Restaurant Express, Season 1: Top Moments of Episode 5

Get an inside look at the contestants' challenges and relive the most-memorable moments from the fifth episode of Food Network's Restaurant Express, Season 1.
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Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Dressed-Up Dining

At the elegant Hummingbird Nest Ranch in the Santa Susana Mountains of California, Robert grants the finalists their largest budgets so far — $1,000 each — so each can open a supper club restaurant featuring a high-end menu worthy of the $100 that diners will spend to eat there.

Familiar Environment

While some finalists are concerned about preparing fancy fare, Eric, a supper club owner in Phoenix, feels confident that his experience will serve him well this challenge. "I'm so stoked," Eric says. "You're going to let the guy who has a supper club do supper club. I think I'll be OK in this one."

Spending Wisely

To help them add value to their restaurants, Robert offers the contestants the opportunity to bid on select items, those to improve the decor, food and service elements of their eateries. After spending more than $400 on sophisticated design elements, Jan's forced to let Seonkyoung win the bid of a five-minute restaurant consultation with Robert.

Absent Luxury

Eric pays $160 for American caviar and fresh truffles, two extremely high-priced ingredients, which he hopes will make his menu attractive to customers. He struggles with showcasing those ingredients, however, as Robert notes, "I don't think that in this case Eric has used the caviar the way he could have used it in a very special way." Additionally, Robert says of Eric, "I want to take him and let him taste this food 'cause he obviously didn't."

Solid Investment

For just $200 Adam wins the help of a hostess and a server, and it turns out that this is money well spent, as the staff members help Adam lure customers to his tables by greeting them at the entrance. While Robert isn't wowed by Adam's avocado soup, he's impressed with the lobster risotto, noting, "The rice is cooked nicely."

Meeting Notes

During their private consultation, Seonkyoung seeks Robert's advice in spending her remaining $515, and he recommends devoting much of it to her food costs. She listens and ultimately offers a menu of chilled soup and grilled chicken with noodles, which Robert deems a largely successful take on "modern pad thai."

Design Done Right

"The restaurant looks like a hundred bucks, and if the food would have been executed correctly, it would have been worth a hundred bucks, but it wasn't," Robert explains after eating at Jan's restaurant. Thus, no matter how striking a presentation Jan's decor offers, it doesn't make up for her less-than-stellar dishes.

High Hopes

After Robert announces that Adam is this week's most-successful finalist, Adam explains his plans to carry this achievement into the future. "There's no more fooling around," he says. "There's no more time for anything other than full forward, forward, forward, now, now, now."

Eric's Exit

Given his misuse of quality ingredients and the disappointing flavor of several of his dishes, Eric learns that he must forfeit his seat on the bus, and he ultimately accepts responsibility for the outcome. "It's a rookie mistake that I shouldn't be making," he reflects on his failure to have sampled his dishes before serving them.

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