Simply put, dinner and a movie make a classic combination, like Bert and Ernie or peanut butter and chocolate. These bars, restaurants, and theaters modernize the concept, making for a fun, all-in-one adventure. By Jessica Allen.
Black Duck Restaurant
This lounge and restaurant in Murray Hill offers a low-key place to hang out any night of the week, serving locally sourced, mostly French, comfort food. The signature dish pairs duck confit with a seared duck breast, pear glaze, and parsnip puree. On Sundays at 7.30 pm, the Black Duck screens old James Bond movies. The drinks are strong, the popcorn is free. And, no, you don’t have to order martinis, either. Other recent events have included screenings of Breaking Bad, live music, and a Hitchcock festival with movies and trivia.
Nitehawk takes the dinner and a movie concept to a whole new level by offering dinner, or brunch, or drinks, or dessert during the movie, both first-run and classics. Excellent programming and really good food ensure that shows sell out quickly. There’s even a kale salad for health-conscious or trendy folks. Once a month, the popular Spoons, Toons & Booze screens everybody’s favorite cartoons, along with an all-you-can-eat cereal bar, cereal shots, and special White Russians (other drinks available too).
Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema
This Texas success opened its first New York area establishment in 2013. (The Manhattan location is scheduled to open 2014 and the Downtown Brooklyn location in 2015). The menu at Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema offers adult shakes (such as Irish Coffee, with vanilla ice cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and coffee), burgers, snacks, pizzas, and a bottomless tub of popcorn. Regular events include sing-alongs and quote-alongs, in which you’re encouraged to yell out your favorite lines. Just don’t ever talk or text (you’ll get thrown out).
reRun Gastropub Theater
Billing itself as “indie cinema with a buzz,” reRun is a movie theater just down the hall from reBar, a bar/restaurant in DUMBO that calls itself “a shrine to eating and drinking.” reRun has 60 reclaimed car seats positioned in front of a 12-foot screen, along with a full bar and gourmet snack counter. What kind of snacks? Good question: duck confit and chicken sausage, topped with cherry mustard and horseradish mayo, or popcorn drizzled with bacon fat, for example. You can even reserve a spot for dinner in the restaurant and seats in the theater.
Indie Food & Wine
For just $25 a person, Lincoln Center’s “Dinner & a Movie” has to be one of the best deals around. You get your choice of a sandwich, such as a muffaletta or apricot jam and camembert, soup of the day or kettle-cooked chips, and a glass of white, red, or sparkling wine, along with admission to a first-run or classic movie. (Check the calendar for special screenings and Q&As.) Indie Food & Wine also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, skewing toward the Mediterranean, as well as top-quality popcorn and baked goods.