinda be the one to throw the party since she was the person who set Luann up with Tom in the first place? That being said, I do think that Ramona's motivation is absolutely for the right reason - she simply wants to do something nice to celebrate Luann's big moment. Let's just get to the party, shall we? And for the record, I'm kind of in love Dorinda's yellow cable-knit sweater.

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Ramona settles on Black Barn as the venue for Luann's engagement dinner, which means it's the second event she's hosted there after her ill-fated holiday party. As the other 'Wives arrive, the dress code seems to subconsciously have been all-black. But Jules is rocking a crop top, Carole's bringing back the choker and everyone really looks fabulous. As they're waiting for the Countess to make her grand entrance, Dorinda brings up the need for a girls trip since the one to Mexico got cancelled and suggests the 'Wives jet off to Hawaii before busting out leis for everyone. But will we actually make it to the Big Island? (The answer is no.)

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Once Luann arrives - wearing bridal white, naturally - Carole gives her a little heart-shaped crystal to show just how genuinely happy she is for her former nemesis. Boy, have these two come a long way since the end of last season. (To be clear, by "a long way" I mean being able to be basically civil with each other thanks to Carole taking the highest high road there ever was...) The Countess proudly and giddily shows off her engagement ring from Tom, an eight-carat canary yellow diamond that Sonja describes as "murky," and is clearly thrilled to be the undisputed center of attention for an evening. However, the love triangle-shaped elephant in the room might be bringing out the jealousy in Sonja, who's having an understandably difficult time putting on a supportive face. With the Palm Beach wedding almost a year away, are there any bets for what might happen in the interim?

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Should Ramona have hosted Luann's engagement dinner? Does Sonja have a reason to be jealous of the Countess and Tom? Will Jules and Bethenny ever be friends? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 11 - Invitation Interrupted

Glenn Rowley

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It's a new year on The Real Housewives of New York City and there are big changes afoot for the Big Apple broads. The Countess is in love and ready to shout it to the world, but none of her fellow 'Wives react exactly the way she was hoping. Plus, Bethenny plans a tequila tour of Mexico, but when a couple of the ladies get excluded from the guest list, the group dynamic becomes even more divided. Read on for my full recap of all the drama in the city that never sleeps...

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The episode picks up three weeks after Ramona Singer's ill-fated holiday party, which means our timeline is officially in 2016. Luann de Lesseps is still crashing at Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side. But the Countess has some major news: she's in love and she's moving out to get married! Sonja is baffled by this announcement, but she's even more floored when she discovers that the paramour Luann has been hiding all this time is Tom D'Agostino. In fact, her response is "my Tom?" Apparently Ramona isn't the only Housewife who has a past with Luann's new man - according to Sonja, she's been hooking up with Tom for quite a while. However, Lu refuses to let this revelation rain on her parade because the Countess is in love and doesn't care who knows it. Oh and also, Sonja's decided to quit drinking in the wake of the Tipsy Girl debacle, so there's that.

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Meanwhile, Bethenny Frankel has gathered all the other 'Wives at Añejo in Hell's Kitchen for a night of guacamole and vacation planning. Surprise! B wants to take the ladies on a tequila-tasting trip to Mexico to help her gain inspiration for the latest Skinnygirl flavor. Poor Jules Wainstein is still distressed over her father being in the hospital, but she still shows up for to hear Bethenny's plan. However, the big question is whether Luann and Sonja will be invited on the trip and B proposes that the ladies discuss and vote on it. Ramona doesn't want to leave anyone out and argues that the Countess is always fun on an all-girls trip (pirate Johnny Depp, anyone?) but Carole Radziwill draws a line that if her nemesis is invited, she's not coming. All of the women agree that Sonja and a tequila-tasting trip are not a good combo and it's safer for Lady Morgan to stay behind in NYC. As the hostess, Bethenny just wants the trip to be fun for everyone, so for now it looks like the 'Wives playing Grey Gardens on the Upper East Side are still on the outs. Still, viva la Mexico!

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The next day, Carole visits Bethenny at home in matching white turtlenecks to reminisce over the couples trip they took to the Bahamas over the holiday break. (B's keeping the identity of the guy she's dating a secret for the moment, though.) Carole's also had a major come to Jesus moment internally. During the holidays, she rather unexpectedly had to give up the kitten she had been fostering to its adoptive family. Losing the cat without getting to say goodbye forced Radzi to realize that she's set up her life story to constantly be a temporary one. Even when she married her husband Anthony, he had already been diagnosed with cancer... Now that she's been seeing Adam for well over a year, is Writer Girl ready for a more permanent happily ever after?

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Over at Exhale, Dorinda's reached out to Sonja to get manicures together. Sonja is still upset by Ramona's hot-and-cold treatment of her as of late, but Dorinda lays down the cold hard truth that it seems the Singer Stinger has taken sides in all the recent drama...and this time it's not Sonja's. Dorinda also informs Lady Morgan about Bethenny's upcoming Mexico trip, including the fact that she's once again not included on the guest list. But don't worry, the silver lining is that this time, neither is Luann! The Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl issue has become a major conflict of interest for Bethenny and Sonja's officially found herself left out in the cold. And in the Housewives universe, there's nothing worse than being excluded from filming with the other women...

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While Carole works with Adam and his gorgeous long hair on their cookbook proposal for The Reluctant Vegan, Ramona invites her daughter Avery as well as Luann to test out a line of hair extensions from Lux Beauty Club, a company she's getting into business with. Since the Countess has been rocking her signature shag for eight seasons straight, Ramona's anxious to get her into some shoulder-length extensions for once. As soon as Luann sits down, she's bursting to tell Ramona and Avery about the new turn her relationship has taken with Tom. When Lu reveals she's planning to marry the guy Ramona recently dated, the fake smile the Singer Stinger plasters on is nothing short of classic. Ramona then proceeds to inform Luann that her supposed soulmate calls his ex every single day, tells her he loves her and even bought the woman a gold bracelet for Christmas. Which was like yesterday. Yet Luann refuses to believe this piece of information and won't let Ramona burst her happy bubble. All the Ramonacoaster can do is warn the Countess to guard her feelings and warns her that only time will tell whether any of the gossip is true.

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Later that night, Dorinda and her boyfriend John Mahdessian meet Jules and her husband Michael for a double date. Dorinda is slaying in a royal shade of purple, but the Wainsteins arrive over an hour late and the tension between them is palpable. Apparently the couple was bickering over Michael looking for a hot nanny earlier in the day and in the wake of Jules's announcement that they're divorcing over his infidelity, the moment is pure foreshadowing for what lies ahead. Dorinda tries to help the situation by counseling her friend with a number of mixed metaphors, but she's already had one too many martinis for the evening and the marital advice comes out in rather amusing soundbytes. I love every version of Dorinda Medley, but Dirty Martini Dorinda might just be my favorite. 

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In the episode's final sit-down, Bethenny meets Luann for drinks at Bar Bordeaux. B shows up to the meeting late and a little disoriented, revealing to Luann that she's been bleeding rather profusely and has to visit an OB-GYN the following day to figure out what's going on. Because she's not at her best, poor Bethenny essentially gets railroaded by Luann during the entire conversation. First the Countess giddily repeats her revelation about Tom being her soulmate for the third time this episode and eventually brings up her non-invite to the upcoming Mexico trip. Bethenny has every reason under the sun not to extend an invitation, but within just a few minutes, Luann has singlehandedly managed to invite herself on the trip to Mexico and follow it up by accepting her own invitation! The Skinnygirl is left baffled as to what even just happened as the Countess sashays away in her winter white to meet her boyfriend at the Carlyle for a Tommy Tune performance and the episodes comes to an abrupt end. Umm...check please?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Do you see the writing on the wall for Jules and Michael? Is there any way Bethenny could've stopped Luann from inviting herself on the trip to Mexico? Can you really find your soulmate in just six weeks? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 7 - Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Glenn Rowley

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Wow. That may have just been the most entertaining episode we've seen in years on The Real Housewives of New York City. Possibly in the history of the entire Housewives franchise. As Bethenny clashes with Sonja over her "cheater" brand, Ramona, Dorinda and John get into an epic - and I mean EPIC - screaming match on the streets of the Big Apple. Read on for a complete recap of all the drama and chaos...

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The Countess is officially moving into Lady Morgan's townhouse! Luann de Lesseps arrives on the Upper East Side with her luggage in tow, anxious to rehash the events of Sonja Morgan's birthday party the night before. She was supportive yet surprised by the announcement of Tipsy Girl, Sonja's line of Prosecco and rosé, at the party and asks whether Lady Morgan has mentioned the new business venture to Bethenny Frankel yet. Sonja hasn't said a word yet to the Skinnygirl mogul. While Luann points out the obvious similarity between the names of the two brands, Sonja thinks it's just a happy coincidence that they both have "girl" in their names. Besides, she's convinced that as her unofficial business mentor, Bethenny is going to be excited about the fact that she's getting into the alcohol business and be nothing short of completely supportive. 

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However, word of the new business has already reached Bethenny courtesy of an article in Page Six about the similarities between Skinnygirl and Tipsy Girl. She meets Carole Radziwill and Ramona Singer for dinner at NoMo in the heart of Soho and Ramotional fills the other two 'Wives in on all the details from Sonja's birthday party. Bethenny finds being dragged into the press by the Page Six story to be an annoyance to say the least, and thinks Sonja's only using her to get publicity for her latest fake business. Ramona wonders aloud if Sonja really knows what she's doing, but both Bethenny and Carole believe Lady Morgan is precisely aware of the game she's playing. Bethenny calls the move "disgusting" and chalks it up to Sonja being narcissistic, then informs the other 'Wives that Sonja dropping by the Skinnygirl offices the next day. However, Bethenny's already hurt that Sonja would so blatantly attempt to rip off the brand she's spent years building, so Lady Morgan might not love the visit she's in for. Bethenny also declares that it's the last conversation Sonja's going to have with her - as Carole points out in her confessional, Sonja bumbling her way into this shady business deal may have just cost her a friendship.

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The next morning, Dorinda Medley invites Ramona to breakfast at iconic NYC eatery Sarabeth's Bakery. The restaurant holds lots of history for the longtime pals, and Dorinda's hoping that the setting will remind Ramona of the importance of their friendship, which is currently being strained by Ramotional's constant drama with her boyfriend John Mahdessian. Dorinda spends much of the meal advising Ramona over her floundering friendship with Sonja, but at the same time is trying to get the OG to see how her advice also applies to the two of them. Eventually, Dorinda comes right out and tells Ramona that, for the sake of their friendship, the constant John-bashing has to stop. She explains that she would always be supportive of the choices Ramona makes - especially when it comes to dating - and she's simply asking for the same thing in return. Even if Ramona has to fake it, she needs to be nicer to John. 

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Sonja arrives at the Skinnygirl office somehow under the impression that she's walking into some sort of business meeting with Bethenny. She's excited to tell her unofficial "mentor" all about Tipsy Girl, but Bethenny is ready to give her a cold, hard reality check. As soon as Sonja starts talking about her new Prosecco and all the distributors she and her partners are working with, Bethenny demands names. When the only thing Sonja can come up with is "all the distributors," B goes in on her hard, calling her a "fraud" who's managed to create smoke and mirrors around "six fake businesses." Bethenny calls B.S. on everything Sonja's done - from the toaster oven and the Caburlesque to the Gold and White Diamond Collection and the Nigerian football team that never was. The Skinnygirl educates Sonja on the fact that when someone deliberately rips off another person's successful business idea, it's called a "cheater brand" and accuses her of doing exactly that with Tipsy Girl. Sonja's defense is that she's merely trying to get back to where she was before filing for her chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sonja starts breaking down in tears as she tries to explain that she looks up to Bethenny and just thought that breaking into the alcohol industry would be a good way for her to get ahead too, but B isn't buying it. Once Sonja stops crying, Bethenny declares that she's done with the conversation and sends Sonja down the elevator in an entirely different type of walk of shame than she's used to taking. 

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We get a brief respite from the drama courtesy of Jules Wainstein, who's interviewing for a new nanny after her previous one up and left without so much as a goodbye to the kids. Within 10 seconds of the interview, I'm laughing out loud as Jules grills her prospective nanny on whether she's willing to stand in line for hours at the Bonpoint sample sale and if she can do blow-outs. The interview turns into an impromptu test when Jules asks the would-be nanny to hypothetically put together an outfit for two-year-old Rio and while the applicant passes with her outfit in shades of gray, she fails for not being able to speak Spanish fluently. Back to square one, Jules.

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Meanwhile, Carole's back in domestic bliss now that her hot boyfriend Adam Kenworthy has returned from Ethiopia. The couple has decided to combine their respective talents as a chef and a writer by penning a cookbook together, tentatively titled "The Reluctant Vegan." This is very interesting, but I'm too distracted by how amazing Adam's long mane of hair is to pay more attention to his actual vegan diet. As for the book of essays Writer Girl was supposed to be working on all last season? Yeah, she's decided writing a cookbook about her love of processed foods is more fun, so she and her editor mutually decided to part ways and revisit the other project at a later date. As it turns out, Carole didn't seem to be enjoying her process with that book last season anyway, and I'm fine with whatever allows for Writer Girl to pen her weekly blogs for Bravotv.com.

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That night, Luann meets Ramona and Sonja downtown for dinner at Sushi Roxx, which has been referred to by the New York Post as NYC's "most bizarre new theatrical dinner experience." It's the trio's first stop of the night, and Ramonja spend much of the meal breaking wine glasses and gossiping about Luann's revolving door of male paramours. (This is apparently happening off-camera.) In fact, the Singer Stinger can't resist but repeat a vulgar tidbit of information she learned from former Housewife Aviva Drescher's ex-husband Harry Dubin about the Countess's proclivities in bed. It's too forward to write in this recap, but feel free to go back and re-watch the episode if you're dying to find out. But as Ramotional would say, when it rains, it pours and when you're wet, you're wet. Changing the subject from this lively, salacious subject, Sonja fills Luann in on her terse exchange with Bethenny over Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl. The Countess claims she can't believe Bethenny would be so aggressive, but earlier in the episode she specifically commented on how nonchalant Sonja was being over the similarities between the two brands. 

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Leaving Sushi Roxx, the three 'Wives head to Madame Paulette's, where Dorinda and John are throwing a party to showcase the designs of fashion designer Malan Breton. Dorinda is shocked to see Ramona show up - considering the event is at John's place of business, Dorinda specifically chose not to send the OG an invite to the party. However, Luann is even more stunned to see someone else at the party: some creepy guy named Rey whom she had a summer fling with in Ibiza. After a tense exchange where Luann questions whether her ex is sober and an obviously inebriated Rey claims he's having a mental breakdown upon seeing her at the party, Luann hightails it out of the event and hails a cab back to Sonja's. Seeing the Countess in such obvious distress, Ramona naturally invites Rey over to see if he has any dirt. He's very drunk and very obnoxious, as he drunkenly gets in Sonja's face, calls her a bitch and begs the pair of 'Wives not to tell Luann about his "super-hot" girlfriend. How exactly did this guy get into the party? Seeing Rey starting to cause a scene, John walks over with Dorinda to ask him to leave, and this is where things take a disturbing, chaotic turn. For some reason, Ramona decides that now is the appropriate time to insert herself into the confrontation by sticking up for Rey. The argument quickly escalates as Ramona takes a stand against Dorinda's boyfriend, and John decides to kick Ramona out of the party along with the creepy ex-boyfriend and puts his hand in her face to make his point.

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This sends Ramona into a rage as she screams at both Dorinda and John that she never wants to be in the presence of the mafioso dry cleaner ever again. However, even as Ramona storms out of the party with Rey on her heels, the fight isn't over. Continuing the screaming match out on Second Avenue, Dorinda can't believe Ramona had the audacity to ruin yet another of her parties, especially after she promised to be kinder to John just the day before. Ramona shrieks that she doesn't even know how the altercation happened and it's not her fault, at which point Dorinda redirects her rage towards a sloppy Rey. The entire situation devolves into chaos as Dorinda threatens to call the cops on Luann's creepy ex if he doesn't walk away, all while Ramona's still screaming about how everything was John's fault. Once she angrily forces Ramona to leave the event, Dorinda decides she's done too and hails a cab. As John begs her to stay (while at the same time calling Ramona "not even a woman"), Dorinda lashes out at him as well, slurring that he should know better than to put his hand in a woman's face. The episode ends with emotions all around at an all-time high and viewers left wondering what exactly what kind of brawl they just witnessed on the sidewalks of Midtown...

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Are you Team Skinnygirl or Team Tipsy Girl? Who's to blame for the blow-up at Madame Paulette's: Ramona, John, Dorinda, Rey or all of them put together? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!