Update 8/9/23, 3:38 p.m. ET:
Erin, 36, confirmed that the eatery censored from last month’s season premiere was — as many fans suspected — Catch. “I’m gonna tell you what really happened because I’ve never told the full story,” she said during a Wednesday, August 9, appearance on SiriusXM’s Jeff Lewis Live. “I’m allowed now. I have approval.”
Erin explained that she and her RHONY costars wanted to celebrate after being announced as the new cast at BravoCon in October 2022. “It was very last minute. Everybody had, like, plus one, plus two, whatever, and I was like, ‘Well, I’ll just make a res somewhere easy that we can get to very easily,’” she recalled. “Catch was available, so I made a reservation there, and then I didn’t know anything — like, I didn’t know that they were not gonna come or whatever.”
The other RHONY stars thought Catch wasn’t a cool place to be seen, but Erin didn’t think that merited the brushoff she got from Sai De Silva and Brynn Whitfield. “I haven’t been in six years,” she admitted. “But, like, I wouldn’t not go, you know?”
Original story continues below:
The Real Housewives of New York City season 14 just started, but there’s already a major mystery consuming the fandom: Which restaurant kept getting bleeped out during the premiere?
The drama began about 10 minutes in when Erin Lichy revealed that Sai De Silva and Brynn Whitfield bailed on a group dinner because they thought her venue choice was played out. “I’m still a little bit salty about that night,” Erin, 36, told Ubah Hassan before explaining the situation in a confessional interview.
“The girls and I wanted to get together for dinner. It was a huge group. Nothing was available. It was last-minute, so I picked [censored],” Erin recalled during the Sunday, July 16, premiere. “The restaurant used to be the hottest place in New York. It’s easy to get to and it’s convenient. But Sai and Brynn ditched the group dinner. Then they posted on Instagram that they were at Casa Cipriani, and it was hurtful.”
Across the East River, Brynn, 36, shared her version of events with Jessel Taank and Sai, 42. “I didn’t know how to say, like, I wouldn’t be caught dead at [censored],” Brynn told her friends. “It’s not 2005 and I’m not a D-list model. Is it bad that I don’t wanna go to [censored]? 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 [censored] is this weird thing in the middle.”
In a confessional interview, Sai added, “[Censored] is good for teenagers, I think.”
Bravo editors seemingly decided to protect the reputation of the restaurant in question by bleeping its name out every time it was said throughout the episode, but viewers immediately began speculating about which eatery was so maligned.
One popular guess was Carbone, the Italian hotspot known for hosting A-listers like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian, but there are a few problems with that theory. First of all, even megastars have trouble scoring two-tops there, so it’s unlikely that Erin managed to snag a last-minute reservation for a large party. Secondly, the word the women are saying seems to have only one syllable, and Carbone obviously has two. And finally, Carbone didn’t open until 2013.
Other social media sleuths landed on Catch, the seafood restaurant located in the Meatpacking District that also has outposts in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Catch opened in 2011 — not 2005, as Brynn claimed — but it meets the requirement of one syllable. Also, when Us Weekly did a quick check to see whether tables were available for this weekend, it was possible to book a reservation for 10 people at 7:30 p.m. on Friday or 8:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Brynn gave a nod to the drama on Monday, July 17, sharing a photo of herself via Instagram with the joking caption, “Dropping my NYC restaurant guide later this week 🤭🍽️😉.” In the comments section, Jessel, 43, seemingly confirmed the mystery restaurant starts with the letter “C,” writing, “Make sure C**** is on that 😂.”
Jessel’s comment could also refer to Craft, the restaurant opened by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio in 2001, but Catch has its own connection to Bravo that might have inspired some proactive censoring by editors. Hung Hunyh, who won season 3 of the cooking competition, was the chef at Catch when it opened. Hunyh, 45, cut ties with the restaurant’s ownership group in February 2015, citing creative differences with the execs.
“[It’s] hard to get taken seriously by somewhere like The New York Times [working at Catch Hospitality Group],” he said at the time. “I had to cook food to please two guys based on their palates. There was only so much I could do since I couldn’t do anything too weird or authentic.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs on Bravo Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.