Cinebistro combines first-run films and food. What could possibly go wrong? Well, happily, not much. In fact, this attraction/restaurant was surprisingly satisfying from almost every perspective.
First, the theater. It's an adults only venue because liquor is served and the films are generally targeted at mature audiences. The seating is exceptionally comfortable, thanks to large "lounge chairs" with swiveling tables. Think large, first class airline seats, with tables that actually accommodate trays and drinks, and stow out of the way when you want them to.
Then there's the food and drink component. I was very skeptical, but quickly put at ease by the handsome bar lounge area that greets patrons, and the long list of wines-by-the-glass. Prior to the show, patrons are encouraged to have a pre-film drink at the bar and review the menus. Actual dinner service begins approximately 45 minutes before the show in the theater with waiters taking orders from seated patrons.
The menu was a real surprise, as was the food quality. Menu items are fairly creative and change regularly. I'm guessing that a lot of this food comes from pre-packaged restaurant entree vendors and is merely reheated -- but still, the items our party ordered were reasonably satisfying, some even qualitatively well above average. I erred on the side of simplicity and ordered items that were likely prepared in-house -- tenderloin nachos, sirloin burger, fries etc. -- and was very satisfied.
One additional bonus is the popcorn. Patrons buy the first bowl -- a large actual ceramic bowl for $8.00 -- and refills are free. But the popcorn is exceptional. Best I've ever had, anywhere.
Dinner for two... two tickets ($13.00 apiece)... drinks... add up to a fairly pricey evening. I think we spent a total of $120.00 (including tips) for the film, two dinners, popcorn, four glasses of wine and one martini. But all things considered, not over the top for a dinner and drinks, a first-run film, and a very comfortable setting with polite, attentive service.
Hey, a movie ticket in Manhattan these days is $20.00, right? And that's in a dirty, crowded theater, surrounded by coughing patrons with bacteria-resistant tuberculosis... Gimme Cinebistro any day...
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