My wife and I recently went on a date night over at Town Brookhaven’s CinéBistro. “Quel est ce CinéBistro?” you ask? It’s a full service movie-watching experience where participants (restricted to ages 21 and over) can order complete meals and adult beverages right at their seats.
First, you make movie reservations online for the desired date and time. Then print out your tickets, or elect to have mobile tickets texted right to your phone. When you get to the theater in Town Brookhaven, find parking or use the valet service right outside its front doors. (It came in handy the night I went because of rain.)
Once you walk inside, you present the front desk your tickets and then you can make your way into the theater lobby. This lobby looks and feels like a lounge due to dim mood lighting, a fully stocked bar and cocktail/snack service.
CinéBistro requests that you show up 30 minutes prior to showtime, so waitstaff can take your food and drink orders and deliver them to you before the movie begins. Menus sit in each chair, and you will have a few minutes to mull it over before you are approached for your order. Ordering and payment is processed via handheld devices (a flat 17% gratuity is added), and transmits electronically to the kitchen. Around ten minutes later, a server delivers your food and drinks directly to your seat.
All of the seats contain fold out tables that your food and beverages are plopped on. If you finish your dinner before the movie starts, throw your napkin on top of your plate and someone will come by and bus your mini-table. If you and your partner want to split a bottle of Champagne or white wine, an ice bucket inclusive with its own stand will be outfitted between you all. Pitchers of beer can also be purchased and come with plastic ice contraptions floating in them, so your beer stays cold but does not get watered down. Once your movie begins the chairside service ends. If you want another drink or more snacks you will have to go to the lounge/concession area.
So how was my food? Basic and almost room service-like, but it achieved its purpose. I did have issues with an $11 appetizer called “popcorn” chicken, rock shrimp and calamari. I failed to notice that this appetizer actually contained popcorn and wasn’t referring to the fried niblet-style of the other ingredients. Most of this small serving is filled with popcorn and just topped with a few bites of everything else. It certainly wasn’t worth its price tag, but then again nor are $5 boxes of candy in regular movie theaters.
Overall, my wife and I had a good time. Other than the lackluster appetizer, the only other drawback was some women two rows behind us who couldn’t contain her enthusiasm throughout the movie (couldn’t handle her Cabernet).
So after tickets, valet and our full meals, I believe I shelled out something slightly north of $70. Not bad considering I have had more expensive date nights that just involved dinner.
Have you been to CinéBistro or something similar? What do you think about this dinner at a movie concept?
by Gene Lee, Food and More blog