Sweetbitter recap: Soigne isn’t always what it seems


This week’s Sweetbitter recap shows that Tess isn’t necessarily the naïve girl that she appears. Is everything what it seems?

Another Sweetbitter recap has the foodies wondering where is the food and wine that foodies crave from Sweetbitter. Sure this Starz series is a drama, but the restaurant world is a vital character to this coming of age story. Even though the episode’s title has a very foodie word, the characters drive this episode.

First, this week’s Sweetbitter episode titled, Everyone is Soigne, was all about appearances. The French term isn’t just about the Serena’s allegedly perfect, well to do life. Soigne is about the restaurant world as a whole. That term is thrown around kitchens. Does it mean an important guest or is it a chef who’s just trying to be a pompous jerk?

When it comes to Sweetbitter’s fine dining atmosphere, everything is about appearances. The staff might appear beautiful, well-coiffed and put together. In reality, they are falling apart. From romance woes to backstabbing, things that happen in the back of the house are never meant to be seen by the guests. The façade must be kept up at all costs.

Sweetbitter episode 3, photo provide by Starz

This episode only give a few glimpses of food and wine. The biggest take away was the shade thrown on pinot grigio. When Tess asks Simone if she would be drinking the white wine after service, Simone gives a look of disgust.

Instead Simone asks for a Barolo. That Italian wine is big, bold and distinctive. It is definitely a wine drinkers wine. The request is another way for Tess to be impressed by Simone. This Italian red wine is a wine that Tess would probably never choose. It was another moment that made Tess want to be more like Simone.

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Overall, Tess is adapting to the restaurant world. Her ambition is growing and she is adapting. Her willingness to practice picking up hot plates shows that ambition. While her initiative should be applauded, she is still a little naïve.

The whole escapade/plate lesson with Will was silly. Truthfully, she didn’t need Will for any of that scenario. Even though their short lived affair ended on her terms, Tess hasn’t found herself. She still dreams of more and isn’t satisfied.

As a food fan, I still want more food and wine scenes. The original book had some more insight on the restaurant, food and people. The television version is very character based. But, it leaves out a character, the restaurant and its food.

Like life, food brings people together. A perfect meal is a memory. The table brings people together. So far in season 1, the characters haven’t come together. Everything is segmented. It is like a dish that isn’t quite finished. The final dish isn’t composed. It is a bunch of food on a plate without a purpose.

Sure, everyone knows that Tess is finding her own way and becoming her own person. Of course, this show needs to be entertaining. But, if such attention to detail was paid to so many little things (as reported) why are some of those details quickly brushed aside.

For example, why is breaking a glass behind the bar so bad. If you don’t work in a restaurant, it might not seem that important. That quick scene is important, yet it turned into a moment about finding a hidden tattoo. It was more than that.

Another example is Will’s plate lesson at Tess’s apartment. Anyone else know a chef or a server who can’t pick up a hot plate or pan? Are they just part superhero? No, it comes with practice.

Next: Delicious beer and cheese pairings

What will happen in the next Sweetbitter episode? Hopefully, the next episode will show how the food and wine influences Tess’s new persona.