You may think that all dine-in movie theatres are created equal. That they’re just regular old movie theatres, maybe with a couple of tables and food only slightly better than the nachos with neon cheese sauce that you get at any movie house.
If that’s what you think, then you’ve clearly not visited CinéBistro.
Atlanta’s first CinéBistro location recently opened at Town Brookhaven – I may never be satisfied seeing a movie anywhere else. From the high-backed leather rocking chairs (the height of luxury, I’m telling you – a movie experience was never before this comfortable!) to the surprisingly diverse menus, both food and cocktails, my husband and I were impressed.
The experience begins the moment you arrive and are greeted in the lobby at the ticket counter. No unsmiling teenage tickets salespeople here: instead they’re friendly and courteous and help you to not only purchase your tickets but also to pick your seat, as all seating is reserved. If you’ve planned ahead (especially handy for new releases for which showtimes can sell out, you know) and purchased your tickets online, you can choose your seats in advance and pick up your tickets at Will Call. Next, if you’ve arrived early enough, you might wait for friends at the bar or grab a table in the lobby dining area and enjoy a pre-show cocktail or snack. If you prefer to dine during the movie, you can order from your theatre seat until last call and one of the wait staff will deliver your food to you.
The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and pre- and post-show dining and drinks. We had an opportunity to sample a number of dishes, all of which were the best movie theatre fare I’ve ever had. Now, of course, that’s not really saying much, but trust me when I tell you that CinéBistro’s menu does not disappoint. There are more than a few surprises on the menu, as well, taking you well beyond the normal popcorn, hot dogs and candy at other theatres.
A couple of our favorites were, for starters: the Mezze Platter (White Bean Hummus, Smoky Eggplant and Tomato Dip, Olives, Roasted Fresh Vegetables, served with Grilled Pita – $12) and the Bacon-Wrapped Dates (Dried Dates stuffed with Gorgonzola and wrapped in Smoky Bacon, with Balsamic Glaze and Herb Oil – $8); for entrees: the House-Ground Bistro Burger (a signature mix of fresh Shortrib, Brisket and Chuck Beef with special sauce, Tillamook Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Pickle – $11) and the Lump Blue Crab Cakes (Broiled Lump Blue Crab Cakes on Pan Roasted Asparagus, Sundried Tapenade, and Ancho Ranch Tartar Sauce – $23); and then for dessert: the Blueberry and Coconut Tart (Fresh Blueberries baked with shredded Coconut and Custard, toasted Coconut Crust, Vanilla Bean Cream and Powdered Sugar – $9) and the Warm Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding (Moist Bread Pudding with chunks of Tart Cherry and Dark Chocolate finished with a Maker’s Mark Anglaise Sauce – $9). We found the menu choices to be varied and actually had a difficult time choosing what to have (I guess we’ll have to go back!) and we were also pleasantly surprised by the prices. The bar menu features premium cocktails – including some signature drinks – as well as a wide selection of beer and wine. You can now make dinner and a movie a delightful one-stop date without feeling like you’re sacrificing quality for convenience!
Here’s some good news (because I know you’re wondering): ticket prices are not as high as you might think (not much higher than you pay at another theatre without the amenities): matinee (before 4:00 PM) tickets are $10.00, evening (after 4:00 PM) tickets are $12.00; there’s a $3.00 premium charge for all 3-D screenings.
CinéBistro hours are: Monday through Friday, doors open at 1:30 PM, first show at 2:00 PM; Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, doors open at 11:30 AM, first show at 12:00 PM. (NOTE: CinéBistro is always for ages 21+, so this is not a family destination.)
Full disclosure: CinéBistro graciously hosted us for this a friends and family preview event and our bill was comped by the house. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.