Plot: “The Dinner Party” is about a perfect evening with a less-than-perfect ending.
Dev is now fully in the swing of his gig hosting Clash of the Cupcakes. His buddies Arnold and Brian visit the set to say hi to Dev and meet the show’s special guest judges, the masked breakdancers collectively known as the Jabbawockeez. After the taping, Dev meets his Italian friend Francesca at the Brooklyn Museum, and, in a scene that is a bit reminiscent of the planetarium sequence in Manhattan, the duo talk about the art and their personal lives while strolling through the exhibition.
Later that evening, Dev has dinner at Carbone in Greenwich Village with food media superstar Jeff Pastore (Bobby Canavale), who is kind of like a more athletic version of Anthony Bourdain. Jeff hosts a travel/cooking program called Jeff’s Table and he’s also one of the producers on Dev’s show. The two guys hit it off, and Jeff invites Dev to a party at his loft later in the week.
After consulting with his buddy Arnold about where to eat and drink, Dev goes on a second date with Priya, one of the girls he met from the last round of online dating, but they don’t have a very good time together. Earlier in the day, he was considering inviting her to Jeff’s party, but now he decides to ask Francesca to the bash.
The party is held in a spacious loft with chefs cooking a Basque feast for a fashionable crowd that includes John Legend and also Dev’s actor buddy Ravi (Ravi Patel). While smoking some pot on the roof, Dev and Francesca talk about his love life and how after his date with Priya he awkwardly texted her: “I’m jealous of the lucky pillow that gets to hold your face tonight.” Francesca and Dev also talk about how they missed each other when he moved back to NYC. After stepping back inside, Jeff tells Dev to watch out or else he’ll get his heart broken.
Dev and Francesca continue to chat on the car ride home. He drops her off, and after some time in the car staring out the window, he gets a text from Francesca: “I’m jealous of the lucky pillow that gets to hold your face tonight.” This is clearly a lot for Dev to take-in, but he doesn’t text her back.
Food Breakdown: Dev and Jeff eat octopus pizzaiolo, fresh mozz, and beef carpaccio Piedmontese at Carbone, aka the spot by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick that’s one of the most expensive red-sauce joints in NYC. While at dinner, Jeff also mentions that he had an earlier meal at Shuko (a pretty great Japanese restaurant near Union Square), and a second dinner at the Michelin-starred Casa Mono, and the guys bond over their shared love of al pastor from Los Tacos No. 1. Dev and Priya’s date starts at cool-kid cocktail bar PDT and ends at Il Buco.
Best of None: The scenes with the Jabbawockeez are all hilarious — they’re creepy breakdancing divas. Dev and Francesca’s romantic connection is an unexpected twist that throws our hero for a loop. But perhaps the best part of this episode is the introduction of Jeff Pastore, a charismatic pseudo-mentor who can open all sorts of new doors for Dev.